Thursday, 31 May 2012

Top irish musicians flying in for Ceol Aneas Irish Festival, NZ

Conal O'Grada in Fairfield, CTConal O'Grada in Fairfield, CT (Photo credit: mcurry)Two of Irish music's best-known faces are coming to Nelson for Queen's Birthday weekend and the Ceol Aneas Irish music festival.

Festival spokesperson Brendyn Montgomery said flute player extraordinaire Conal O'Grada inspired an entire generation of flute players with his album The Top of Coom in the 1990s, and Benny McCarthy is the accordion player with the well-known band Danu.

The Ceol Aneas programme features music classes, artist workshops, a ceili dance, a tutors' concert, and traditional Irish music pub sessions' running into the wee hours.

Thanks to funding from the Irish Government, Conal and Benny are coming all the way from Ireland exclusively for the festival.

"Acts of their calibre would usually come to Australia as well so it's a good thing for us," Brendyn said.
Joining them are countrywomen Louise Phelan (fiddle) and Cliodhna Costello, all-Ireland banjo champion in 2003. Rounding out the tutoring line-up are Anna Dunwoodie (harp), Alex Davidson (whistle) and Brendyn (flute).



The tutors' concert takes place this Sunday at The Suter starting at 7:30pm  tickets $30 from Everyman Records. The called ceili dance is being held on Saturday at the Age Concern Hall in Trafalgar St at 7.30pm  tickets $15 on the door. The informal gatherings of Irish musicians cranking out the craic and the tunes will be held at Accents on the Park, The Free House and the Sprig and Fern.

Website: irishmusic.org.nz.


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