Masters of Tradition Announces 2024 Programme

Martin Hayes

Masters of Tradition Announces 2024 Programme

West Cork festival in August to feature Martin Hayes, Caoimhe and Séamus Uí Fhlatharta, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Mick McAuley, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, Ré Órga Ensemble, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Peadar Ó Riada, José Manuel Tejedor, Bill Whelan, Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, Toner Quinn and more.

West Cork Music has announced the programme for the 2024 Masters of Tradition programme.

Taking place from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 August, the festival, curated by fiddle player Martin Hayes, features five days of concerts as well as a number of talks and an exhibition of paintings by Tim Goulding.

Commenting on this year’s programme, Hayes said:

When this festival first began it gave me the opportunity to present many of my musical heroes; musicians who had been major influences on me during my formative years. As time has passed, I now find myself presenting the next generations of tradition carriers. This year’s festival features many accomplished up and coming musicians who have already made significant contributions to the tradition.

Opening with a concert featuring Hayes with Brian Donnellan (concertina and bouzouki), the performance will also feature Mick McAuley on accordion and concertina and sean-nós dancer Suzanne Leahy.

Thursday features a conversation between Hayes and Bill Whelan at 3.30pm in the Marino Church about the composer’s recent book The Road to Riverdance. The evening concert at 7.30pm will feature English folk singer Nick Hart with Tom Moore on viola, and Zoë Conway (fiddle) and John McIntyre (guitar).

On Friday afternoon, there will be a secret concert at St Brendan’s Church at 12.30pm (audiences will find out who is performing when they arrive), and at 3.30pm in Marino Church Hayes will be in conversation with Journal of Music editor Toner Quinn about his new book What Ireland Can Teach the World About Music. The evening concert at 7.30pm will feature recent RTÉ Folk Award winners Caoimhe and Séamus Uí Fhlatharta, Danny O’Mahony (accordion), Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh (concertina) and Quinn on fiddle. The ‘Níos Déanaí’ late-night concert will include an international line-up with Asturian piper José Manuel Tejedor, Scottish piper Brìghde Chaimbeul and Irish piper Pádraic Keane.

Hayes added:

The fact that the festival is called Masters of Tradition and not Masters of traditional Irish music is deliberate. The term tradition in the title of the festival is intentionally open, as it has always been our wish to embrace other related traditions. While the interaction with different folk traditions has played a big role in the development of traditional Irish music, it is also very clear that this music has had a very significant impact on the development of other European folk traditions. As part of this year’s festival we endeavour to keep that dialogue going with performances by some exceptional musicians from Scotland, England and Asturias in northern Spain.

Saturday features a secret concert in the Future Forests in Kealkill at 12.30pm, followed by a conversation between Beara-based painter and musician Tim Goulding and Hayes about the artist’s work. The evening concert will feature two groups – sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird with Cormac McCarthy (piano), Matthew Berrill (clarinet) and Aidan Connolly (fiddle), followed by the quartet of Connolly, Pádraic Keane, Fergus McGorman (flute) and Ruairí McGorman (bouzouki, fiddle) who recently released an album together. At 10.30pm, Geraldine Cotter (piano) and the Ré Órga Ensemble will give a concert of traditional music combined with new compositions.

The festival concludes with a secret concert on Whiddy island followed by Peadar Ó Riada in conversation with Hayes at 3.30pm and the evening performance will feature Hayes and a number of musical guests.

Priority booking for Friends of Masters of Tradition is now open. General booking opens on Monday 22 April. For more on the programme, visit

Subscribe to our newsletter

Published on 25 March 2024

comments powered by Disqus