Take a journey to the heart of Irish music at the Masters Of Tradition Festival online event hosted by West Cork Music in Bantry, County Cork.

Masters of Tradition is a unique festival that presents Irish traditional music in its purest form and also features collaborations that stretch in many directions.

From 29 September – 17 November, concerts will be streamed each Wednesday evening by the US platform OurConcerts.live.

These concerts will have been pre-recorded in Bantry House, Future Forests in Kealkil and Abbestrewry Church in Skibbereen. These concerts can also be viewed on-demand after the initial streaming. 

Tickets for Masters of Tradition Festival can be purchased here.

This week on Wednesday, 6 October, the magnificent stately home of Bantry House is the venue for a performance by Masters of Tradition’s Artistic Director Martin Hayes, the fiddler from East Clare, whose distinctive touch and extravagant virtuosity has brought the tradition to new levels. He will play alongside Festival favourites Steve Cooney and David Power.

“This concert features two old friends of mine who I have played a lot with over the years. Steve Cooney is an Australian-born guitarist who moved to Ireland many years ago. He has explored Irish music in a way that has brought him right to the heart of it and made him a true master of the tradition.

"David Power is one of our finest uilleann pipers. He plays with a wildness and an abandon, an energy and a freedom, and with an emotional weight behind what he plays which I enjoy tremendously," says Martin Hayes.

Steve Cooney and Derek Hickey credit Joe Chapman

Steve Cooney and Derek Hickey credit Joe Chapman

Over the eight days of the festival spread acorss eight weeks, there will also be performances and collaborations from guitarists Steve Cooney, John Walsh and Phil Robson; singer Christine Tobin; multi instrumentalists Francesco Turrisi and Brian Donnellan.

Pianist and composer Cormac McCarthy; poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa;  accordionist Derek Hickey; uilleann piper David Power; and violinist Marja Gaynor will also perform.

The Goodman Trio (uilleann piper Mick O’Brien, flautist Emer Mayock and fiddler Aoife Ní Bhriain) will present the music collected by Canon James Goodman in the mid-nineteenth century.

While 'Immram', a setting of the suite of poems of the same name written by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, will feature Neil Ó Lochlainn (double bass, flute), sean-nós singer Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, fiddler Lucia Mac Partlin and harpist Eilís Lavelle.  

"We have been filming in Bantry House and all around West Cork, doing our best to bring you the feeling and experience of what you might have had when visiting here. We want to keep that alive and reach you with it as best we can, hoping we can all be in person together next year," explains Marin Hayes.

The Masters of Tradition opened its doors in 2003 and since then it has welcomed such renowned names as Christy Moore, Scullion, Lisa O’Neill, Donal Lunny, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Altan, Andy Irvine, Liam O’Flynn, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Moya Brenna, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Séamus Begley, John Spillane and many more.

Martin Hayes and David Power. Credit Joe Chapman

Martin Hayes and David Power. Credit Joe Chapman

Tickets for the Master of Tradition of Festival can be purchased here and the full programme can also be found on West Cork Music's website. You can follow Master of Tradition on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.