Paddy Keenan, The Unthanks, Luka Bloom and Ceara Conway Announced for Tradition Now

Paddy Keenan

Paddy Keenan, The Unthanks, Luka Bloom and Ceara Conway Announced for Tradition Now

Autumn edition of traditional music concert series at the NCH takes place on 26–30 October.

The National Concert Hall and the Arts Council have announced the line-up for the next edition of Tradition Now, with six concerts taking place between 26 and 30 October.

Founded in 2014, the concert series has now developed into a twice-yearly event with spring and autumn editions. Among the artists to be featured this October are uilleann piper Paddy Keenan, English folk duo The Unthanks, Breton guitarist Soïg Sibéril, singer-songwriter Luka Bloom, Conamara singer Ceara Conway, and uilleann piper Louise Mulcahy.

The series begins on Wednesday 26 October at 8.30pm with Conway presenting songs from her recent Caoin album. For these contemporary versions of sean-nós songs, she will be joined by cellist Kevin Murphy, Ultan O’Brien (fiddle, viola) and Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinet, electronics, piano).

The following evening, the legendary Paddy Keenan will present a set of his virtuoso piping and be joined by Michigan piper Colleen Shanks, bouzouki player Cyril O’Donoghue and flute player Éamonn de Barra.

Treehouse is an interactive, big band and puppetry performance for children aged three to seven, presented by Ceol Connected. There will be two performances at Tradition Now on Saturday 29 October, at 12pm and 2pm. Tickets are €10 for children, €12 for adults, and a family ticket (two adults, two children) is €37. Children under two are free.

On  Saturday evening, the singer-songwriter Luka Bloom will present music from his recent album Out of the Blue, which is his first album of instrumental tunes. Recorded during lockdown, it includes traditional airs and tunes such as ‘Aisling Gheal’, ‘Bridget Cruise’ and the ‘Kerfunten Jig’ as well as tunes written by Bloom. For the NCH concert, he will be joined by singer Susan O’Neill and multi-instrumentalist Jon O’Connell. Commenting on the concert, Bloom said: ‘The tunes are uncomplicated, the only way I know. Each one resonates with me deeply, because of the time that was…. An invitation to play these tunes in NCH is just a huge honour.’

Brittany and Tyneside
On 30 October, the guitarist Soïg Sibéril will present a set of music from his native Brittany and will be joined by bass player Alain Genty. Sibéril was a founding member of the influential Breton band Kornog and later became a member of the band Gwwez. His latest album is Les sentiers partagés (2021).

The series will finish up with the English act The Unthanks – the Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank joined by pianist and composer Adrian McNally – who have become renowned for their arrangements of song repertoire from the the North East of England, and sisters’ clog dancing. This Sunday-evening concert will see them showcasing music from their forthcoming new album Sorrows Away. Joining them as guests on the night are the recipient of the 2022 Liam O’Flynn Award, Louise Mulcahy, and harpers Paul Dooley and Michelle Mulcahy for a musical project that takes inspiration from O’Flynn’s legacy.

For further details on all concerts and booking, visit

Published on 30 August 2022

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