Artists 2019

Cork Folk Festival - Cork, Ireland  1st-4th October 2020


Artists 2019


Cork Folk Festival 2019 Artists


Friday 4th Oct, Triskel Christchurch: 8pm Andy Irvine + Martina Stafford & Leah Sohotra €25

ANDY IRVINE is one of the great Irish singers, has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career. Andy has been at the helm of legendary bands like Sweeney’s Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, and then Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher’s Island. Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians. As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour with a show and a travelling lifestyle that reflect his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. To quote the Irish Times, “Often copied, never equalled”, his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dance tunes and a compelling cannon of his own self-penned songs.


Martina Stafford (Singer/Songwriter)

Hanora George is Martina Stafford. She is a folk singer and multi-instrumentalist and plays her music mostly in Cork City in The Corner House and Charlies Bar.  Having released her debut EP in May 2016 at her concert in the Triskel she will accompanied by her friend and singer Leah Sohotra.


Dougie MacLean

Saturday 5th Oct, Triskel/Christchurch: 8pm Dougie MacLean and Ger Wolfe €25

Dougie MacLean has built an international reputation as songwriter and extraordinary performer on his own terms. This talent has taken his performance to concerts and festivals all over the world and to the stages of Carnegie Hall in New York, London’s Festival Theatre and the Sydney Opera House.  His songs have been covered by hosts of artists including Scottish stars Paolo Nutini & Amy MacDonald, Irish greats Ronan Keating, Mary & Frances Black, Dolores Keane, Deanta and Cara Dillon, and Grammy award winning US country singer Kathy Mattea. His anthem Caledonia has topped the Scottish charts and become one of Scotland’s most popular contemporary songs

‘a Scottish phenomenon… with his exquisite guitar style, expressive voice and honest performance, his songs conjure up remarkably vivid imagery of our world.” (The Performing Songwriter, USA).

Ger Wolfe (Singer/Songwriter)

With songs like The Curra Road and The Lark of Mayfield Ger Wolfe has been making a name for himself as one of the most respected songwriters in Ireland. In 2009, Ger released his fifth album No Bird Sang, welcomed by the Irish Examiner as ‘His finest work to date’. Ger is a busy man, having produced four other critically acclaimed albums he now is celebrating the release of his seventh album I Have Been Loved.



                                        Folkfest@40 Celebration Concert

Sunday 6th Oct, 7.30pm Cork Opera House:  Iarla Lionaird and Steve Cooney, Zoë Conway, Donal Lunny and Mairtín O’ Connor, Martin & Eliza Carthy, Nollaig Casey & Arty McGlynn, Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly, Caoimhe & Eimhear Flannery €32

Iarla Ó Lionáird (sean-nós song)

Iarla was born into a world of song in Cuil Aodha, a small, Irish-speaking enclave in west Cork. His mother and grandmother were all known singers in the sean nós. His grand aunt Elizabeth Cronin was recorded in the 1940s by Alan Lomax, the American archivist of folk and blues. He was one of twelve children of the local schoolmaster, and his brothers and sisters sang, too.Iarla Ó Lionáird has recorded and toured with The Afro Celt Sound System, Peter Gabriel and at present is vocalist for super group, The Gloaming.  He is also a university professor, teaching at the University of Limerick in Ireland and at Princeton University in the United States.

Steve Cooney (guitar)

An Australian of Irish ancestry, Steve Cooney has been living in Ireland for many years. One of Ireland’s leading guitarists, he is also a much sought-after and highly regarded producer, having worked with many of the big names in the Irish music industry. In 1981 he bought a one-way ticket to Ireland where he joined Stockton’s Wing, playing bass guitar and didgeridoo. Since then he has been very active performing and recording with Dermot Byrne, Sharon Shannon, Altan, Martin Hayes, Mary Black, Sliabh Notes, Séamus Begley and many others.


Zoë Conway, Donal Lunny and Mairtín O’ Connor: ZODOMO (fiddle, bouzouki, accordion)

The traditional music supergroup, Zodomo, brings together the dazzling talents of three of Ireland’s finest musicians; accordion master Máirtín O’Connor, fiddle player Zoë Conway and bouzouki player Donal Lunny. The illustrious trio draw on an eclectic mix of the old and new, where traditional tunes and songs meet each of their diverse influences and unique compositional voices. The consummate button box player, Máirtín O’Connor was part of the original Riverdance phenomenon. Add to that his work with bands such as De Dannan, Midnight Well and Skylark, his reputation as a composer and solo artist, and recording sessions with Elvis Costello and Mark Knopfler, and it’s easy to see why O’Connor is regarded in the folk firmament as something of a national treasure. Fiddle player Zoë Conway is an awesome talent equally at home playing and singing with Rodrigo y Gabriella, Lisa Hannigan, as a guest soloist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, performing with Lou Reed and Nick Cave, or touring the world with Riverdance. However, traditional Irish music remains close to her heart, witnessed in her highly-acclaimed solo albums. Bouzouki player Donal Lunny need no introduction, having made his name as a member of the hugely influential groups Planxty, The Bothy Band, Altan and Moving Hearts. A gifted composer, arranger and producer, Lunny has also worked with rock and pop musicians such as Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and Kate Bush.

Nollaig Casey & Arty McGlynn (fiddle & guitar)

Nollaig Casey and Arty McGlynn are two of Ireland’s most acclaimed musicians, with international reputations for excellence in the field of Irish folk music. Nollaig is one of Ireland’s most gifted musicians, with an international reputation. In recent years Nollaig has recorded and toured with a variety of groups and musicians including, Moving Hearts, Liam O’Flynn, Mary Black and Elvis Costello. Her television appearances include the BBC TV series “Bringing it All Back Home” and “A River of Sound”. More recently She has performed with the all-Woman group Cherish the Ladies.  Arty is without doubt the finest and most sought after guitar player in Ireland with a unique understanding of music he performs. He had played and recorded with the likes of Christy Moore, Paul Brady and Liam O’Flynn. He played as a member of such prestigious groups as Planxty, Patrick Street, De Dannan and the Van Morrison Band.


Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly (fiddle& Accordion)

For many years, Jackie Daly Accordion and Matt Cranitch Fiddle have been among the foremost interpreters of the rich Sliabh Luachra tradition of instrumental music. Through their respective performances over many years, they have established enviable individual reputations in the world of Irish traditional music. Their CD, The Living Stream, issued in 2010, draws very much from the Sliabh Luachra tradition, and features fourteen tracks, mostly unaccompanied. Their 2nd album Rolling On was released in 2015 is a truly authentic exploration of the music, with slides and polkas very much the order of the day.

Caoimhe & Eimhear Flannery (fiddle & Concertina)

Sisters Caoimh and Eimhear Flannery are young traditional musicians from Rockchapel Co Cork, they are rising stars in traditional music.  Eimhear Whistle, Concertina and Caoimh Fiddle are multi all Ireland Fleadh winners and play in the Sliabh Luachra style.  Caoimh won the junior Fiddler of Dooney in 2017 in 2018 featured at the North Atlantic Fiddle convention in Scotland and at the fiddle concert at the 2018 Cork Folk Festival.


Saturday 5th Oct, An Spailpín Fánach (upstairs): 9.30pm Martin & Eliza Carthy, Siobhan Peoples, Blackie O Connell & Cyril O’ Donoghue, Dermot Byrne & Yvonne Casey €20

Eliza & Martin Carthy (English song)

Martin is a legendary ballad singer and guitarist who has influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, while Eliza has been twice-nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and a multiple-award winner at the BBC Radio Two Folk awards. For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators. He always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.

`Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all’ Q Magazine

Eliza Carthy is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and engaging performers of her generation. Twice nominated for the Mercury Prize and winner of innumerable other accolades over a 20 year career, Eliza has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including, Paul Weller, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Patrick Wolf and Bob Neuwirth.

’Eliza Carthy is one of the figureheads of the English folk revival … compelling’ – Evening Standard

Yvonne Casey (fiddle)
Yvonne is one of Co. Clare’s distinctive fiddle players. She grew up surrounded by the richness of Clare music and plays in a unique soulful style. Sitting in sessions from a very young age she discovered the joys of Doolin as a teen, where she met and played with legendary musicians such as Kevin Griffin and Eoin O’Neill. In the 1990’s the band The Céilí Bandits was formed, Yvonne recorded two CD’s with them and toured Europe and the U.S.A. Her recent collaboration with Donegal accordion player Dermot Byrne is charming audiences with their fresh new sound. Yvonne recently released her second CD entitled ‘Croí’ which includes many of her own new compositions.

Dermot Byrne (accordion)

Dermot Byrne is one of Ireland’s most outstanding traditional accordion players. For many years a member of Altan, Dermot performed, recorded and toured extensively with the group along with artists like Donal Lunny, Steve Cooney and Stephane Grappelli, bringing the beauty and joy of traditional Irish music to audiences all over the world. In other collaborations he has performed previously with Frankie Gavin, Sharon Shannon, and The Stunning along with many other outstanding Irish and international musicians. For his contribution to Irish music Dermot was chosen as TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year 2013.

Michael “Blackie” O’Connell (uilleann pipes)
Michael is one of the most exciting uilleann pipers in Traditional Music. He was taught the uilleann pipes by the great Limerick piper Mickey Dunne. He regularly tours Europe, the USA and the Far East but is also very much at home at his local bars in Ennis or Doolin. In 2010 he released the album; “We were drinking and kissing the ladies”, in collaboration with the renowned concertina player Hugh Healy to great critical acclaim. He has followed up with the 2014 release of ‘Friars Green’ a duet album with Irish Music stalwart Cyril O’Donoghue.

Siobhan Peoples (fiddle)

Siobhan’s musical history is a combination of Donegal, through her father, Tommy, and Clare, through her grandmother, Kitty Linnane who was the pianist with the original Kilfenora Céilí Band. Siobhan discovered fiddle music of Donegal in her mid-teens and this led her to take a different approach to the fiddle and become immersed in the vastly different style and repertoire of the county. She has been a tutor in the University of Limerick for the past 18 years and enjoys teaching and playing all over Ireland and Europe.

Cyril O’Donoghue (bouzouki)

Cyril O’Donoghue for the guitarist, bouzouki player and singer is a prominent feature in Ennis’s and Clare’s traditional music scene. A long-standing member of Fisher Street, Cyril also played a prominent part in Damp in the Attic, while his C.V. includes playing support to Christy Moore and accompanying Tommy Peoples on a national tour. It’s doubtful too whether any reader’s album collection does not feature at least one CD where Cyril provides accompaniment – probably the most recent example is Siobhán Peoples and Murty Ryan’s Time on Our Hands.

Tom Baxter (singer/songwriter)

Saturday 5th October Cork Opera House: 8pm Tom Baxter €26

One of the most distinguished song craftsmen of the 21st century. As the best kept secret in the music business, Tom is now Uk’s official hidden gem. Tom made his name in Ireland 10 years ago with some brilliant songwriting and incredible live shows to back it up, has since gone on to be adopted across the world through this poignantly observational songwriting. Best known for his heart-stopping originals off his first two albums such as ‘Better,’ ‘Miracle’ ‘This Boy’, ‘Almost There’ and ‘Day in Verona’ , tastemakers beat a solid path to Tom’s door, and the plaudits have been streaming in, from The Guardian to The Times since then. Adored by some of the greatest names in film, fashion, music, art and even the young Royal family, his music has now been used on the coverage of both Royal Weddings, Hollywood films and the closing titles of the Olympics.


John Spillane (Singer/Songwriter)

Saturday 5th Oct, The Oliver Plunkett: 4pm John Spillane with Jimmy Crowley €15

Twice a winner of the Irish Meteor Award for Best Folk/Trad act, John Spillane is one of the most accomplished singer-songwriters in Ireland today. He has toured the world with a joyful mix of melodic tunes, entertaining stories and poetic lyrics. His performances shimmer with the magic realism that permeates many of his songs as he effortlessly flits between beautiful poetry tinged with melancholy to roguish, irreverent Cork humour.

 “Some of the most skilfully crafted, vividly realized songs anyone has written in Ireland over the past dozen years.” (Irish Echo).

Jimmy Crowley (singer)

Jimmy Crowley has been a central figure in the Irish folk scene since the enthusiastic reception of his debut album, The Boys of Fairhill in 1977. With his band Stokers Lodge their mission was to present the street ballads of Cork city. Jimmy published a major book in 2017 with146 songs featuring many of those street ballads. The book’s title is ‘Songs from the Beautiful City: The Cork Urban Ballads’ and it’s a true history of the people of Cork City through their songs and song writing.


Greenshine (singer/songwriter, guitars)

Thursday 3rd Oct, An Spailpín Fánach: (upstairs) 9.30pm Greenshine & Granny’s Attic €15

GREENSHINE is a Cork based family trio comprising Noel Shine, Mary Greene and their daughter Ellie. Their material straddles the boundaries of contemporary, folk and roots and includes many self-penned songs. The band is known for striking family harmonies and excellent musicianship. Noel is a multi-instrumentalist, turning his hand to guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki and traditional whistle. The 2018 release of Greenshine’s single Dandelion Seed has seen their star rise even further with the song being retained on the RTERadio1 Recommended list for 4 weeks and at the No.1 spot on the stations Airplay Chart for over a month. Their latest single ‘The Good is Gone’ emulated the success of previous singles for the band enjoying the top spot on the Airplay Chart for several weeks. June 2019 saw the release of Greenshine’s new album Family.

Granny’s Attic (English Folk Band)

Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne (melodeon, concertina, vocals), George Sansome (guitar, vocals) and Lewis Wood (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) – are a folk trio who play the tradition with verve, energy and their own inimitable style. These three young men are all exceptional musicians and fine singers and play English traditional and original music. Formed in 2009, they have since played at clubs and festivals up and down the country and have been heralded for their lively performances and maturity beyond their years in their delivery and selection of traditional songs.


Liz Doherty- Cork Folk Festival Traditional Musician in Residence

Liz Doherty is an Irish fiddler based in her home County of Donegal. She is a renowned teacher and imparts what is best about Irish music – sheer fun and joy! Liz wrote her PhD thesis on Cape Breton music and she currently lectures at The University of Ulster in Derry. Liz has recorded and toured with both Nomos and The Bumblebees and has recorded two solo albums. Her personality is much like her music –– exuberant, fun, quick-witted, and full of life. Liz is the Traditional Musician in Residence at this years Cork Folk Festival. She will be involved in a number of events during her week in Cork including;

Thursday 3th Oct O’Riada Hall, UCC FUAIM Series, ‘The Making of the Cape Breton Fiddle Companion’. De. Liz Doherty.

Thursday 3th Oct CIT Cork School of Music: 3.00pm  - Liz Doherty in Conversation.

Friday 4th Oct Online fiddle clinic: ( on-to-one 30 minute sessions with individual fiddle players.

Friday 8pm A celebration of Sliabh Luachra Concert

Saturday 5th Oct, CIT Cork School of Music Fiddle Class with Liz Doherty €10/€15

Sunday 6th Oct, The Oliver Plunkett: 12.30pm Stíleanna Fiddle Concert: Liz Doherty, Garry Cronin, Siobhan Peoples, Shane Meehan, Brendan Mulvihill, Yvonne Casey €10


Karan Casey (vocals)

Friday 4th October The Oliver Plunkett Bar: 5.30pm Karan Casey, Niall Vallely, Niamh Dunne & Sean Óg Graham from Beoga, Steve Turner, Conal Ó Gráda & Máire Ní Ghráda €15

Karan Casey has long been recognized as one of the most innovative, provocative and imitated voices in Irish traditional and folk music. Karan has released 7 solo albums and has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Japan. She performs with her own band as well as collaborating with such diverse musicians as James Taylor, Bela Fleck, Boston Pops Orchestra, Liam Clancy, Maura O’Connell, The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Solas and Lúnasa. Karan recently released her new album, Hieroglyphs That Tell the Tale on the Vertical Records Label.

Niall Vallely (concertina)

Niall Vallely and is from Armagh and the son of Brian and Eithne Vallely who founded the Armagh Piper’s Club. He is an accomplished concertina player.  In 1990 Niall founded the group Nomos, which released two albums before breaking up in 2000. In 2004 he formed Buille with his brother Caoimhín Vallely (piano) and guitarist Paul Meehan. They released their debut album in 2005 on the Vertical Records label and a 2nd album in 2009, entitled Buille 2.

Niamh Dunne and Sean Óg Graham (fiddle, vocals & accordion)

Long time Beoga members Niamh Dunne and Sean Óg Graham joined forces in 2013 to record   the critically acclaimed song album “Portraits”. Featuring Sean Óg on guitar, bouzouki and accordion, the album features a special collection of songs gathered together after 10 years on the road with Beoga.  Beoga has long been heralded as one of the most innovative and exciting bands in Irish music over the last decade. As a duet, Dunne and Graham perform traditional and folk songs as well as playing newly composed tunes. A musician of supreme talent and versatility, Graham’s own unique style of accompaniment and box playing, matched with the solid fiddle playing and powerhouse of Dunne, make for a vibrant assortment of songs and tunes, both old and new.

A Celebration of Sliabh Luachra

Kino: 8pm A Celebration of Sliabh Luachra with Eoin ‘Stan’ O’Sullivan, Bryan O’ Leary, Niamh Ní Charra, Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly. (Dedicated to the memory of Timmy (the brit) McCarthy) €15

The region known as Sliabh Luachra occupies the rural area where the counties of Cork, Kerry and Limerick meet. While it is not clearly defined, the region encompasses villages such as Scartaglin, Cordal, Brosna, Rockchapel, Newmarket, Ballydesmond, Gneeveguilla and Knocknagree to name but a few. Sliabh Luachra has become synonymous with a unique style of traditional Irish music and repertory comprised largely of slides and polkas.

Eoin Stan O’Sullivan

Eoin Stan O’Sullivan is a fiddle player from Newmarket Co. Cork. He is working as the 2018-2019 Sliabh Luachra Musician in Residence and is also a massive fan of Maurice O’Keeffe.Eoin has been immersed in the music and history of Sliabh Luachra since childhood, mainly thanks to his father, the fiddle playing local historian Raymond O’Sullivan. In 2013 he started a small school teaching local music to people of all ages and that year he also took on the role of director of Scully’s Fest and has helped grow the festival to be one of the highlights of the Sliabh Luachra musical calendar.

Bryan O Leary

Bryan is twenty two years of age and comes from Tureencahill, a townland halfway between Ballydesmond and Gneeveguillia, in the heart of Sliabh Luachra. Shortly after his Grandfather, the great accordionist Johnny O’Leary, (A TG4 Gradam Ceoil Lifetime Achievement Recipient In 2003) passed away Bryan started to learn the accordion at his local national school. In 2014, Bryan won the prestigious TG4 Young Musician of The Year Award and in 2015 Bryan O’Leary and friend Colm Guilfoyle released the album Where the Bog Is .

Niamh Ní Charra

Niamh Ní Charra hails from Killarney, County Kerry in the south west of Ireland. Strongly influenced by the wealth of local Sliabh Luachra musicians, she started playing music at the early age of 4, under the tutelage of renowned local musician Nicky McAuliffe. A multiple award winner on both fiddle and concertina, she toured from 1998 to 2006 as a soloist with Riverdance, before returning to Ireland where she is now based. Her latest album ‘Cuz’, received great critical acclaim including , Instrumental Album of the Year in the Chicago Irish American News  TIR awards for 2014.

Session Americana (folk band)

Saturday 5th Oct, The Oliver Plunkett: 4.30pm Session Americana & Niall Toner Band €15

Session Americana from Boston is a rock band in a teacup, or possibly a folk band in a whiskey bottle. This band/collective of talented musicians craft an musical experience unlike any other. On stage is a collapsible bar table wired with microphones, a vintage suitcase recast as a kick drum, an old Estey field organ, a pre-war parlor guitar, a mandocello and all of its smaller siblings, a harmonica case and an assortment of other instruments that get passed around in this freewheeling modern hootenanny. The anything-could-happen feel of a Session Americana show depends on craft that’s not accidental or easily won; they bring a kind of ease and genuineness to this timeless music, presenting the latest batch of original songs. The Band features, Ry Cavanaugh, Jefferson Hamer, Jim Fitting, Dinty Child and Billy Beard.

Niall Toner Band (Bluegrass Band)

Niall Toner hails originally from Harold’s Cross in Dublin, and re-located to Myshall, County Carlow, in 2001, where he got together with Clem O’Brien and Dick Gladney, and formed the NTB. Niall is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s leading experts on Bluegrass and American Country Music. He brings his knowledge of music to a wide audience through his performances with his band, and on his radio show Roots Freeway on RTE Radio One, which features a wide range of music, from Bluegrass and Old Timey to Blues and Cajun. Niall was a founder member of the Lee Valley String Band in 1968 with his brother Colm and the late Chris Twomey.


Lee Valley String Band

Sunday 6th Oct, An Spailpín Fánach (upstairs): 12.30 pm Lee Valley String Band with guest Niall Toner (this concert will be a tribute to Chris Twomey) €15

The Lee Valley String Band, Ireland’s longest-lived bluegrass and old-time group, perform to huge audiences annually through their regular gigs with the Lee Sessions. Formed in 1968 by the late Chris Twomey and the Toner brothers, Niall and Colm, the LVSB have been through several permutations in their forty-seven (and counting) years and now comprise Mick O’Brien (guitar, vocals), Brendan Butler(mandolin, vocals), Mick Daly (banjo, vocals), and Hal O’Neill (fiddle) and Síona Knepper (Bass). The Lee Valley return to The Malt Shovel now called An Spailpin Fanach where they started out nearly over 50 years ago.


‘Gals at Play’

Saturday 5th Oct, An Spailpín Fánach (upstairs) Saturday 6th Oct 7pm ‘Gals at Play’; Mary Green, Edel Sullivan, Anne Rynne, Gráinne Hunt & Clare O’ Riordan €15

This concert hosted by Mary Greene, is a celebration of original song and tune writing by women. The concert will be ‘In the Round’ for maximum fun, expect major cross pollination!

Mary Greene

Mary Greene has long been an important element of the Irish folk scene along with her partner Noel Shine. She currently performs in the trio Greenshine along with Noel and daughter Ellie. Mary is a prolific songwriter and several of her songs have reached the top of the RTE RADIO 1 Airplay Chart including the band’s breakthrough single ‘The Girl in the Lavender Dress’. Subsequent singles Dandelion Seed and The Good is Gone, both co-writes with Ellie, also reached the top spot while ‘Brother’ co-written with friend Cormac Ó Caoimh climbed to No.2. This is Mary’s third time facilitating what is fast becoming a legendary concert at The Cork Folk Festival.

Edel Sullivan

Edel Sullivan studied classical violin at Cork School of Music and Anglia University, Cambridge. In her teens she began exploring the use of the instrument in a wide range of genres from rock to folk and has seen her skills much in demand by many artists including Hank Wedel and Ger Wolfe. She has toured extensively with Michael Flatley’s renowned show ‘Lord of the Dance’. Edel is renowned as a composer and arranger and was commissioned to write music for Tír na Nollag for ‘Glow – Cork Christmas Celebrations’. Edel currently lectures in Music Therapy, Community Music Facilitation and Musicianship at CIT Cork School of Music.

Anne Rynne

“Anne Rynne Singer of Songs!” This is how Anne describes herself. Although springing from the very musical Moore family, Anne was always a very reluctant singer until about eight years ago when she had a very interesting conversation with her brother Barry (aka Luka Bloom) who encouraged her to pick up a pen and a guitar and make her first album at the age of 68. Her eponymous debut collection has gathered many fans by virtue of its purity and sparseness, making it a breath of fresh air in the modern music business which often promotes recordings that are over produced yet lacking in real substance. This year Anne released her second album ‘Oh Life!’

Gráinne Hunt

Grainne Hunt is a contemporary folk singer and songwriter, raised in Monaghan and based in Kildare. After graduating with a degree in music from NUI Maynooth Gráinne gained a reputation as an outstanding vocalist.  She has shared stages with Glen Hansard and Mark Geary and has been compared to vocal icons Tracy Chapman and Nathalie Merchant. Having just returned from Nashville, with a new record, ‘This Secret’, in her pocket, Grainne is working towards it’s release in September 2019. First single Breathe will be released on 24th May. Recorded with Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Maura O’Connell) and featuring the skills of Mark Fain (Ry Cooder) on bass and Lynn Williams (John Hiatt) on drums, it is already gaining attention in the US.

Clare O’ Riordan

Clare first began gigging with Cork based band Arundo but later began performing solo in Cork, in The Bodega as a resident artist. Following the release of her debut Album ‘Shelter’ in August 2014, she performed live at select venues throughout Ireland accompanied by guest musicians. To date she has released one single ‘Real Love’ from her new album ‘Outside’ and two singles with videos from her album ‘Shelter’ for her songs ‘Home’ and ‘Angel’ respectively. Clare draws skilfully from this broad palette of musical colours, to give voice to her deepest emotions. Her latest album ‘Outside’ was released in 2018 and the title track from the CD spent one month on RTE Radio 1 playlist.

Steve Turner

Friday 4th Oct, St Peter’s Church: 1pm with Cork Trad Trio. The Oliver Plunkett Bar: 5.30pm.  Saturday 5th Oct, The Long Valley: 2pm Song Session BALLADS, BROADSIDES concert with Jimmy Crowley.

Steve is a multi-instrumentalist, playing mandolin and banjo and accompanies himself on the cittern. After 13 years away from the folk scene he made a welcome return in 2004, producing his 5th album, the highly acclaimed “Whirligig of Time” which featured Martin Carthy, Nancy Kerr and Miranda Sykes. Since then he has released further albums, “Rim of the Wheel” and “Spirit of the Game” and his latest much anticipated 8th album “Late Cut” featuring Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson and Sam Carter was released December 2018 and was also short-listed for the 2008 BBC folk awards.

Whitehorse Guitar Club

Saturday 5th Oct, Cyprus Avenue: 7.30pm White Horse Guitar Club €22.50

Storytelling. Gathering. Celebrating. These are the central pillars of The White Horse Guitar Club, an 11 piece band born in the music venue Upstairs at The White Horse. Stories through songs that are sepia toned and earthy hued. Stories that are familiar because they have always been told, passed on at firesides and funerals, shared amongst friend and stranger alike, telling tales of love, loss and life. Stories that hang off melodies and music that are carried on the pulse and the life beat of rhythm.


Friday 4th Oct, Cyprus Avenue: 7.30pm Kila €20

Kíla were formed in Dublin gaelic secondary school Coláiste Eoin and are considered one of Ireland’s most innovative and exciting bands. Their unique and ever evolving sound, while rooted in tradition, is inspired by a myriad of musical influences worldwide. Kíla’s eight members stem from the differing musical backgrounds, including Irish traditional, classical, folk and rock.

Stayin’ Down Shoes -Sara Corkery, Brendan Butler & Siona Knepper

Friday 4th October, An Spailpín Fanach (upstairs): 9.30pm Stayin’ Down Shoes with Granny’s Attic. €10

Singer Sara Corkery, as a young girl, became greatly interested in the fingerstyle playing of Doc Watson and the mandolin tunes of Bill Monroe. She was a member of the Cork based female vocal quintet, The Joyful Mysteries in the 90’s and released an album Don’t mind the Rain in 2009 with Áine Whelan. Brendan Butler has been on the folk and bluegrass music scene here for over 20 years.  He is best known for his work with the Lee Valley String Band. He has been playing mandolin and singing high and lonesome with those boys, since he returned to Ireland from Kentucky in 1994. Brendan teams up with Sara and Siona Knepper on bass in this new group Stayin’ Down Shoes.

Luke Daniels

Sunday 6th October, St Peters Church: 1pm Luke Daniels – The Polyphon Chronicles. An Spailpín Fánach: (upstairs) 3.30pm Box Concert: Presented by Con O’ Drisceoil with Luke Daniels, Tommy Cunniffe, Dermot Byrne €10

Luke Daniels began his career in the mid-’90s with the release of his debut instrumental collection Tarantella. His own recordings as a frontman made him a star of the traditional folk world and his virtuoso command of the melodeon led to a variety of session gigs over the years with artists like Ian AndersonDe Dannan and Cara Dillon. After multiple instrumental releases and over two decades as a sought-after session player, Daniels switched his focus to guitar and piano, beginning a dramatic shift that would see him reinvent himself as a singer/songwriter and released a CD of his own songs in 2014 entitled,  What’s Here What’s Gone. While in Cork Luke will give a performance with a Polyphon, this is a 4ft-high mechanical disc-playing music box, developed in Germany in the 19th century, which sounds like a combination of tinkling, high-register keyboards and glockenspiel.

Tommy Cunniffe

County Roscommon native Tommie Cunniffe is a button accordion player and avid composer of Irish traditional music. While growing up between the towns of Ballinasloe and Athlone on the Roscommon/Galway border, Tommie spent 6 years with an Athlone based music ensemble which toured in Ireland, France, Denmark, Belgium and Holland. He was one of the founding members of the traditional Irish music group Taltarella who also performed across Ireland and Europe. In 1998, Talterella released the EP Six Reels of Joy, consisting entirely of music composed by Tommie. Tommie’s own tunes are inventive, and they reflect his singular style of accordion playing.

Con O’ Drisceoil

Con O’ Drisceoilis a skilled accordion player and singer, he is a member of the Four Star Trio group and is in high demand as a performer. He has written comic songs on a wide range of subjects which includes canine castration, Shakespearean tragedy, unwelcome percussionists and the wildlife of County Clare.



Brendan Mulvihill

Sunday 6th Oct, The Oliver Plunkett: 12.30pm Stíleanna (Styles) Fiddle Concert: Liz Doherty, Garry Cronin, Siobhan Peoples, Shane Meehan, Brendan Mulvihill, Yvonne Casey €10

Born in Northampton, England in 1954, world-class fiddler Brendan Mulvihill immigrated to New York when he was eleven. On the night of his arrival in the states, Mulvihill attended an Irish music session, and from that moment on he dedicated his life to playing Irish music. In his fiddle playing, Brendan’s strong tone, remarkable bow work and unsurpassed musicianship come from a deep love of the music and from a surprising influence. He published “The Irish Scroll,” a tune book with a CD, in 2013 sharing the first volume of Irish tunes, some rare, some with his own variations, and all worth learning. In 2018, he released a solo CD that demonstrates his variations and his beautiful playing style.

Shane Meehan

Shane is a fiddle player from Carrick-on-Shannon Co. Leitrim was initially taught by his grandfather John Meehan who was a flute and fiddle player. He grew up playing with local musicians Damian O’Brien, Oliver Loughlin and Padraig McGovern to name a few. In his teens he took an interest in composition and this soon led to his involvement in the first Leitrim Equation project in 2009 alongside Lúnasa. Two reels composed by Shane featured on the subsequent album The Leitrim Equation which was the culmination of the project with Lúnasa and local musicians. Shane’s debut album ’twill Do’ features 20 original compositions.

Garry Cronin (Fiddle)

Garry Cronin is a fiddle player extraordinaire; he has been playing music in Cork for over 50 years. He has played with many groups in Cork over the years including the famous Paddy’s Goatskin and String Band. Garry was a Guitar teacher at the Cork School of Music for many years while his fiddle style is strongly influenced by Charlie and Ben Lennon from Leitrim.

Máire Ní Ghráda

Friday 4th Oct, The Oliver Plunkett Bar: 5.30pm Karan Casey, Niall Vallely, Niamh Dunne & Sean Óg Graham, Steve Turner, Conal Ó Gráda & Máire Ní Ghráda €15

Máire learned the uilleann pipes as a child growing up in Cork City and played on the legendary album of young pipers, The Pipers Rock. She is much in demand as a teacher and performer and is a regular guest at international piping tionóil and at the Willie Clancy School. Máire’s musical style is noted for its clarity and for its distinctive rhythm. Her influence on a younger generation of women pipers has been significant as the recent TG4 series Mná an Cheoil.

Pat Speight

Saturday 5th Oct, Cork City Children’s Library: 2pm Tall Tales for Children, Pat Speight FREE

Pat specialises in traditional Irish Tales, Folk Tales from the fireplaces of Ireland. Pat has stories to make you laugh to make you cry and to scare and cheer, stories about Animals and Birds, Kings and Warriors, Saints and Sinners, Witches and Magicians, Pickpockets and Ghosts, Fairies and Mermaids and Mythical, Mystical characters that inspire and captivate the imagination.

Eileen Healy

Saturday 5th Oct, St Peters Church: 1.30pm Eileen Healy & Leo Mullane, Free

Eileen Healy has a great passion for blues, old tyme and gospel music. Her album Secret Smile is a collection of her favourite songs. Eileen is a regular session player and a familiar figure at the main music session venues in Sin E and Charlies Bar.
Warwick Folk Festival

Over the last six years Warwick Folk Festival through the work of Dick and Sue Dixon, have presented wonderful acts in Cork.  The line up since 2013 includes; Keith Donnelly 2013, The Folly Brothers  & Anna Ryder2014,  Dan Gascoigne & Sarah Bennett 2015, Rob Halligan & The Harvesters 2016, Grannies Attic in 2017 and Rowan Piggott in 2018.

Two Time Polka

Sunday 6th Oct, Crane Lane: 11pm late gig- Two Time Polka & Dragon Head Free

Formed in Cork in 1994 Two time Polka have developed a distinctive sound that has its roots in Cajun, Zydeco, and Bluegrass music. They have built up an enviable reputation for turning out excellent live shows, including numerous performances at Irish festivals such as The Kilkenny Country Roots, The Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures and The Cork Folk Festival to name but a few. The band has also done several European tours and has played at the legendary Glastonbury Festival and more recently Italy’s Premier International Folk Festival ‘Folkest’.

Conal O Grada (Flute)

Saturday 5th Oct, An Spailpín Fánach (upstairs): 1pm Stíleanna (Styles) Flute & Whistle Concert: Conal Ó Gráda, Johnny McCarthy, Colin Hammy Hamilton €10

Born in Cork in 1961, Conal Ó Grada has long been at the forefront of traditional Irish flute-playing and truly has one of its most distinctive sounds. A multiple All Ireland winner in his youth, Conal’s debut recording The Top of Coom in 1990 is still regarded as a seminal recording of flute-playing.

Johnny McCarthy (Flute)

Johnny McCarthy is a flute and fiddle player and lectures in Traditional music in CIT Cork School of Music.  He plays a regular session in the Corner House with Con O’ Drisceoil and Pat Ahern collectively known as The Four Star Trio. The trio have recorded two albums to date, The Square Triangle in 1979 and Magnetic South in 2014.

Colin (Hammy) Hamilton

Hammy was born in 1953 in Belfast where he learnt to play the tin whistle and eventually the flute. He moved to Cork in 1976 in connection with research for a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology. In 1979 Hammy set up one of the first flute workshops in Ireland. He is the author of The Irish Flute Player’s Handbook, an excellent guide for flute players and his playing can be heard on the cassette tape ‘The Moneymusk’ and on the CD ‘It’s No Secret’.


Sunday 6th Oct, An Spailpín Fánach: 1.30pm (downstairs) Molgoggers FREE

The Molgoggers are a cappella, sea shanty and maritime song group from Cobh in Co. Cork. The comprises of eight men who perform their songs at festivals all over Ireland and abroad.

Cork Singers Club

Sunday 6th Oct, An Spailpín Fánach (upstairs) 9.00pm Cork Singers Club with Special Guests, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne & George Sansome (Granny’s Attic).

Established in 1993, the Cork Singers Club has been instrumental in helping to bring about a renewed interest in the art of singing traditional Irish songs. Members meet every Sunday night at An Spailpin Fánach and the club has only one golden rule, no instruments.  The whole idea is that people come together to celebrate the fine art of solo singing and to ensure that the great traditional songs are passed down from generation to generation and not lost in the mists of time. The Singers Club is about having fun while at the same time ensuring that the fiercely proud tradition of singing is kept alive in Cork.

Seán Ó Sé

Wednesday 3rd Oct, Glenryan Tavern: 9.30pm Songs of the Northside with guest Séan Ó Sé and the Cork Singers Club.

Seán Ó Sé achieved fame with his hit version of An Poc ar Buile. With Ceoltóirí Chualann he was part of the exciting Ó Riada years and helped blaze a new trial for Irish traditional music and song. Seán has featured regularly on RTÉ, has recorded albums, performed at home and in Britain, USA, China, Russia and Europe. Seán lives in Cork city.

The Diviners

Blending invention with tradition, new compositions with old, The Diviners are an innovative traditional music act from Cork. As an ensemble they work from the premise that traditional folk music is both relevant and necessary – a living archive, it contemporizes our relationship to the past in a process of composing its future. There line up consists of Anthony Ruby Pipes, Eoin Jordan Bouzouki, Ciarán Ruby Whistles and Vocals.


Dragonhead are a talented duo offering an eclectic mix of traditional & modern folk with a big slice of Cajun. The duo, Anne Harris on vocals and melodeon and John Harris on vocals and guitar are in Cork as part of a twinning arrangement with the Warwick Folk Festival.

Cork Pipers Club

The Roundy: 3pm Cork Pipers Club Concert with Blackie O Connell, Eoin O’Brien, Simon Pfisterer €10

Cork Pipers’ Club was founded in 1898 and is the oldest pipers club in the world.  The club holds regular classes in the Wilton SMA Hall starting in January and September and as well as an annual club Tionol (pipers gathering).  If you are a beginner in need of a practice set, the club has a limited number of loan sets to help get you started. The club have been presenting a concert at the folk festival for 19 years, this year they present Michael (Blackie) O’Connell, Simon Pfisterer and Eoin O’Brien.

Eoin Ó Briain

Hails from Cullen, Co. Cork.  Later when his family settled in Killarney, Co. Kerry he began attending tin whistle lessons with Pádraig Moynihan.  In recent years Eoin has taken up the pipes. He currently attends the University of Limerick where he is studying for his Master’s Degree in Irish Traditional Music Performance – (for part of which he has researched the life and times of the late Jim Dowling, in whose honour an annual Uilleann Pipe & Trad Festival is held in Glengarriff.)


Simon Pfisterer

Originally from Bavaria in Germany, Simon started to play various kinds of bagpipes from the age of 8 before falling in love in 2011 with Irish music & especially with Uilleann Pipes.  He is currently studying uilleann piping in the BA programme at UL under the tuition of Blackie and various guest tutors.  Simon has been performing with his bands, projects and as a solo artist at festivals & concerts throughout Europe, in China and in the United States.


Saturday 5th Oct, An Spailpín Fánach (upstairs): 3.30pm Concertina Concert with Niamh Ní Charra, Ciara O’ Leary Fitzpatrick, Clíona Halley, Paul Clesham, €10    

Paul Clesham

Paul Clesham is a concertina, piano and fiddle player from Hollymount, Co. Mayo. He has been living in Cork for the last number of years, studying music at undergraduate, masters and currenty PhD level in University College Cork, receiving a number of academic and performance scholarships throughout his degrees. He has travelled extensively around the world performing and teaching workshops.

Clíona Halley

Clíona Halley was introduced to Irish traditional music at the early age of 6. While the concertina is her main instrument, she also plays fiddle and traditional piano. Clíona is a regular teacher and performer at festivals around Ireland. She has performed worldwide and was part of the Comhaltas Tour of Ireland, Britain and Canada in 2013/2014. Her music is heavily influenced by musicians such as Derek Hickey and Liam Flanagan. She has just completed her Masters in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick.

Hazlett Keers

Sunday 6th Oct, St Peters Church: 4pm CD Launch Free.

‘The Groves of Boho: music from County Fermanagh’ is a new CD of traditional music by Fermanagh musician Hazlett Keers. The CD reflects the spirit and character of the county’s music and its musicians, past and present. Hazlett will launch this CD in Cork at St Peters Church; he will be accompanied at the launch by Cork session musicians.

Cork Trad Trio

The Cork Trad Trio are John Mitchell Flute, Garry Cronin Fiddle and William Hammond Accordion. This trio play  sessions in An Spailpin Fanach and have travelled to Warwick Folk Festival as part of the annual twinning arrangement with the Cork Folk Festival.

Ger Murphy & Ken Cotter

Thursday 4th Oct, Douglas GAA Club 9pm Céilí Mór with Ger Murphy & Ken Cotter €10

Ger Murphy and Ken Cotter are one of the best duos on the set dancing scene. They play a fantastic selection of tunes and their tempo is perfect from beginning to end.  Ger is also a member of one of the hardest working céilí bands on the scene, the Abbey Céilí Band. Their céilí in Douglas GAA club is organised by Craobh Proinnsias Uí Néill CCÉ.

Food & Folk

Emmett Place: 11-5pm Food & Folk Open-air Food market featuring delicious and healthy food plus live music from Club Ceoil Ballyphehane Balladeers, Aatma Indian Dance Group, Douglas Comhaltas Adult Group, É-Leizh from Plougonven Brittany), Knocknaheany Club Ceoil with Jessy Cawley, Dragon head (Warwick Folk Festival).

Aatma Indian Dance Troupe

This dance troupe is made up from UCC Indian Alumni, students and friends. The group perform at Indian festivals and events around Cork and county.

Club Ceoil Ballyphehane Balladeers

The group led by Stephen O Dea and Abbey Ní Loingsigh began playing together in 2015 and have featured at many events in the Ballyphehane area including the Multicultural Day at the People’s Park. Club Ceoil Ballyphehane is a non-profit community organisation, voluntary run traditional music and set-dancing group open to all at affordable prices.


Douglas Comhaltas

Douglas Comhaltas was formed in 1997 by a group of parents including the first Cathaoirleach, Aislinn Cogan. Craobh na Dúglaise found a wonderful home in Gaelscoil An Athar Tadhg Ó Murchú (Gaelscoil na Dúglaise) in Douglas and has attracted students from all over Cork City, it’s suburbs and beyond. The branch now employs over a dozen teachers and adult classes for all standards are very popular. The Adult Douglas Comhaltas group will feature at the Food and Folk Event on Emmett Place on Saturday.


É-Leizh are a four piece Breton group, featuring fiddle, guitar, bombard and binioù. They are in Cork as part of Inniscarra/Plougonven Twinning and is supported by Inniscarra Twinning and the Communicating Europe Project (DFA). The group will be playing at the Food & Folk event on Emmett Place and a concert at Senan’s Church, Canon’s Cross in Inniscarra at 7.30pm on October 5th.

Club Ceoil Knocknaheeny & Music Generation Cork & Clare

Music Generation Cork City (MGCC) works in partnership with community based musicians and music organisations to bring music education into the lives of children and young people across Cork City. On Saturday of the folk festival combined students from Club Ceoil Knocknaheeny (MGCork City) and a group from Music Generation Clare will present two events in the Cork City Library. The events are open to the public and everyone is invited to take part, 1-3pm ‘Try the Pipes Day’, in partnership with Na Píobairí Uilleann and an open youth session from 3:30-5pm.

The 6th Noel Brazil Contemporary Songwriting Competition

Thursday 3th Oct, Crane Lane: 7pm Noel Brazil Song Competition, to Enter email FREE

This competition has been growing since we first kicked it off back in 2013, so if you write your own music then please get in touch and enter the competition.

The rules are simple:
1. it has to be your song, or your song played by someone you know.
2. The song must be played live with no more than one accompanist.
There are great prizes and trophies for the top three songs. 1st €250, 2nd €100, 3rd €50.If you have a song you’d like to enter then send an mp3 or sound cloud link to
Deadline for entries is Monday 1st October.

Sliabh Luachra Tunes with Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly

Saturday 5th Oct, CIT Cork School of Music 11am Master Classes; €15 Adults & €10 Students

In this special presentation, Jackie and Matt talk about their formative musical influences with particular reference to the Sliabh Luachra tradition, and also teach some tunes, particularly from its rich repertoire of slides and polkas. This workshop is not instrument-specific, and so participants who play any of the traditional melody instruments are welcome to attend. Also, anyone else who wishes to sit, and listen is equally very welcome.

Liz Doherty Fiddle Class

Liz will be taking a class on Saturday 5th Oct at 11am in the Cork School of Music; if you are a competent fiddle player now is your chance to learn with the master.

Nuadán are a vibrant band from the Déise who play a wide range of traditional tunes and sing sean-nós, macaronic and traditional songs in English. The band focuses on keeping the tradition they were brought up with alive, while also adding something new to the music. Each member of the band brings a flavour of their own to the ensemble, which brings a fresh and energetic feel to their music.


The band comprises of brothers Cárthach Ó Faoláin (accordion, melodeon, vocals), Macdara Ó Faoláin (bouzouki, piano, fiddle, vocals), Pax Ó Faoláin (fiddle, bodhrán, vocals) from An Rinn and Iarlaith MacGabhann (flute, whistles) from Dublin.


In January 2016, Nuadán launched their debut album, Lá Laindí Lugha, which has been received extremely well by a national and international audience.

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