Irish band the Villagers to play at The Gathering's Sligo Live Photo by: Sligo Live

Sligo celebrates The Gathering with folk, roots and indie festival


Irish band the Villagers to play at The Gathering's Sligo Live Photo by: Sligo Live

This is a very special year for Sligo Live, the cream of Irish Traditional musicians from across the world will be in Sligo this October Bank Holiday to celebrate the Gathering at one of Europe’s premier folk, roots and indie Festivals. Mark the dates, 23rd to 28th October in your diaries.

The festival brings together Irish and U.S. musicians to show the influences  in both directions on folk, roots and indie music,  celebrating The Gathering by inviting music lovers to experience how our music has crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic and returned changed and enriched.

 Sligo Live is celebrating the Gathering 2013 and attracting additional overseas visitors with arguably the most exciting programme of traditional music ever seen in Sligo. Coleman’s Call is a unique concert inspired by the Sligo Fiddle Masters’ (Coleman, Morrison and Killoran), who made the first popular recordings of Irish Traditional music in New York during the early twentieth century.
It will feature renowned U.S. Fiddlers, Liz Carroll from Chicago, NYC’s Tony DeMarco, Jessie Smith from Baltimore and flute player, Sean Gavin from Detroit with a host of outstanding Sligo Musicians including top band Teada, the legendarySeamus Tansey, Seamie O’Dowd, Seamus and Manus McGuire with Garry O’Briain, Philip Duffy, Declan Folan, Junior Davey, Mossie Martin, and Declan Courell all treating us to their individual interpretations of these iconic tunes which continue as the backbone of Irish traditional music.

Planxty Legends Liam Og O Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin and Donal Lunny, aka LAPD and DERVISH also perform at this year’s SLIGO LIVE.

As well as the very special Coleman’s Call Concert, and Liz Carroll’s concert, SLIGO LIVE will once again feature the always dynamic Sligo Sessions and the overseas expansion of the renowned Fiddler of Dooney Competition. Add a whole parallel program of roots and indie music, a hopping festival club each night and ‘Arrivals’, performances by some of Ireland’s top emerging talent and you have a must see festival.

An afternoon musical conversation between Jessie Smith and Oisin Mac Diarmada, both of whom are immersed in the tunes and times of Michael Coleman, James Morrison and Paddy Killoran, will give a context to the concert and provide some background as to why these great musicians are so revered in the cannon of traditional music.

More recent legends are Liam Og O Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin and Donal Lunny, affectionately known as LAPD,who collectively inhabited the bands Planxty, The Bothy Band, Sweeney’s Men, Moving Hearts and many more through decades of Irish music, will perform concert in the wonderfully atmospheric Calry Church, supported by all-girl bluegrass group, Locust Honey String Band from North Carolina.

Anyone who was lucky enough to attend one of their sold out concerts at Vicar Street and the show-stealing performance at last year’s Electric Picnic will testify that their energy and amazing telepathic chemistry hasn’t waned. Liam, Andy, Paddy and Dónal, aka LAPD will give us a rare opportunity to savor the sounds these amazing musicians brought to these seminal groups who changed the face of Irish music.

It’s back to the Hawks Well on Sunday, October 26th for Liz Carroll’s welcome return to Sligo Live, showcasing her latest album and her own tunes which have made her such a towering figure in traditional music. Regarded by many as the most eminent Irish roots player to emerge from the US tradition, Liz Carroll and her fiddle have been amazing audiences around the globe.  She has been honored with many accolades, including a 2010 Grammy nomination, with John Doyle, for their duet album, “Double Play.”  In 2011, Liz was awarded the TG4 Cumadoir (composer’s) Award, the first American-born composer honored with Ireland’s top traditional music prize.

Liz will be accompanied by Sean Og Graham from Beoga and Trevor Hutchinson from Lunasa who collaborated on her recording.   Goitse, the young Limerick-based band creating waves with their lively distinctive sound and the quality of their own compositions interspersed with well-known traditional tunes and Niamh Dunne from Beoga, whose solo album of silky exquisite songs has proved the slow-burning surprise packet of the year, will join Liz on the bill.

Sligo’s very own Dervish will be joined by the Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta and Chorus in a new departure; a fun-filled mini-proms performance introducing children to the joys of traditional music on Sunday afternoon in the Hawk’s Well with lots of opportunities to join in, engage and learn while having the time of their lives.

The Fiddler of Dooney has been running since 1965, coming up to its 50th anniversary. This year Sligo Live and Sligo Town Branch of Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann are taking the competition international with heats in New York and Boston. Long considered the pre-eminent fiddle competition outside the fleadh, it now extends its international character to contestants. In the seven years it has been part of Sligo Live, one of the two adjudicators has come from the U.S. recognizing the enormous musical connections between Sligo and America. Liz Carroll and Tony Di Marco return to take on this task in 2013 and they will be joined by two former winners, Seamus McGuire and Manus McGuire in judging the Junior and Senior competitions.


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