Poster for 39th Cork Folk Festival

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

CORK FESTIVAL 2018_POSTER_colour final final Blek

Poster for 39th Cork Folk Festival

CORK FESTIVAL 2018_POSTER_colour final final Blek


  1. Helen Bodell - August 27, 2018 12:59 am

    My sister and I are looking forward to attending the folk festival October 3rd, 4th and 5th, coming in from Rhode Island, USA. Is it worth it to get the season ticket for the three days? It looks like the cost of the individual events could add up quickly.
    Thanks for any advice,

    • William.H - August 28, 2018 12:09 pm


      yes its very much worth it. If you include the online costs as well as the tickets. Here is the programme for those days.

      39th Cork Folk Festival


      Wednesday 3rd October

      St Finn Barres Cathedral 8pm The Casey Sisters; Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Nollaig Casey and Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh- “Corcach: A Journey”. Premiere of a new commission from the Casey Sisters for the 40th year of the Cork Folk Festival, featuring Johnny McCarthy, Eoin O Riabhaigh, & String Quartet featuring Eithne Willis, Joan Scannell & others €15

      An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) 6pm ‘Barry Britton Posters’ Book launch & poster exhibition

      The Pigs Back (Douglas Mills) 8pm Jean-Michel Veillon and Yvon Riou €15

      The Corner House 9.30pm The Four Star Trio Free

      An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) 9.30pm Sara Corkery, Brendan Butler & Siona Knepper €10

      Thursday 4th October

      St Peters Church 1pm Concert FREE

      Crane Lane 7pm Noel Brazil Song Competition €450 in prizes, to Enter email

      Triskel Christchurch 8pm Portuguese Fadó meets Irish Sean Nós; Claudia Aurora, Máire Ni Chéileachair & Nell Ní Chróinín €25

      An Spailpin Fanach (upstairs) 9.30pm The Whileaways + Eileen Healy €15

      Corner House 9.30pm Lee Delta Blues Club FREE

      Crane Lane 12pm Late Concert FREE

      Friday 5th October

      St Peters Church 1pm Concert Rowan Piggott, Garry Cronin & Desi McCabe & more FREE

      Oliver Plunkett Bar 5.30pm Greenshine + Céilí Allstars €15

      The Corner House 5.50pm 1st Friday Session Free

      Triskel Christchurch 8pm Frankie Gavin, Dermot Byrnes & Paddy Keenan + Kevin Burke €25

      CIT Cork School of Music 8pm Abegondo Pipe and Dance Band with Douglas Comhaltas €10

      The Roundy 9.30pm John Blek with Erika Kulnys €15

      An Spailpin Fánach (upstairs) 9.30pm Desi Wilkinson & Patrick Moulard (Brittany), Rowan Piggott + Pete Coe (UK) €15

      Oliver Plunkett 11pm late gig, FREE

      KGB Paddy Keenan, Frankie Gavin, Dermot Byrne

      Paddy Keenan

      Paddy Keenan is one of Ireland`s finest pipers, best known as a founding member of The Bothy Band, one of Irish music’s most influential bands of the 1970s, with whom he played in venues all over the world. 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, which is presented to musical heroes of the modern age, and in 2011 by the Irish Music Association, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

      Frankie Gavin

      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, and are credited with breaking new ground in Irish traditional music through innovative choices of material and arrangements and a unique style of playing. Frankie has recorded and played with every genre of music from the Rolling Stones to Stephane Grappelli. He has the distinction of playing for four US presidents. In addition to being a world-class fiddle player Frankie is also a top class tin whistle and concert flute player.

      Dermot Byrne

      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.

      Kevin Burke

      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. Never one to be restricted by geography or genre, his decades-long career has seen several innovative collaborations with notable musicians of differing styles – Classical, Old Time, Bluegrass, Pop and Rock as well as the Irish Traditional music for which he is so well known. Some of the renowned players he has worked with are: Grammy winner, singer and instrumentalist Tim O’Brien; Liam O Maonlaí, lead singer of the Hothouse Flowers; and The Foghorn String Band.

      Kevin Burke,

      Claudia Aurora (Portugal),

      Claudia Aurora
      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 Aurora is a fadista and songwriter from Oporto, Portugal. Claudia 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. Her original songs enrapture with the spine-tingling emotion of loss and yearning. Her extraordinary voice, drenched in a sadness that courses through the audience, gives unique dramatic expression to the soaring sound of Portugal. She will be joined at the Triskel concert by musicians Javier Moreno Olivares (Portuguese Guitar), Pavlos Carvalho (Bouzouki), Jonathan Short (double bass), Kate Shortt (Cello).

      “A beguiling voice! And her instrumentalists are superb!” The Scotsman

      Máire Ni Chéileachair

      Nell Ní Chróinín,

      Máire Ní Chéileachair

      Máire Ní Chéileachair from Cill na Martra received the TG4 Amhránaí na Bliana/Singer of the Year award at a gala concert on 4 February this year. Máire was brought up in the Múscraí Gaeltacht area which is renowned for the strength and richness of its living traditions in Irish song, music and language. Máire takes part regularly in Oireachtas na Gaeilge where she has won Comórtas na mBan several times. She has also been teaching sean-nós singing in the Muskerry Gaeltacht since 2001. 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 audiences. A selection of her songs, in Irish and English, is available on a CD called Guth ar Fán (2013).

      Nell Ní Chróinín

      Nell Ní Chróinín is a sean-nós singer who comes from the Múscraí Gaeltacht of West Cork. Nell began singing at the age of 11 and was particularly influenced by local singers such as Máire Ní Chéileachair and Eoiní Maidhcí Ó Suilleabháin, from whom she was learnt many a song. 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.

      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.


      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


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