ITMA NCH concert a celebration of a living tradition

The third ITMA/NCH Drawing from the Well concert in the National Concert Hall on Sunday 12 March features a line-up of contemporary traditional artists all of whom have connected with the Archive through our artistic programming.

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Tickets for the concert can be purchased directly from here.

Drawing from the Well is the Irish Traditional Music Archive’s principal artistic programme, commenced in 2020 with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund in partnership with Business to Arts. It connects traditional musicians, singers and dancers with the great collections housed in ITMA to inspire new work. The programme sees artists filmed having researched material of inspirational interest in the Archive.

Along with the Drawing from the Well Programme, artists engage with ITMA through our Saoithe and Saothar programmes. The Saoithe series features interviews and performances from legendary figures within the tradition, who discuss their lives in music and their inspirations while Saothar platforms new compositions from the tradition with a different composer presented monthly.

Sunday week’s concert line-up includes Drawing from the Well artists Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Sibéal Davitt, Pádraic Keane, Derek Hickey, Liz and Yvonne Kane. ITMA has recorded documentary films with each of these artists for broadcast in 2023.

Frankie Gavin has been one of Ireland’s most significant artists for over 50 years and the legendary fiddle and flute player, Dé Dannan leader and internationally renowned soloist featured in ITMA’s Saoithe series in 2022 where he gave a fascinating interview about his life in music. Frankie will be joined at the Concert Hall on piano by Catherine McHugh. TG4 Ceoltóir na Bliana 2019 Catherine McEvoy has recorded a wonderful edition for the series performing with her nephew Paddy McEvoy who will accompany her again in the National Concert Hall.

New compositions from powerful flute player Conal Ó Gráda, singer/accordion player Méabh Begley and fiddle player/broadcaster Aoife Nic Cormaic were showcased in ITMA’s Saothar series and the musicians will perform some of their own tunes on the night. Distinguished composer, fiddle and piano player Charlie Lennon’s engagement with ITMA over the years has been prolific and many of his compositions and recordings are available on the ITMA site. Paddy McEvoy will also accompany Charlie at Sunday week’s concert.

Other musicians who will feature will be Kyle Macaulay and Macdara Ó Faoláin who will perform with Meábh Begley and Derek Hickey respectively while Aoife Nic Cormaic will be joined by Steve Larkin.

The performance, which will be interspersed with related readings from poet Cian Ferriter will conclude with a West Kerry set danced as a tribute to the late Séamus Begley who sadly passed away in January. Musicians and dancers for the finale will include members of Séamus’ family, relations and close friends.

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