Artists 2018

Cork Folk Festival - Cork, Ireland  3rd-6th October 2019

Artists 2018

CORK FESTIVAL 2018_POSTER_colour final final Blek

Artists Biogs 2018
Kate Rusby
Cork Opera House Sun 7th Oct 8pm Kate Rusby & Band + Séamus Begley & Jim Murray €32
Forever proud to call herself a folk singer, Kate’s beautiful, expressive vocals never fail to connect the emotional heart of a song to that of her audience. The crossover appeal Kate enjoys is unprecedented for a folk singer and has been achieved without resort to compromise. A remarkable interpretive singer, Kate’s soulful vocals resonate with the wistful beauty of an earthbound angel. Inhabiting a lyric with unforced conviction – no matter how old or how modern – she has that rare ability to transport her audience, of touching them emotionally and making each tune live vividly within their experience and imagination. As ever, she will be joined on stage by the fabulous British folk musicians who form her band; Damien O’Kane – Banjo and Tenor Guitar, Duncal Lyall – Double Bass, Nick Cooke – Diatonic Accordion & Steve Byrnes – Bouzouki.
Séamus Begley (accordion)

Accordion player and singer Séamus Begley is one of the most popular Irish traditional musicians, coming as he does from one of the most musically acclaimed Irish families. He plays with an energy that is alarming, bringing a frisky spontaneity to his box-playing, belting out jigs, slides and polkas with rapid sprays of reckless ornamentation before making a sudden key change into a bitter-sweet air. He has toured extensively with Jim Murray, Altan, Steve Cooney and Mary Black to name but a few.

Jim Murray (guitar)
Jim Murray is one of Ireland’s finest guitarists and his formidable reputation has been established as a player of traditional music – both as a melody player and as an accompanist. Throughout his childhood, Jim who hails from Macroom in West Cork, performed with various groups including his father’s Céilí band. Jim plays regularly as a member of Sharon Shannon’s band and has also toured and recorded with Altan, Mary Black, Sinead O’Connor, Steve Earle and Donal Lunny.
KGB Paddy Keenan, Frankie Gavin, Dermot Byrne (fiddle, Pipes, Box)

Triskel Christchurch Friday 5th Oct 8pm Frankie Gavin, Dermot Byrnes & Paddy Keenan + Kevin Burke €25
In a move that is sure to energise the Irish traditional music scene, three of Ireland’s finest instrumentalists have come together to form a new group.
Paddy Keenan is one of Ireland`s finest pipers, best known as a founding member of The Bothy Band. Paddy is also an accomplished low whistle and banjo player. Paddy’s contributions to traditional Irish music were marked in 2002, when he received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year award and in 2011 by the Irish Music Association, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Frankie Gavin is one of Ireland`s greatest ever fiddle players. His name is immediately associated with the group De Dannan who were also formed in the 1970s. Frankie has recorded and played with every genre of music from the Rolling Stones to Stephane Grappelli. In addition to being a world-class fiddle player Frankie is also a top class tin whistle and concert flute player.
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. For his contribution to Irish music, Dermot was chosen as TG4′s Traditional Musician of the Year 2013.

Kevin Burke (Fiddle)
Kevin Burke’s fiddle playing has been at the forefront of traditional music since the 1970s. His far-reaching solo album, If the Cap Fits, and his work with such renowned performers as Arlo Guthrie, Kate Bush, Christy Moore and The Bothy Band established him as a first class musician. Kevin will give a fiddle class at the Cork School of music on Saturday 6th Oct at 11am.

The Casey Sisters: – Corcach: A Journey
Wednesday 3rd October 8pm St Finn Barres Cathedral
This year the festival has commissioned west Cork musicians, Máire, Mairéad & Nollaig Ní Chathasaigh to write a piece of new music to commemorate the founding of the folk festival in 1979. Corcach: A Journey will be performed by Máire her sisters Mairéad and Nollaig plus Johnny McCarthy, Eoin O Riabhaigh, & String Quartet featuring Eithne Willis and Joan Scannell at St Finn barre’s Cathedral.
The Casey Sisters (Harp &2 fiddles)
These three sisters grew up in a West Cork household steeped in traditional music and song. Having carved very different careers, they have come together to record what is, astonishingly, their first CD together, Sibling Revelry. For this special project, they mine the musical riches of their family, neighbourhood, county and country, while at the same time creating new melodies from the same deep source and a unique and heartfelt sound.
Eoin O Riabhaigh (pipes)
Eoin O Riabhaigh is a piper and pipemaker; he is the son of the late Cork piper and teacher, Micheál O Riabhaigh. He began his piping career at the tender age of 9 under his father’s watchful eye, and continues to play regularly. Eoin has enjoyed a very varied career as a piper, having performed and recorded with, among others, Dolores Keane, Mary Black, Iris Demente (US) and Tim O‘Brien.
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.
Eithne Willis (violin)
Eithne Willis holds a BA degree in Music and Irish from University College Cork and a Diploma in Violin Teaching from the CIT Cork School of Music. She is a founder member of the Cork Chamber Orchestra and a former member of several other Cork- based ensembles.
Joan Scannell (Cello)
Joan Scannell is a cellist and Head of String Studies at CIT Cork School of Music since 2006. A keen chamber musician, Joan was for many years a member of the Orpheus Trio, performing around the country and making several broadcasts for RTE TV. She also lectured and coached chamber music at University College Cork and was, for a time, a member of Jimmy Crowley’s infamous Stoker’s Lodge.

Claudia Aurora (Portugal)
Triskel Christchurch Thursday 4th Oct 8pm Portuguese Fadó meets Irish Sean Nós; Claudia Aurora, Máire Ni Chéileachair & Nell Ní Chróinín €25
Following up her sold-out concert as part of the inaugural Songlines Fadó Series in London last September, Portuguese maverick fadista CLAUDIA AURORA makes her Cork début. Claudia is a fadista and songwriter from Oporto, Portugal. She sings Fadó – traditional Portuguese folk-blues – like no one else. Following in the tradition of great female fadistas like Mariza and Ana Moura, Claudia is the powerful voice of Fadó’s new generation. She will be joined at the Triskel concert by musicians Javier Moreno Olivares (Portuguese Guitar), Pavlos Carvalho (Bouzouki), Jonathan Short (double bass), and Kate Shortt (Cello).
“A beguiling voice! And her instrumentalists are superb!” The Scotsman
Máire Ni Chéileachair (singer)
Máire Ní Chéileachair from Cill Na Martra received the TG4 Amhránaí Na Bliana/Singer of the Year award on 4 February this year. Máire takes part regularly in Oireachtas Na Gaeilge where she has won Comórtas Na mBan several times. She is frequently heard singing at the Cork Singers Club and at festivals around Ireland and overseas, where she has brought sean-nós singing to new audiences.
Nell Ní Chróinín (singer)
Nell Ní Chróinín is a sean-nós singer who comes from the Múscraí Gaeltacht of West Cork. She was the youngest ever recipient of TG4’s Gradam Ceoil Traditional Singer of the Year award in 2012 and at the Oireachtas Na Gaeilge in 2014 she was awarded the Corn Uí Riada. Nell joined the band Danú in 2016 and features on their album, Ten Thousand Miles.
Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra
CIT Cork School of Music Sat Oct 6th 8pm Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra, Special Guest Mairtín O Connor €20 (Students €15)

Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra is the only orchestra in the western world to perform exclusively from memory. Ireland’s living music tradition soars into the 21st Century with this extraordinary 20 piece ensemble. Ancient Celtic horns mix with strings, wind, pipes, reeds, voices and a swinging rhythm section.
The IMO was founded in 2012 as a vehicle for Flynn’s genre-jumping music. For this, their Cork city debut, accordion legend Máirtín O’Connor joins the orchestra for an exhilarating suite of his tunes, orchestrated by Flynn. Corkonians Roisín Donohue and Niamh Varian-Barry star in a magical suite of songs. Finally Flynn’s epic Clare Concerto navigates an exciting, moving journey around the landmarks and musicians of Clare.
This concert is part funded by a Creative Programming Grant under the Arts Councils invitation to collaborate scheme , The scheme was run by Cork City and County Council Arts offices and Kerry County Council Arts Office.
Musician List
Dave Flynn – composer/ guitar, Bjorn Bantock – conductor, Máirtín O’Connor – special guest accordion, Niamh Varian-Barry – violin/orchestra leader, Liz Coleman – fiddle, Róisín Donohoe – viola/voice, Maria O’Connor – cello, Neil Ó Loclainn – double bass, Niwel Tsumbu – guitar
Anne-Marie O’Farrell – harp, Aisling Agnew – flute/whistles, Brendan Rowan – flute/whistles, Mark Redmond – uilleann pipes/whistles, Etain McCooey – oboe/ whistle, Rachel Clancy – clarinet/ Celtic horns, Jack Talty – concertina, Bill Mag Fhloinn – Celtic horns/percussion, Neil Yates – trumpet/Celtic horns, Éanna Monaghan – bassoon/Celtic horns, Aidan Dunphy – percussion, Danny Roe – percussion
Máirtín O’Connor (Accordion) Use picture
Máirtín O’Connor is one of the main musical forces behind the now legendary River dance phenomenon, through his work with De Dannan, Midnight Well and Skylark and also as a solo artist he has quite simply gone where no Irish accordion player has gone before.
John Spillane (Singer/Songwriter)
The Oliver Plunkett Sunday 7th Oct 4pm John Spillane + Hanora George+ Ger Wolfe €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)
Hanora George (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, George excited audiences to the point where she has had to undertake a ‘catch and release’ only policy for future expeditions. She is currently putting her heart and sole into her first album which will be released this year.
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.
Ye Vagabonds
The Oliver Plunkett Saturday 6th Oct 5pm Ye Vagabonds & Blind Poets €15
Ye Vagabonds are brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn. They grew up in rural Carlow but moved to Dublin in 2012 and became known on the traditional Irish, blues and folk scenes in the city, playing folk songs as well as their own original material. Their blend of harmonic folk music is influenced by traditional Irish and European music, American old time, and the music of the 1960s folk revival.
Blind Poets
Fresh out of the rehearsal room their first venture was a BalconyTV Cork performance which was picked by the international BalconyTV as ‘Editors pic’ and has now been included in a worldwide compilation album. The band features Karen O’Doherty, Niamh Murphy Katie O’Neill, Leo Mullane and Tom Jordan.
Oliver Plunkett Bar Friday 5th Oct 5.30pm Greenshine + Céilí Allstars €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 and this musical dexterity had seen him much in demand as a session and band player by artists as diverse as The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and funk and soul legends The Republic

of Loose amongst many others.

The Whileaways
An Spailpin Fanach Thursday 4th Oct 9.30pm €15
Three powerful forces in Irish roots music in their own right, Noelie McDonnell, Noriana Kennedy and Nicola Joyce combine as The Whileaways to create a beguiling tapestry of harmonies, tradition and beautifully crafted original songs. Their sound is simply captivating.
Eileen Healy
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.
Céilí Allstars
The Céilí Allstars are an exciting four piece traditional Irish music band. They formed from a group of friends playing the session trail in Cork city in the late nineties. Their musical style includes shades of Sliabh Luachra – whence they originate – combined with generous sprinklings of folk & country. They’ve played residencies in Cork’s legendary folk venues the Lobby Bar, Cork and De Barra’s in Clonakilty. They’re also at home on bigger stages playing at festivals in Ireland, Holland, Italy, Russia and Australia.

Desi Wilkinson & Patrick Moulard (Brittany) (Flute & Singer)
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Friday 5th Oct 9.30pm Desi Wilkinson & Patrick Moulard (Brittany), Pete Coe (UK) + Rowan Piggott €15
Desi is one of the leading exponents of the traditional Irish flute (“the timber flute”) and a fine singer. Originally from Belfast, he was inspired to get involved in Irish music through the playing of Fermanagh fiddler, Tom Gunn, a near neighbour. Desi has worked and toured with most of the best-known musicians and groups on the traditional Irish music scene, like Dé Dannan, Donal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn, Máirtín O’Connor and Andy Irvine. From 1992 – 1994 he lived in Brittany, learning, playing and studying Breton music, Desi will be accompanied by Breton Musician, Patrick Moulard.
Pete Coe (UK) (Singer/Songwriter)
Pete Coe has had more than 50 years of music making on the English folk scene. His contributions include traditional song research, song writing in traditional style, the founding of several seminal bands plus solo and duo performances, dance calling, recording, field research, local folk activism in Ryburn Three Step and teaching at various levels. Together with his wife, Sue, he received the Gold Badge Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) in 2016 for their outstanding contributions to folk dance, music or song. Also Cork City Children’s Library Sat Oct 6th 11.30-12.30am Tall Tales for Children with Pete Coe FREE
Rowan Piggott (fiddle)
Rowan grew up in the foothills of the Burren. He learnt his music from his father Charlie (of De Dannan) and his mother, Frances who taught him the fiddle. He is the author of two tune books and is a familiar face in ceilidh bands across the UK and a constant of the Irish session scene. He has recorded an EP and album with the Georgia Lewis Band. Rowan also plays in a duo with BBC Young Folk Awards finalist Rosie Hodgson with whom he released the album, Rise Aurora. Rowan is in Cork to represent the Warwick Folk Festival which is twinned with the Cork Folk Festival.
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 Ryder 2014, Dan Gascoigne & Sarah Bennett 2015, Rob Halligan & The Harvesters 2016 and Grannies Attic in 2017.
John Blek (Singer/Songwriter)
The Roundy Friday 5th Oct 9.30pm John Blek with Erika Kulnys €15
John will be releasing his new album Thistle & Thorn on 1st February 2019. The creation of this record has been an adventure that has taken him from West Cork to Louisville, Kentucky. Best known for his work with his band John Blek & the Rats, John has begun a new journey influenced by the folk music of Ireland, Britain and the US. With his solo work, he delves into the world of fingerstyle guitar and reveals the deeply personal and poignant lyrical aspects of his character.
Erika Kulnys (Nova Scotia) (Singer/Songwriter)
Erika Kulnys is from Nova Scotia, she has a powerful voice and her carefully crafted songs are reaching people across the globe. Erika recently won the Canadian Voice of Women award and her record, Rise Up, was Top Ten on the Canadian folk music charts. In 2016 Erika won the Cork Folk Festival’s Noel Brazil Song Competition and was a finalist in the Canada South Songwriting Festival.
Lee Valley String Band
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Sunday 7th Oct 12.30pm Lee Valley String Band €10
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 An Spailpin Fanach where they started out nearly over 50 years ago.

Two Time Polka
Oliver Plunkett Sat 6th Oct 11pm late gig, Two Time Polka 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’.

Striolán Céilí Band
St Finbarr’s GAA CEILI MOR Saturday 6th Oct 9.30pm €10 + Free Tea & Cake
Formed in 2008 The Striolán Céilí Band takes its name from an area near the Cork, Kerry and Limerick border, known locally as Striolán. The line up of the band is DJ Curtin on button accordion, Denis Curtin on fiddle and vocals, both from Mountcollins, fiddle players; Conor O’ Sullivan from Tournafulla and Patricia Wright from Dromcollogher. The rest of the band is made up of John McNulty on flute residing in Rockchapel, and Adrian McAuliffe from Freemount on Banjo, Pat Mulcahy originally from Brosna on drums, and Bridget McCarthy from Moyvane on keyboards. The Striolán Céilí Band are considered by many to be one of the top Céilí Bands in Ireland

Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Saturday 6th Oct 10.00pm Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly, Manus McGuire & Emily Flack, Ann Kirrane Droney €15
For many years, accordion maestro Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch on fiddle have been among the foremost interpreters of the rich Sliabh Luachra tradition of instrumental music. Their new album, Rolling On, draws upon this rich legacy. As Dan Neely said in the NY Irish Echo, “Separately, they are brilliant to hear but together they are sublime.” Matt and Jackie are spreading the popularity of Sliabh Luachra music all over Ireland and North America, from Allihies to Newfoundland and from Clifden to the Catskill Mountains.
Manus McGuire & Emily Flack (Cape Breton) (fiddle & Piano) Use picture
Manus McGuire from Sligo in the north west of Ireland comes from a strong musical family and from a region that is rich in the Irish fiddle music tradition having exported the likes of Michael Coleman and James Morrison to America in the early 1900′s. He won various awards for fiddle music at national level before forging a burgeoning international career performing with the groups, Buttons and Bows, Moving Cloud and The Brock McGuire Band
Emily Flack from Dorchester, Ontario, likewise comes from a family steeped in the music tradition, this time the music of Cape Breton and Ontario. She is a champion step dancer, pianist and singer/ song writer at the highest level and has undertaken an MA in “Traditional Irish Song” at the University of Limerick,

‘Gals at Play’
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Saturday 6th Oct 7pm ‘Gals at Play’; Mary Green, Liz Kane, Lynda Cullen, Emma Langford & Ellie Shine €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 Green (Singer/Songwriter)
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. Summer of 2016 they released their second album The Girl in the Lavender Dress. Follow up singles Shadowland and City of Dreams ensured Mary’s place on the honour roll of Irish songwriters.
Liz Kane (Fiddle)
Liz Kane is from Letterfrack North Connemara where she was educated in Kylemore Abbey School. She learnt her music from her grandfather, local fiddle player Jimmy Mullen and Mary Finn from Sligo. She has toured with her sister Yvonne in the band The Woodchoppers featuring Sharon Shannon on accordion. Liz and Yvonne recorded an album together entitled, The Well Tempered Bow.
Lynda Cullen (Singer/Songwriter)
Lynda Cullen is from Gorey, Co.Wexford in the South East. She studied music and Music Performance and Production at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa in Cork. In 2009, she released an EP called The Orange Tree, and in 2014, released the album Paper Boat. Lynda tours widely in Europe and USA and aims to travel to North Carolina to record album Number 2 with producer Dave Tilley.
Emma Langford (Singer/Songwriter)
Emma Langford is a folk guitarist and singer-songwriter from Limerick, imbued with the soul and style of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. In 2016 Emma successfully crowd-funded a debut EP, simply titled Emma Langford. In 2017 she was voted “Best Solo Female Artist” by Pure M Magazine and was listed as a Hot Press Magazine one-to-watch in the summer of 2016.
Ellie Shine (Singer/Songwriter)
Ellie Shine has grown up surrounded by music and has been performing in concerts since the age of 13. She forms part of the trio GREENSHINE with her parents Noel Shine and Mary Greene. Despite her tender years, Ellie has featured on three cds to date including her grandfather’s debut recording Paddy Greene’s Family Album. She accompanies herself on ukulele and guitar.
Jimmy Crowley (singer)
The Long Valley Saturday 6th Oct 2pm Song Session BALLADS, BROADSIDES & BAWLING HAWKERS session/informal concert with Pete Coe & Jimmy Crowley and songs from audience €10
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.
Karen Casey (singer)
St Peters Church Saturday 6th Oct 12pm Karen Casey speakers about FairPlé FREE
Karan Casey is a renowned singer who started out with Solas in the mid 90’s and has since collaborated with artists such as Bela Fleck, Lunasa, The Dubliners and Imelda May. At the Folk Festival, Karen will talk about gender balance in folk and traditional music.
Stayin’ Down Shoes -Sara Corkery, Brendan Butler & Siona Knepper
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Wednesday 3rd Oct 9.30pm €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.
Barry Britton Posters – Book Launch Use picture
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Wednesday 3rd Oct 6pm Book launch & poster exhibition
An accomplished artist & surfer living on the North West coast of Ireland specialising in pen & inks of traditional music, surf & landscapes in his unique Celtic style. For 50 years now, Barry Britton has been creating posters for folk festivals, surfing events & lots more besides. His iconic creations give their message in his unique & beautiful mystical and Celtic style and are to be found all over the world. This is a unique opportunity to meet the reclusive artist, & hear what he has to say about his art.
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Sat Oct 6th 1pm Stíleanna (Styles) Flute Concert; Conal O Grada, Aoife Granville, Joanne Quirke, Brendan Ring €10
Conal O Grada (Flute)
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.
Aoife Granville (Flute)
Aoife Granville from Dingle is a Flute and Fiddle player and co-ordinator and founder of the Dingle Tradfest. She has performed with Kerry Chamber Orchestra and released a Flute album, Sáimhín Só in 2014. She lecturers in Traditional & Popular Musics, Festival and Folklore at Department of Folklore and Ethnology/Béaloideas at UCC.
Joanne Quirke (Flute)
Joanne Quirke is from Cork City; she plays and teaches fiddle, piano and harp. Joanne studied Music at University College Cork and received the Sean O Riada memorial award for performance in Irish Traditional Music.
Brendan Ring (Pipes/Low Whistle)
Brendan Ring began playing music at eleven years. His first tunes came from his grand-father who was from Sliabh Luachra. Brendan is an All Ireland champion piper and holds a Masters Degree in Music from University College Cork. He has contributed to numerous traditional music CDs and has collaborated with Niall Keegan, Michael O’Suilleabhan and John Spillane.
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Sat Oct 6th 3.30pm Stíleanna (Styles) Concertina Concert; Niall Vallely, Ann Kirrane Droney, Eimhear Flannery, Paul Clesham & Maura O Connor €10
Eimhear Flannery (Concertina) Use picture of concertina
Eimhear Flannery from Rockchapel is 13 years old and was the youngest musician to qualify for the final of the Seán Ó’ Riada Gold Medal in Cork this year. Eimhear and her sister Caoimhe won the under 18 duet at the Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda in August this year.
Paul Clesham (Concertina)
From Hollymount, Co. Mayo has won All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles in Melodeon and Grúpa Cheoil and Céili Band. Paul also won the Senior Concertina and Senior Accompaniment competitions at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2015. He teaches music at Douglas Comhaltas and at Club Ceoil, he also has just completed the MA in Ethnomusicology at UCC.
Ann Kirrane Droney (Concertina)
Ann Kirrane is a singer and musician with a pedigree, the daughter of concertina legend Chris Droney from Bellharbour County Clare. She is an accomplished concertina player in her own right and takes up the instrument on this recording too, but subtly, and as this is an album of songs. Working with long time musical partner Gary O’Briain, Ann has created a wonderfully clean sound.
Maura O ‘Connor (Concertina)
Maura O’Connor is a concertina player from Abbeyfeale Co. Limerick who is currently the 15-18 all-Ireland Champion and a member of CCE Teampleglantine. She is greatly influenced by the music of Sliabh Luachra and by concertina players such as Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, Noel Hill and Jack Talty.
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.
Jack Talty
Jack Talty is a traditional musician, composer, producer, and educator from Lissycasey in county Clare. As a performer Jack has travelled extensively throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia, and has contributed to over 60 albums to date as a musician, producer, composer, arranger, and engineer. In November 2016, Jack released his debut solo concertina album, In Flow on Raelach Records.
Oliver Plunkett Sunday 7th October 12.30pm Stíleanna (Styles) Fiddle Concert; Matt Cranitch, Caoimhe Flannery, Niamh Varian-Barry, Leah Murphy, Manus McGuire, Seamus Sands, Liz Kane, Garry Cronin and Gerry O Connor €10
Caoimhe Flannery (Fiddle)
Caoimhe Flannery from Rockchapel is an All-Ireland duet champion. She plays fiddle in the Sliabh Luachra style. This year she won the Munster u18 solo fiddle and was second at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. She played at the Seamus Creagh Concert last year and at concerts in Scartaglen and Castleisland.
Leah Murphy (fiddle)
Leah Murphy is a young talented fiddle player from Ratcoole, she plays in the Sliabh Luachra style and was featured at the World Fiddle Day in Scartaglen. Last year she won the Maurice O Keeffe trophy at the festival in his name in Kiskeam.
Niamh Varian-Barry (fiddle)
Niamh Varian-Barry is the former lead singer of one of the biggest bands in Irish music, ‘Solas’. With her exceptional vocals, she gained notoriety throughout North America and the world during her years touring and recording with the band before she returned to Ireland to highlight her skills as a classical performer. Niamh is a trained viola and fiddle player and holds a Master of Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
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.
Seamus Sands (fiddle)
Seamus Sands was brought up in Co. Down and now lives in Co. Cork, Ireland. He is very highly regarded for his unique personal style of relaxed, melodic, and rhythmic traditional Irish fiddle playing and was taught and influenced by some of the legendary players no longer with us. He comes from a very musical family and a long line of fiddle players. Seamus has recorded two fiddle albums including his new album A Deep Pool released this year.

The Roundy 2.30pm Cork Pipers Club Concert with Brendan Ring,Rosaleen O’Leary and Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby , Shane Keating, Robert Fell,  Pipers from Abegondo €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.

Robert Fell

Robert hails from the Firies / Farranfore area to the north of Killarney and from the age of six, under the tuition of Pádraig Buckley, learned whistle & flute, later moving on to uilleann pipes.  In more recent time he tutors at the Killarney School of Music.

Shane Keating

Shane learned to play the uilleann pipes in the late 1990s, initially from Jimmy Morrisson at Fermoy Comhaltas & subsequently from Mary Mitchell.  More recently, Shane has taught piping classes at Cork Pipers’ Club and at Ballincollig Comhaltas branch.

Rosaleen O’Leary and Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby

Both of these performers were pupils – from a very young age – of the great Micheál Ó Ríabhaigh and learned their whistle and piping skills under his tuition in the early 1970s.  By now they both have probably lost count of the number of pupils to whom they have each been passing on their musical know-how since the 1990s.
The Corner House Sunday 7th Oct 4pm Album Launch Paddy Tutty and Caoimhín O Fearghail Free
Paddy Tutty comes from Dungarvan, Co Waterford and is a self taught fiddler; he comes from a great musical family in Co Waterford. He can be seen regularly performing in Dungarvan in sessions and concerts. He had recorded and toured with the band Caladh Nua.
Caoimhín Ó Fearghail comes from An Rinn in the west Waterford Gaeltacht. He started to learn the tin-whistle at the age of eight, taking lessons from Bobby Gardiner. He quickly progressed to the uilleann pipes, under the tutelage of David Power, who has been a big influence on him. Others influences include Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Tommy Reck and Patsy Touhey.
Desy McCabe (pipes)
St Peters Church Friday 5th Oct 1pm Concert Rowan Piggott, Garry Cronin & Desi McCabe & more FREE
Desy McCabe is originally from Belfast and now living in Cork. He started playing the tin whistle at 15 and then a few years later began to play the uilleann pipes. His main influence on the uilleann pipes was the piper and pipe maker Sean McAloon. He was the original uilleann piper with Craobh Rua and recorded on their first album, Not a Word about It.
Deerpark CBS Sunday 7th Oct 2pm Céilí Mór – ARUNDO, CLUB CEOIL, Abegondo Dance Band Family Event Free
Arundó play an eclectic mixture of traditional and contemporary Irish music. John Byrnes’ driving style of piping gives the band an exciting and lively sound and is very popular with dancers. Arundó has released four albums: John and Kevin Byrne’s most recent double album, Drawn to the Flame, Live at Counihans, Tuesday Night at 39A, and The Blue Haven Sessions. Johnny Bongos who plays bodhrán and spoons with the band will also be taking a percussion workshop in Counihans Bar on Saturday of the festival.
Club Ceoil Musicians
Club Ceoil Ballyphehane is a non profit community organisation and each week it runs classes of traditional music and dance. It was founded in 2008 by Maurice Dineen and has fifteen music teachers and 200 students. Enrolment takes place every September and classes are held every Monday in Deerpark CBS.

Hello Delia Murphy- Carmen Cullen
Rory Gallagher Music Library Saturday 6th Oct 3.00pm FREE
Delia Murphy was Carmen Cullen’s mother’s sister and hailed from Hollymount, Co. Mayo. As well as recording, Delia was a natural performer and her fame extended to many countries, including those where her husband Thomas Kiernan was Irish ambassador. She sang in concert in major venues as well as little halls and ballrooms all over Ireland and abroad. She was known for such songs as The Spinning Wheel, If I were a Blackbird and Three Lovely Lassies from Bannion. During the performance Carmen will tell us about Delia’s unique story, interspersed with her popular songs.
Grupo de Gaitas e Baile do Concello de Abegondo Use picture
CIT Cork School of Music Friday 5th Oct 8pm Abegondo Pipe and Dance Band with Douglas Comhaltas €10

(Abegondo Pipe and Dance band)
The Group was formed in 2010 as part of the cultural activities offered by the town council of Abegondo, a Galician municipality next to A Coruña, in the northwest of Spain. Their members, from all ages, play a wide range of instruments that have been part of Galician folk music over the years: Galician bagpipe (Gaita de fol), different types of traditional percussion (bombo, tamboril, pandeireta), accordion, etc. The band is supplemented by a group of male and female dancers, and a choir of women singers (cantareiras). Also Saturday 6th 12pm Emmett Place & 10pm St Finbarr’s, Sunday 7th at 3pm in Deerpark School.
Douglas Comhaltas Use logo
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. Recently the branch has moved to provide classes in traditional singing, which have proved very popular. Adult classes for all standards are also hugely popular. The Branch will present a concert at the CIT Cork School of Music along with Abegondo Pipe and Dance band from Galicia. The Adult Douglas Comhaltas group will also feature at the Food and Folk Event on Emmett Place on Saturday.

Gure Txokoa Dantza Taldea

Basque dancing group from Bera

The association Gure Txokoa K.K.E. was founded in 1931. Today, the group includes around 250 dancers, starting at the age of 5/6. We dance local traditional dances, such as Makildantza, Bordondantza or the Aurresku and many other traditional dances from other Basque villages. Our group is based on the will of maintaining the Basque culture; our tradition, our music, our songs and our language in our region. Our village wants to keep all our Basque tranditions alive and that is why for many generations we’ve been teaching each other for free, just to maintain, spread and enjoy our Basque culture. We are not professional dancers but we enjoy what we do, because it is an essential part of our own identity.
The 5th Noel Brazil Contemporary Songwriting Competition
Crane Lane Thursday 4th Oct 7pm
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
CIT Cork School of Music Saturday 6th Oct 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.
Kevin Burke Fiddle Class
Kevin will be taking a class on Saturday 6th 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.
Cork Singers Club Use picture
An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) Sunday Oct 7th 9.00pm Cork Singers Club with Special Guest Seán Ó Sé
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. On Sunday 7th of October the club will be remembering Lena Bean Uí Shea and John O Shea (the singing fireman) who both sang regularly at the club and died recently.
Seán Ó Sé
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.
Jean-Michel Veillon
The Pigs Back (Douglas Mills) Wednesday 3rd Oct 8pm Jean-Michel Veillon and Yvon Riou €15

Born on the north coast of Brittany, Jean-Michel Veillon was first a dancer and then a bombard* player in his teens. He then started to play the transverse wooden flute, getting his first influences from various Irish flute players, but then created distinct articulation techniques, more adapted to the Breton music.
Yvon Riou
Yvon Riou, guitar player from the coast of Tregor*, started with playing the open tuning (dadgad type), popularized in Brittany by guitarists like Soïg SIBÉRIL and Gilles LE BIGOT. He later developed his own very personal style of accompaniment, both sensitive and energetic, which makes him sound like no other.
Food & Folk Emmett Place Saturday 6th Oct 11am-5.30pm
Open-air market on Grand Parade featuring delicious and healthy food with lots of great music and dance from the Abegondo Pipe and Dance Band (Galicia) and Douglas Comhaltas, Rowan Piggott and more…


  1. Donna Nimec - November 4, 2018 11:07 am

    My husband and I travelled from Boston, MA in the states to visit Ireland for our first time as a celebration of his 60th birthday. His grandparents and great grandparents had roots in Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. The primary draw for us was Kate Rusby whom we love and adore.

    The cost for travel, hotel, and the festival was amazingly affordable, especially with the green bands. It was cheaper than if we had travelled within the states.

    We were only in Cork for the festival Saturday and Sunday, but we wish we had been there for the entire festival. We had the green bands and attended everything we possibly could. All the performances were amazing at each of the venues – The Roundy, The Corner House, Oliver Plunketts, and An Spailpin Fánach. We attended outside venues as well.

    We are a bit sad we missed Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra, but we were so jet lagged our endurance did not rise to the occasion.

    Perhaps the most surprising thing for us was how accessible the musicians were to the audience. Whether answering questions afterwards or signing CDs, the musicians were pleasant, interactive and genuinely interested in teaching or discussing their craft.

    For my husband, this was a truly awesome way to spend his birthday. He even had the opportunity to meet Kate Rusby and I am sure this is something he will never forget!

    Thank you for hosting a most excellent festival. We plan to attend in the future.

    • William.H - November 20, 2018 6:40 pm

      Many thanks for your kind words, hopefully we will see you back in Cork sometime in the future.


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