Tradition Now returns to the National Concert Hall from 23rd - 28th October in partnership with the Arts Council. The festival takes a unique look at the evolution of traditional music in a fast-moving Ireland, providing a platform for the most forward-thinking artists playing today.
Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said, “The Arts Council is delighted to partner with the National Concert Hall for our fourth edition of Tradition Now. The festival explores the exciting and new path traditional music is taking without compromising the integrity of where the music has come from. The programme also celebrates the successes evident in Arts Council investment in the traditional arts in recent years.”
Tradition Now 2018 also features performances from Iarla O’Lionáird (The Gloaming) with Crash String Quartet, (who will perform a new commission by Kate Moore); Liam O’Connor (in collaboration with John Blake and Paddy McEvoy); a special Aoife Ní Bhriain residency, and Quiet Lights which will showcase some of the traditional and folk scene’s brightest talents.
The four-day festival will also feature a landmark concert in association with Fair Plé, a movement which started at the beginning of the year out of a need to address the gender imbalance in traditional and folk music.
This year, the festival has a particular resonance as a star-studded line-up celebrates one of traditional music’s best known pioneers, Liam O’Flynn, who sadly passed away in March. The concert, Ómós, brings together an array of gifted traditional musicians including Sean Keane, Matt Molloy, Triona Marshall, Steve Cooney and many more.
As well as the exciting line-up of evening concerts, Tradition Now also features two concerts for children including the magical interactive journey A Winter Wish, and the inimitable Armagh Rhymers who have entertained audiences since the 70s everywhere from Glastonbury to Shanghai.
Full details on concerts below:
Tuesday 23 October, 8.30 – The Studio
Quiet Lights with Rosie Carney, Landless and more to be announced
Quiet Lights will showcase some of Ireland's most exciting and emerging folk talent for an intimate evening of songs old and new. Donegal singer Rosie Carney has been making waves in the music industry for some time, despite only being 20 years old. She is joined by female quartet Landless who produce traditional vocal harmonies without instrumentation. Their stripped-back approach challenges our preconceptions of what Irish traditional music is.
Wednesday 24th October, 8pm – The Studio
Iarla O’Lionaird & Crash String Quartet
Bushranger Psychodrama is a new commission by composer Kate Moore for sean-nós singer, Iarla O’Lionaird. It is a psychological melodrama about a highwayman in the bush. Drawing from the iconic bushranger Ned Kelly who dictated his dramatic and ruthless manifesto to his fellow highwayman Joe Byrne in 1879, and the mythology, landscape and narrative of Australian colonial history where bushrangers became heroes of the people.
Friday 26 October, 8.30pm – The Studio
Liam O’Connor, fiddle, with John Blake, guitar and Paddy McEvoy, piano.
Liam O’Connor, one of Ireland’s leading fiddle players, was born into a musical family in Dublin. His father Mick O’Connor is a flute player and researcher of music who was a founder member of the Castle Céilí Band. During his youth, Liam was taught by Séamus Glackin and won several All-Ireland and Oireachtas fiddle titles. He was awarded TG4 Young Musician of the Year in 2002. He has performed as a soloist and in duets with Liam O’Flynn, Noel Hill and Harry Bradley among others.
Saturday 27 October, 12pm and 2pm
A Winter Wish (for ages 3+)
From dripping icicles to gentle snowfall, the delight of skating on an icy river or flying high on a moonlit night, discover the mysteries of Whistleberry Forest in a mesmerising traditional music performance made for children.
With traditional musicians Thomas Johnston and Stephen Markham, and visual artist Orla Kelly, Ceol Connected’s A Winter Wish is a wonderfully interactive adventure that is sure to have everyone singing along.
Saturday 27th October, 6pm – The Studio
Aoife Ní Bhriain with Florian Willeitner and Eoghan O Ceannabháin
Tradition Now Artist in Residence Aoife Ní Bhriain teams up with German violinist, composer and arranger Florian Willeitner and Dublin based sean-nós singer and multi-instrumentalist Eoghan O Ceannabháin to create a much-anticipated new project.
Saturday 27th October, 8pm – Main Stage
Freedom doesn’t Fall from the Sky… In Association with Fair Plé
Tradition Now will also engage with one of the most topical issues in traditional music today. Fair Plé, a movement which started at the beginning of the year, presents ‘Freedom doesn’t Fall from the Sky’ a joyful exploration of the work of some of the trailblazing women at work in traditional and folk music. The concert will feature Eleanor McEvoy, US composer and fiddler Liz Carroll, three heroines of traditional song and Fair Plé founders; Karan Casey, Pauline Scanlon, Niamh Dunne, and many more. This marks a significant moment for a movement which has seen a huge groundswell of grassroots support since its humble beginnings in Liberty Hall.
Sunday October 28th, Foyer activities from 12pm, concert at 1:30pm
Family Day with the Armagh Rhymers (for ages 6+)
The Armagh Rhymers are one of the most celebrated traditional music and theatre ensembles in Ireland, using music, storytelling and drama to provide an experience that is both entertaining and educational. Colourful costumes evoke a sense of tradition and history and encapsulate the spirit of the Wren boys and the ancient house visiting traditions of Ireland, where the kitchen floor became the stage.
Sunday 28th October, 8pm – Main Stage
Ómós: A celebration of the music and life of Liam O’Flynn
As a founding member of Na Píobairí Uilleann, a member of Planxty and having performed with the likes of Kate Bush, Emmylou Harris, and Mark Knopfler, O’Flynn brought his music to new audiences everywhere.
In Ómós: A celebration of the music and life of Liam O’Flynn, an incredible line-up will take to the stage, including Sean Keane, Paddy Glackin, Rod McVey, Matt Molloy, Steve Cooney, Neil Martin, Usher’s Island, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Olivia O’Leary with David Power and Triona Marshall and The Brendan Voyage with RTE National Symphony Orchestra with Mark Redmond, pipes, and David Brophy, conductor. John Kelly will host on the evening, with more guests to be announced.
Tradition Now takes place in partnership with the National Concert Hall.
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