Saturday 26 May 2018

Trad legends flock to festival

Louis Jacob

MAESTRO: A film on fiddler John Doherty will be shown

Next weekend in Baltimore, west Cork, Declan McCarthy's Fiddle Fair will celebrate its 20th anniversary and one of the most beautiful villages in the world will come alive to some of the best traditional music on the planet.

Grammy-winning musician Tim O'Brien, who will perform once more at this year's event, has said of the Baltimore Fiddle Fair: "You couldn't ask for a better line-up or a nicer setting."

The Fiddle Fair was organised as an attempt by Declan to lure Nigel Kennedy, who was visiting west Cork, to play a gig in the village. Though Kennedy never made the trip, big names like Ritchie Tisdall and Seamus Creagh did and the event has thrived since.

Truly special nights have seen Christy Moore and Paul Brady on stage together, while the madder nights have seen Cathal Hayden's fiddle knocking slates off the roof. This year's line-up is as prestigious as ever. Legends such as Martin Hayes and Dezi Donnelly will be joined by Appalachian heavyweights such as Dirk Powell and Tim O'Brien.

There will be an Irish premiere screening of John Doherty -- Ar Leirg na Gaoithe, with an introduction by director Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride. Music workshops and other activities will also be taking place.

The village will be buzzing to the sound of top-class music from Thursday until Sunday when, in an Irish premiere, Kevin Burke and Dirk Powell will take to the stage together.

A month to the day after, on the opening day of the Fiddle Fair, the ashes of Gabe Hannon will leave the pier to the sound of uilleann pipes, on his final journey to Cape Clear.

Gabe was a true gent and a lifelong lover of art, music and literature. In the late Seventies and Eighties, he ran Gabe's bar in Ballydehob, one of the first true havens for artists and musicians in west Cork.

See fiddlefair.com

Sunday Independent

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