Above: Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill
Masters of Tradition is a five-day festival, which presents a series of performances covering the full spectrum of Irish traditional music. Featuring some of the most celebrated traditional musicians, poetry readings and panel discussions, concerts and performances takes place in venues all over Bantry from Wednesday, August 22 to Sunday, August 26.
As ever, the festival is headlined by its Artistic Director Martin Hayes, the fiddler from East Clare, whose distinctive touch and extravagant virtuosity has brought the tradition to new levels. His famous trance-evoking sets with Dennis Cahill have mesmerised audiences all over the world. At the opening concert on August 22 at the Maritime Hotel in Bantry, the duo will be joined by harpist Triona Marshall, mandolin player Marla Fibish hailing from San Francisco, and Limerick sean nós dancer Stephanie Keane.
Over the five days there will also be performances and collaborations from sean nós singer Nell Ní Chróinín, uilleann piper David Power, multi-instrumentalist Eamon O’Leary, guitarist Steve Cooney, the transatlantic folk duo The Murphy Beds, poet David Whyte, concertina player Cormac Begley and discussing the legacy of composer and arranger Sean O’Riada, his son Peadar O’Riada. A combination of music and discussion, FairPlé aims to achieve gender balance in the production, performance, promotion, and development of Irish traditional and folk music. It was set up by Pauline Scanlon and Karan Casey who will host an event and perform on Thursday, August 23 in Ma Murphy’s Bar.
Masters of Tradition provides a platform where subtle and sometimes obscure elements of traditional music can be heard. Avoiding pressure to present music in a commercial or watered down manner, the festival has been able to gift to audiences, the experience of music as presented as authentically as possible. By exploring the heart of the music, organisers seek to find a universal voice that has widespread appeal and reaches across many cultural and musical barriers.
There are multiple secret concerts around Bantry Bay throughout the week including performances on Whiddy Island, Future Forests in Kealkill and at St Brendan’s School Hall. Audiences will be treated to a surprise for all of these special concerts as they will only find out who is performing when they arrive.
For more information and online bookings visit www.westcorkmusic.ie.