44th Cork Folk Festival Programme 27th Sept-1st October 2023
Wednesday 27th September
Everyman Palace 8pm (Preview): Karan Casey – The Women, We Will Rise €22
(In association with Karan Casey & The Everyman)
The Women, We Will Rise is a theatrical song cycle asking questions about the women of Ireland, past, present, and future. Karan will perform the song cycle with Niamh Dunne (fiddle) and Seán Óg Graham (guitar). Directed by Tom Creed.
Thursday 28th September
MTU Bishopstown Rory Gallagher Theatre 1pm Greenshine FREE
Greenshine is a family trio comprising Noel Shine, Mary Greene and daughter Ellie. Their music straddles the boundaries of contemporary folk and includes many self-penned songs.
This concert is run in association with the MTU Arts Office.
Cork City Library 4pm RASA NUA – Indian, Klezmer FREE
Coughlans Bar 7.30pm John Neville & Martin Leahy€15
John Neville is a singer/songwriter and performed with the band North Cregg. In 2017 John released his debut solo album ‘Dance With The Wind’ to critical acclaim.
Martin Leahy is also a singer/songwriter, his song ‘Everyone Should Have A Home’ has come to national attention as a result of his protest outside Dáil Éireann every Thursday.
Triskel Christchurch 8pm Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh with Donal O’Connor, Gerry O’Byrne plus Tionól with Eoin Stan O Sullivan, Derek Hickey, Lisa O’ Sullivan & Leah Murphy €25
“One of the earthiest and most distinctive voices, not just in traditional circles, but anywhere” – The Irish Times
Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh is an award-winning traditional singer and musician from Corca Dhuibhne. A leading exponent of the sean nós style, her repertoire also includes songs from a wide variety of folk and contemporary sources. Dónal O’ Connor (fiddle) has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading musicians. Gerry O’ Beirne is a renowned singer, songwriter, record producer and guitarist.
Tionól is a new group featuring musicians steeped in the traditional music of Sliabh Luachra. They were formed in 2022 and performed in Norway. Featuring; Derek Hickey (accordion) Lisa O’Sullivan (fiddle), Leah Murphy (fiddle) Eoin ‘Stan’ O’Sullivan ).
Everyman Palace 8pm Karan Casey – The Women, We Will Rise €25/Student €11
Douglas GAA Club 8.30pm Céilí Mór with Ger Murphy & Ken Cotter€10
This is the folk festivals annual Céilí featuring Ger Murphy (accordion) and Ken Cotter (keyboards). A great night of set dancing guaranteed with free tea n biscuits for all.
The Corner House 9pm Lee Delta Blues Club- The Dizzy Blues Band Free
An Spailpín Fánach9.30pm Daoirí Farrell with John & Kevin Byrne €15
‘Daoirí Farrell is singlehandedly spearheading a resurgence of the authentic in Irish folk music…he is rightly in demand all over the world.’ Irish Music Magazine
It’s commonly accepted that Dublin-born singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell is one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. He was born in Dublin and began singing at the Góilín Singers Club. His solo album ‘True Born Irishman’ was released in October 2016 and in 2017 he won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Talented North Cork musicians John Byrne (pipes) and Kevin Byrne (guitar) will open the night.
Friday 29th September
Civic Trust House 1pm Jason Turk on SeaboardRISE 2. FREE
Jason will give a special performance using the Seaboard RISE 2 in traditional music. The Seaboard is an innovative electronic keyboard and Jason will blend his original traditional compositions using the keyboard.
Cork City Music Library 3pm Song Event.Popular Scottish songs in English and Gaelic by Linn Phipps. FREE
Linn Phipps is a traditional folk singer in Gaelic and English. She sings as a soloist and with Gaelic choirs. Linn found the Cork Singers Club online during Covid and sang with them throughout the lockdown.
Coughlan’s Bar 7.30pm Cormac O Caoimh & Martin Leahy €15
Cormac is a Cork singer/songwriter, he writes songs with magical melodies and his guitar playing has always been a favourite of audiences. In 2022 he co-wrote a single ‘Didn’t We’ with Lindy Morrisson from the Go Betweens.
Triskel Christchurch 8pm Damien O’ Kane & Ron Block with Duncan Lyall and Stevie Byrnes- Banjophonics, Sara Corkery & Brendan Butler €25
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner, Damien O’ Kane on banjo has joined forces with Alison Krauss & Union Station banjo star Ron Block. At this year’s Cork Folk Festival, they’ll perform tracks from their new album Banjophonics with a full band that features Scotland’s leading ‘Bass Man’ Duncan Lyall and Ireland’s Stevie Byrnes on guitars and stomp. So what to expect? It’s going to be a banjo party!
Sara Corkery (vocals & guitar) and Brendan Butler (vocals & mandolin) have been gigging together in Cork for six or seven years with the late Siona Knepper in the band Stayin’Down Shoes. Sara was a member of the ‘The Joyful Mysteries and Brendan is a long time member of the Lee Valley String Band.
An Spailpín Fánach9.30pm The Céilí Allstars & Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer, Seb Stone €15
The Céilí Allstars formed from a group of friends playing the session trail in Cork city in the late nineties and they have performed at the Electric Picnic and at the Cork Folk Festival. Their musical style includes shades of Sliabh Luachra combined with generous sprinklings of folk and country. Featuring Michael O’ Sullivan (Banjo), Flor Rahilly (guitar & vocals), Stan O’ Sullivan (fiddle) and Lisa O’ Sullivan (fiddle). Folk duo Paul Walker (guitar/vocals) (UK) & Karen Pfeiffer (flute) (Germany) offer a versatile miscellany of self-penned and imaginatively arranged songs. The duo has toured extensively in the UK including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, New Zealand, Australia and Germany. The duo has charmed audiences with Karen’s southern German accent tinged with an ‘oatcake induced’ North Staffordshire dialect from Paul’s heritage. Seb Stone is a young songwriter, he studied music at Royal Hollaway and at the Royal Academy of Music. He has a fine voice and a growing repertoire of folk songs. Seb is at the Cork Folk Festival as part of the Warick Folk Festival annual musical twinning.
Saturday 30th September
MTU Cork School of Music, Union Quay – Music & Song workshops 11am -1pm Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly, Máire Ní Cheileachair €15/€10
Jackie and Matt will teach a selection of tunes from Sliabh Luachra at their workshop. Máire will teach songs both in Irish and English from the Múscraí Gaelteach and beyond.
Rebel Murals of Cork Walking\Singing Tour with John Murphy. (Meeting at 11am at MacCurtain/Coburg Street junction). Featuring Gerry Miller, Bill Daly, Mags Creedon, Ray Doyle, Pat Lyons, Gerry Murphy, Linn Phipps, Seán McCarthy, Tommy McGreevy, Maura Ní Laoire, Mick Buckley, Tom Long and Danny Dineen. FREE
Coal Quay 12pm Folk on the Coal Quay with Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer (UK), MacBochra with Brian Leach, Brian Sheehan and Brendan Duffin, Liam Lyons, Seb Stone FREE
MacBochra adapt stories from Irish folklore, they explore tradition as a creative and regenerative force. Their songs are accompanied by dulcimer, whistles and bodhrans. Paul Walker from the UK and Karan Pfeiffer from Germany with also perform at this event along with Seb Stone a UK folk singer. Liam Lyons will launch his new flute CD ‘Paddy in the Van’ at Folk on the Coal Quay.
Triskel Christchurch 1pm John Spillane & Conal Creedon €20
Two of Cork’s finest writers John Spillane and Conal Creedon come together for a magical combination of songs and stories.
John is a musician, songwriter, performer, storyteller, poet and dreamer. Rooted in people, place and story, his music transports the listener, and his live performances captivate audiences around the world.
“glorious technicolour hues that transcend linguistic boundaries; world music for a new world” The Irish Times
Cónal is an award winning novelist, playwright and documentary filmmaker. His recently published book, Art Imitating Life Imitating Death, was presented at the centre of Irish Studies at Zurich University, James Joyce Federation in 2020.
“Creedon can create characters, not just mouthing amusing philosophical meanderings, not just cold abstractions, these are creations of Creedon’s great humanity” The Sunday Tribune
An Spailpín Fánach 2pm Flute & Whistle Concert: Hammy Hamilton, Conal O’Grada, Aoife Granville, Caoimhin Ó Fearghail €10
Four master flute players from different parts of Ireland come together for an afternoon of flute playing featuring: Colin ‘Hammy’ Hamilton (Belfast/Cuil Aodha), Conal O’Grada (Cork/ Cuil Aodha), Aoife Granville (Dingle), Caoimhin Ó Fearghail (An Rinn in the Waterford Gaeltacht)
Cork City Library 2pm All abilities trad session, Music Generation Free Everyone who plays a traditional instrument is invited to this inclusive session led by Jessy Cawley.
Cork City Music Library 4pm William Jack (Australia) FREE
From Bach to The Beatles and beyond, Australian William Jack presents a multi-style cello recital exploring genres and cultures from around the globe.
Everyman Palace 2.30pm Karan Casey – The Women, We Will Rise €25/Student €11
An Spailpín Fánach 5pm ‘Gals at Play’ withMary Greene, Brigid O’Neill, Molly O’Mahony, Siobhán O’Brien, Neo Gilson €15
Siobhán O’Brien “A voice the world should hear,” Paddy Moloney
Siobhán O’Brien is a much-travelled Irish Singer/Songwriter who has performed with The Chieftains.
“…her dulcet, often melancholic, tracks sizzle through the crowd, scorching her name into the minds of fans and newcomers alike.” Alexandrea Hopper, Hotpress
Molly’s debut solo album ‘The House of David’, released in late 2022 to critical acclaim, is the product of the lockdown years she spent in her home place of West Cork.
“A beautiful songwriter with great empathy and sensitivity,” Fiachna O Braonáin, RTÉ Radio
Brigid O’Neill from Co. Down is gaining a deserved reputation as one of Ireland’s finest songwriters. With four critically acclaimed album releases, Touchstone and Intangible Heritage being the latest
“She is passionate about women empowerment projects and loves to contribute to society in a meaningful way.”- Cuirt Festival of Literature
Neo is a South African, Cork based poet, singer, writer, storyteller, and motivational speaker. She released a gospel audio CD titled “Behind the Veil” in May 2013.
“Mary Greene, a songwriter like no other,” Sheelagh Dempsey, RTÉ Radio1.
Mary comes from a Waterford family steeped in music. She is one third of the group Greenshine. Several of her songs have reached the #1 spot in the RTÉ Radio 1 Airplay Chart including “The Girl in the Lavender Dress’.
Triskel Christchurch: 8pm Martin Carthy, Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly €25
Martin Carthy has sung and recorded with The Watersons, Steeleye Span, Waterson:Carthy, The Imagined Village, with Dave Swarbrick and with his daughter Eliza Carthy. For 50 years Martin has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators.
“Martin Carthy on English folk music: “I’m not interested in heritage – this stuff is alive.”
Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch are acknowledged masters of the rich musical tradition of Sliabh Luachra. This culturally unique area on the Cork/Kerry border is renowned for its distinctive style of playing and special repertoire of tunes.
CONCERT DOUBLE BILL
An Spailpín Fánach 9pm Steph Geremia with John McCusker, Dermot Byrne, Aaron Jones, Ian Carr plus Boruma Trio, Eileen O Brien, Andrew MacNamara, Geraldine Cotter €20
“a vivid blending of New World energy with Old World vibrancy” Songlines
Steph Geremia is an Irish multi-instrumentalist and singer who is highly regarded as one of the finest traditional musicians of her generation. She is also a singer, presenting her own identity of a breathy Celtic vocal style mixed with a hint of her American roots. At the folk festival she will launch her debut album produced by renowned multi-instrumentalist, John McCusker (Mark Knopfler Band) and will include a star-studded cast of musical friends and cohorts.
“a unique and exciting musical ensemble, which successfully unites the two stylistic musical traditions of East County Clare and North County Tipperary”.
The Boruma Trio features; Eileen O’Brien who is one of Ireland’s foremost fiddle players. She was mentored by her late father Paddy O’ Brien a renowned composer and the person responsible for establishing the B/C accordion playing style in the 1950’s. Andrew MacNamara is one of Ireland’s leading exponents of the C#/D accordion playing style. Andrew’s family background is immersed in the east Clare musical tradition. Geraldine Cotter (piano and tin whistle), from Ennis is a teacher and researcher, she is currently lecturing in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
Sunday 1st October
An Spailpín Fánach 2pm Fiddle Concert: Bernadette Nic Gabhain, Garry Cronin,Judy Murphy, Eileen O ‘Brien, Alan Finn, Seamus Sands€10
This year’s fiddle concert features fiddle styles from many parts of Ireland.
Eileen O’ Brien from Tipperary is a creative composer and is the daughter of accordionist Paddy O’ Brien. Bernadette Nic Gabhain from County Meath has toured worldwide with ‘The Lord of the Dance and Gaelforce Dance. Seamus Sands is from Co. Down his fiddle style is highly influenced by northern music where he was born and southern and Cork music where he lives. Garry Cronin won several prizes at Fleadhs in the 1960’/70’s and taught classical guitar at the Cork School of Music. He is a great admirer of the music of Charlie Lennon. Alan Finn from Buttervant, in 2020 he released a solo CD ‘The Road to Crossfield’ and is the leader of The Shandrum Céilí Band who have won three All Ireland titles. Judy Murphy is a young Cork fiddle player from Ballinora and plays in the Sliabh Luachra Style.
Elizabeth Fort 2pm Folk fest in the Fort, Community Trad Event with Club Ceoil Ballyphehane, Douglas Comhaltas Adult and Youth Groups, Cork Singers Club, Kalyna Ukrainian Choir. FREE
This is a concert in the 17th century old fort. It features Club Ceoil Ballyphehane Ballad Group, Club Ceoil run classes in traditional music, song and dance in Ballyphehane. Douglas Comhaltas Adult Group who were medal winners at this year’s Munster Fleadh and youth group who performed in New York at this year’s St Patricks Day festivities. The 31 year old Cork Singers Club who run a singing session every Sunday in An Spailpin Fanach. Kalyna is a Ukrainian Choir based in Cork.
An Spailpín Fánach 5pm Singing Session with The Cork Singers Club FREE
The Corner House 6pm The Lee Valley String Band FREE
“Possibly the oldest band on the scene in Ireland”
Formed in 1968 by brothers Niall and Colm Toner and the late Chris Twomey. There have been many permutations in their 55 year old existence, the line up now is Mick Daly (banjo), Mick ‘Tana’ O ‘Brien (guitar), Brendan Butler (mandolin), Hal O’ Neill (fiddle) .
Triskel Christchurch 8pm The Diarmuidín Songbook: Danny Maidhcí & Eoiní Ó Súilleabháin, Seán (Johnny) Ó Liatháin, Máire Ní Cheileachair, Nell Ní Chróinín, Four Star Trio with Con Ó Drisceoil, Johnny McCarthy, Pat Ahern, MC Peter Browne €20
The Diarmuidín Songbook is a special night celebrating the rich tradition of Múscraí songs sung by Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. Diarmuidín was a renouned sean nós singer and broadcast journalist from Cúil Aodha. Singers at the concert will include Diarmuidín’s two brothers Danny Maidhcí & Eoiní Ó Súilleabháin and Seán (Johnny) Ó Liatháin who all sing with Cór Chúil Aodha; Máire Ní Chéileachair and Nell Ní Chróinín both who were awarded the Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Gaeilge and TG4 Gradam Ceoil singer of the year. The Four Star Trio with Con O Drisceoil (accordion), Johnny (fiddle), Pat ‘Herring’ (guitar) will also feature. The MC for the night is broadcaster and uilleann piper Peter Browne.
An Spailpín Fánach 8.30pm Box/Concertina Concert with Ruby Falvey, Diarmuid Ó Meachair, Tommy Cunniffe, Paul Clesham & Conor Arkins, Cliona Halley& Aoife Dullea, Aoibheann Queally€10
A truly magnificent concert of master concertina, accordion and melodion players featuring; Ruby Falvey (melodeon) from Co. Kerry; Diarmuid Ó Meachair (accordion) from Cuil Aodha; Tommy Cunniffe (accordion) from Roscommon; Paul Clesham (concertina) and Conor Arkins (fiddle) who are launching their new album ‘The Morning Thrush’; Cliona Halley & Aoife Dullea (both concertina) from Cork; Aoibheann Queally (concertina) from Kilmaley, Co Clare.
Cork Opera House 8pm Frances Black, Sharon Shannon, Mary Coughlan €32.50 plus booking fee
Sharon, Frances, and Mary come together for a night of entertaining songs and tunes. The show comprises the three artists performing their own sets followed by everyone coming back onstage for an encore. The three are no strangers to performing together, having recorded and performed on the Woman’s Heart albums and tours.
This concert is run in association with Tom Keating promotions.
The Corner House 8pm Young Timey do Old Timey FREE
Featuring Cork’s younger generation of Old Timey musicians.
The Crane Lane 11.30pm Two Time Polka FREE
The festival will come to a close with the ever popular Cajun and roots band, Two Time Polka led by Ray Barron on mandolin and Geraldine Barron on accordion.
1pm MTU Bishopstown, Greenshine in concert
4pm Cork City Library RASA NUA – Indian & Klezmer Music FREE