8th annual traditional music weekend

Don Stiffe to feature at Ballinaglera trad music weekend

News Reporter

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Don Stiffe

Don Stiffe is one of Ireland’s best loved folk singers and songwriters and has performed all over the world with many of the greats of Irish traditional music.

Ballinaglera is the place to be this weekend for the eighth annual traditional music weekend.


The concert on Friday, night October 6 features the great Don Stiffe and the Hernon family from Co Galway. After last year’s high octane unforgettable gig they are back by popular demand. Flute player (and flute maker) extraordinaire Marcus Hernon was born and raised in Roisín na Mainiach in Carna, Connemara.


He describes music as a vocation and says it is as essential to him as breathing. Marcus learned the music from his elders and he has passed on the tradition to his two sons, Prionsias and Breandán. Both are talented musicians and award winning sean-nós dancers.


Don Stiffe is one of Ireland’s best loved folk singers and songwriters and has performed all over the world with many of the greats of Irish traditional music. His unique singing voice and guitar accompaniment lend itself superbly to the Hernon's driving rhythmic sound.


The concert takes place in Ballinaglera Community Hall with a 9pm start. Doors open 8pm. Entrance is €12 which includes refreshments! If last year is anything to go by, turn up early to avoid disappointment!


On Saturday night, October 7 there will be two fabulous gigs in the very traditional surroundings of Skerry Rynn’s and Mulvey’s public houses!


In Skerry’s we welcome for the first time, the very talented multi All Ireland winning, multi instrumentalist family, the Ward sisters from Co Leitrim whilst in Mulvey’s we have an excellent trio from Sligo and Kerry - Leonard Barry from Co Kerry on Uilleann pipes joined by Sligo musicians, Philip Duffy on fiddle and Declan Courell who is a singer/guitarist!


There is a packed programme on Sunday, October 8 which kicks off at 12.30pm in Skerry’s with a segment of the Iron Mountain Festival 2017. This session with music and readings, features amongst others, sean-nós singer Muhammed Al Hussaini from London and fiddler Karen Ryan of London Lasses fame with our own Mick O’Grady on fiddle and singing.


At 2pm in Ballinaglera Hall there is a sean-nós dancing workshop hosted by young talented dancer Miss Aideen Burke from Kilmore near Carrick-on-Shannon. Admission is only €5 and is suitable for all ages!


Meanwhile in Mulvey’s public house proceedings kick off with an always popular youth session at 4pm which features the up and coming stars of the area which is followed at 6pm by a highly anticipated comic song session hosted by the great Eamon and Orla Daly from Drumshanbo.


The final session in Mulveys, starting at 9.30pm is the superb Connemara flute player, Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha. Neansaí who hosts her thrice weekly programme on Radio Na Gaeltachta will be travelling with some musical friends from Connemara.


To conclude events in Skerry’s we have a session hosted by award winning singer and multi-instrumentalist Caoimhín Ó Fearghail. Caoimhín from the Ring Gaeltacht, Co Waterford is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious TG4 Gradam Ceoil young musician of the year award and is making his first appearance in Ballinaglera. All musicians welcome to all of the above pub gigs!


If the finest in traditional music, song and dance is your thing, then picturesque Ballinaglera, on the north eastern shores of Lough Allen, is the place to be this weekend! See you there!!
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