Commercial : In turbulent times comfort can often be drawn from returning to familiar places and linking up with old friends. Since 1974 the town of Ennis has welcomed exponents and followers of our Traditional Music, Songs and Dances to Fleadh Nua every May. And the County Clare capital will again play host to this imaginative and innovative festival from 21st to 29th May, 2017. Fleadh Nua prides itself on offering something for everyone and this year’s programme adheres to this successful philosophy.
Highlights include :
BOFIN TO BURREN Concerts of the highest standard form the backbone of the programme of events at the festival. Since debuting at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Cavan in 2011, supergroup “Bofin to Burren” have delivered some of the most heart-warming and entertaining gigs around. The combination of Dessie and John O’Halloran from Inishbofin and Corofin’s own Padraic and Damien O’Reilly with Kieran Hanrahan, Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Ronan O’Flaherty and Seamus O’Donnell is a veritable force of nature which is guaranteed to set pulses racing and feet tapping. And as if that wasn’t enough star-quality for one concert, accordion player and TG4’s Amhránaí na Bliana in 2013, Séamus Begley and Téada fiddle virtuoso, Oisín Mac Diarmada will also take to the stage in glór on Saturday, 27th May for what promises to be a fantastic night of music, song and dance.
CEOL ÓN gCROÍ – MUSIC FROM THE HEART The unique Sliabh Luachra style of traditional music hails from the area where Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick meet. Featuring a distinctive repertoire of tunes with a preponderance of polkas and slides, the music reflects the local popularity of set dancing. The Sliabh Luachra tradition also encompasses a rich heritage of slow airs. Legendary musicians from the area include Pádraig O’Keeffe, Denis Murphy, Julia Clifford, Johnny O’Leary, and Paddy Cronin. Following in their illustrious footsteps, Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly are possibly the finest exponents of the Sliabh Luachra style at the present time. Writing for The Irish Times noted music critic Siobhán Long has referred to Matt and Jackie as “a pair of musicians whose playing intertwines with ever evolving delicacy” and we are delighted to welcome them to glór on Sunday, 28th May as part of the Ceol ón gCroí / Music from the Heart Concert. The concert will also feature the peerless vocal and musical talents of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. Tá clú agus cáil bainte amach ag Muireann mar amhránaí, fliúiteadóir, agus craoltóir den scoth. Bronnadh Amhránaí na Bliana uirthi ag Gradam Ceoil TG4 i 2011. Is léir don saol go bhfuil ceol agus amhránaíocht ar an sean-nós ó cheantar Chorca Dhuibhne inar tógadh í go smior inti. With a solo album due for release later this year, Muireann’s many fans will be delighted to have an opportunity of seeing her perform in glór on Sunday, 28th May where she will be joined by celebrated fiddle player Dónal O’Connor and the song writer and musician, Gerry O’Beirne.
MOL AN ÓIGE The intergenerational transmission of our music, songs, dances and stories lies at the very heart of what Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is about. Young Musicians, Dancers and Singers have always been encouraged in their efforts by the organisation and the Aos Óg Concert at Fleadh Nua provides an ideal platform for the next generation to display their prowess. Performers will include musicians under the tutelage of Comhaltas stalwart and flute player, Colm Nestor and a group from the local Music Generation programme.in County Clare. After hosting the County Fleadh in Portumna from 19th to 21st May, the members of South East Galway Comhaltas Branch will have little time for rest as they head to Ennis so as to take part in the Concert. Aos Óg takes place in glór on Friday, 26th May commencing at 8.00 p.m.
Among the greatest challenges facing a festival or event which has been in existence for any length of time is that of maintaining relevance in the present day. This is particularly true in the case of Traditional Music Festivals where an explosion in the number of performers and groups combined with increased interest in the genre in Ireland and overseas requires organisers to keep an ever-watchful eye on developing trends. With the addition of percussionist Eamon Rooney to their line-up, one of the most exciting arrivals on the trad scene of recent years, the Tri-Tones have become Rianta. Playing tunes that boast their intricate and flamboyant style of playing between Conor Moriarty’s accordion and Tara Breen’s fiddle, accompanied by the imaginative and pulsating rhythms from the Rooney brothers Stephen and Eamon on guitar and percussion, respectively their unique sound lies at the very cutting edge of contemporary Traditional Music. Fleadh Nua welcomes Rianta to the Temple Gate Hotel at 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 24th May.
As always Fleadh Nua has something for everyone – FOINN SEISIÚN with FRANK CUSTYAND FRIENDS, “THE RICHES OF CLARE” - free lunchtime concert series, screenings of “LAST NIGHT AS I LAY DREAMING” - the heart-warming documentary on the life and songs of ROBBIE MCMAHON, FLEADH CLUB, CAS AMHRÁN – sing the songs we learnt at school, STORYTELLING, GUIDED WALKING TOUR, PUB MUSIC TRAIL,CIORCAL CAINTE, INTRODUCTION TO THE IRISH LANGUAGE, PICNIC DO THEAGHLAIGH le GLÓR NA nGAEL, CAFÉ MUSIC SESSIONS, STREET PERFORMANCES, OUTDOOR ART EXHIBITION and CRAOBH CLOCH LIATH C.C.É. BRANCH TRIBUTE NIGHT. So come to Ennis from 21st to 29th May and join us in this “the most participatory of Irish Music Festivals”. Full details are available on www.fleadhnua.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter
Please find below the programme for Fleadh Nua 2017. This programme is subject to change and will be updated over the coming days.