NYAH cross-border trad music weekend 8-10 September

Grammy-nominated supergroup, Cherish the Ladies

From 8-10 September, the Nyah Comhaltas will be present a weekend of traditional music and dance which celebrates the music that unites all corners of the island of Ireland.

Ireland is a multi-hued tapestry composed of the threads of its people. The rich and varied traditions of this land add to the vibrancy and colour of that tapestry.

Those traditions are the music, songs, dances and stories of all who dwell in her. Throughout the ages Ireland has grown with each addition, but there have also been divisions. What divides us, an adherence to tradition, is also what will bring us together and this is most apparent in an number of North/South initiatives. The most recent manifestation of this is the co-operation between the Northern Ireland Funding scheme & Creative Ireland in bringing together communities from both sides of the border in a celebration of what makes us unique and binds us together.

Music, as we say, is a universal language that speaks to all races and creeds. The latest NYAH County Cavans Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Éireann's project aims at harnessing that language to unite.

The project, supported by the Creative Ireland programme, will bring musicians and singers from the North's two main traditions together in a three day celebration of music with the intention of showing that there is much more common ground than they imagined. It also offers a showcase for some of the finest local, national and International traditional music talent.


Friday, 8 September

The opening day of this unique event is on Friday, 8 September. Possibly the highlight of the three day programme has to be the NYAH Celebration Concert featuring the Grammy-nominated, Irish-American Super Group Cherish the Ladies. The evening sees the presentation of the NYAH Jig Of Life Award 2017 which will be awarded to Joanie Madden.

This spectacular concert will see performances by Willie Drennan's Ulster Folk Lambeg Drum Group, The Mullaghboy Accordion Band, The NYAH Comhaltas Cavan Youth and the widely regarded storyteller Eamon Maguire Storyteller.

It is hosted by The Country Club in the Kilmore Hotel Cavan and the entertainment starts at 8:00pm.

Tickets €21 inc Booking Fee, available from www.ticketstop.ie, or from Kilmore Hotel, or Multisound Cavan on 049 436 1312. 


Saturday, 9 September

On Saturday, 9 September there will be a number of public events in Cavan, Dún Uladh Cultural Heritage Centre, Omagh and in Longford Town.

The popular radio show “The Wind That Blows” will be broadcast on Shannonside & Northern Sound Radio from 6pm to 8pm. It will feature The Cavanman & The NYAH Comhaltas Members, Willie Drennan and Antrim's Ulster Folk & Mullaghboy Accordion Band, the Cavan lilter Seamus Fay and Tyrone's Cathal Lynch. This programme will be broadcasting from Longford.

The Dún Uladh Cultural Heritage Centre in Omagh, Tyrone will host an evening of tradition organised by Dun Uladh's Brendan McAleer and Martin Donohoe on the Saturday.

Opened in October 1995, Dún Uladh Omagh serves as a centre for those who wish to develop a deeper awareness of Ireland’s ancient cultural heritage. Audience members are promised a colourful evening of traditional music, song, dance and storytelling with a huge diversity of traditional talent from Antrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Cavan.

Ireland's top Fleadh performers will be displaying their skills at the Omagh venue. Audience participation will be very much a part of this show and everyone is invited to come along and watch as some of the best local and visiting performers showcase what they have to offer in an enjoyable and intimate presentation of authentic Irish culture. The show will commence at 9:00pmand admission is free.

The Cavan Town offerings will be in a number of venues. There will be one-to-one and group workshops giving access to Northern Ireland's shared music and culture. The workshops will focus on fife, drum, bodhrán, Lambeg drum, tin whistle, accordion, banjo and lilting.


Sunday, 10 September

The Sunday, 10 September programme is as thrilling as the two previous days, featuring The NYAH Youth Sunday in the Conference Room of The Farnham Arms Hotel Cavan Conference rooms from 2:30pm to 6pm. Here. the NYAH Cavan Comhaltas Youth will present an afternoon of new and old tunes with new turns. It features workshops, recitals and sessions. Spaces for this afternoon are limited due to the one-on-one element of the workshops. Confirmed performers include Kevin Meehan. Kevin is a young Dublin musician considered an up and coming star in Irish traditional music. He is a master of both the whistles and the bodhrán. He has made a name for himself playing with the group Athrú who have performed throughout Ireland and Europe.

Also on this programme are Meitheal Summer School NYAH Award Winners Aoife Moroney, from Clare, on concertina and harp, Emma Benson from Roscommon, on harp and multiple All Ireland winner Adamar O'Connor from Offaly. One of Ulster's top traditional music families the Walls of Antrim will also take to the stage. Molly, Cara and Jane Walls from Toomebridge County Antrim are winners of many Antrim, Ulster and All-Ireland titles in fiddle, harp and Uilleann pipes. Last year they became the Ulster Trio Champions. The Wall sisters have performed all over Ireland and also featured in TV series such as "Trad Ar Fad" and "Siar Chuig an bhFleadh" and they are sure to be a big hit with the Cavan audience.

The Cavan Bucks and friends always give a great show. Zoran Donohoe, Jack Grant, Ellen Grant, Barry Conaty, Oisin Mc Corry, Hannah O'Reilly, Niall & Sean Curran, The O'Reilly Clan, Keenan Donohoe, Gary Lynch, Fintan McManus, Gary Fitzpatrick, Larry McQuaid and Savannah Donohoe will be thrilling the audience with their virtuoso performances.

Many will be looking forward to the performance of Cormac Crummy on Guitar and Banjo. Cormac is heavily involved in the Belfast music scene. Though guitar is his main instrument, he is highly competent at tenor banjo and fiddle. Cormac is also involved in traditional Irish bands Athrú and Teannas.


The Chair of NYAH Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Éireann is Martin Donohoe. Martin is one of the driving forces behind the project: “This is part of a three-day cross border celebration of everyone’s Irish Culture. We are celebrating people, youth, diversity, community, new horizons, shared spaces, safer communities, cultural expression and new friendships through it.”

Martin said that the support of public bodies has made this possible: “The co-operation of the Northern Ireland Funding scheme helped support this self-contained projects that looks to enhance, celebrate and commemorate the artistic, cultural and musical heritage of the Island of Ireland on a North/South basis.”

“Creative Ireland, the Government’s Legacy Programme for Ireland, places creativity at the centre of public policy and they have also been instrumental in making this celebration possible. The workshop events were supported as part of the Creative Ireland Program. The Cavan County Council Creative Ireland Culture team co-ordinator, Tom Sullivan, and his committee were very helpful,” Martin said.

Martin said that the weekend is a tremendous social occasion: “We are incredibly proud of the rich musical talent we have in this country. This three day festival is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate that. By bringing people of opposing traditions together to show our commonality we create bonds through music that have an important social function. Our NYAH objective is to Share Our Culture.”


The NYAH Cavan cross-border trad music weekend is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, Cavan Arts Office, Cavan County Council, Comhaltas Dublin, Labhrás Ó Murchú, Shannonside-Northern Sound Radio, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, McQuaid Opticians, Meitheal Summer School Limerick, The Widows Bar Belturbet, Kilmore Hotel Cavan, Farnham Arms Hotel Cavan, Mary & Rich Brautigam, McQuaids Optician's, Farnham Arms Hotel, Backyard Arts Centre, Lynchprint Drumalee, The Kilmore Hotel and The Comhaltas Seisiun Fund.

For more details on any of the events contact Martin Donohoe, NYAH CCE Chair on 086 234 2270


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