This weekend marks the 19th anniversary and the welcome return of the Skerries Traditional Music Weekend after a break of two years.
This picturesque seaside town plays host to a weekend full of music, song and dance, reflecting the unique culture of the Fingal region.
Leading artists travel to Skerries where they join with locals and visitors in a celebration of Irish Heritage.
Once again the weekend focuses exclusively on sessions catering for a variety of musicians, singers, listeners, adult learners, teenagers, families and indeed all wishing to experience Irish traditional music at its best.
This year, for the very first time, Sunday morning features a special Display by Instrument Makers featuring three of Ireland’s renowned makers - luthier Paddy Tutty’s fiddles and violins, fretted instrument maker Macdara Ó Faoláin’s bouzoukis, mandolins and guitars as well as the craftsmanship of our resident uilleann pipe maker here in Skerries, Bill Haneman.
During the annual two-hour recital at Skerries Mills by some of the weekend’s top performers, Peter Browne will lead a Seamus Ennis Centenary Tribute with a talk and some pipe playing.
The tribute will also include an uilleann pipe solo played by Sorcha Ni Scolai, followed by a set of tunes played by the 3 Ni Scolai sisters Emer (harp), Sorcha (pipes) & Caoilfhionn (concertina).
This will be a special treat not to be missed.
Among the stellar performers at the festival which runs from Friday to Sunday, this weekend, is Mick O’Brien.
Mick began his musical education on the Uilleann Pipes in the renowned Thomas Street Pipers Club in Dublin.
His father Dinny O’Brien, a traditional “box” player, was also a constant source of tunes and inspiration.
Mick recorded his first LP with his family when he was 13 years old. He later joined Na Píobairí Uilleann, an organisation founded to promote piping, where he absorbed hundreds of tunes and refined his technique. His playing can be heard on numerous recordings with artists such as The Dubliners, Frankie Gavin and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Paudie O Connor and Aoife Ní Chaoimh are an accordion and fiddle duet from County Kerry who perform at the festival.
Their music is heavily influenced by the The Sliabh Lauchra musical tradition of East Kerry and North Cork.
In 2014 they released the highly acclaimed album Didn’t She Dance and Dance which paid homage to the their musical heroes such as Johnny O Leary, Padraig O Keefe and Julia Clifford. s also released the critically acclaimed solo album Different State and a duet album with Riverdance Uilleann Piper John O Brien.
John McEvoy is a highly respected fiddle-player, composer and teacher based in County Meath who will perform at the Skerries festival.
He has been described as “a supreme traditional musician”. He is one of Irelands finest fiddle players, recognised for his sensitive and rhythmical interpretations of the tradition. John has collaborated with many of Ireland’s leading musicians, touring with Bakerswell, Kelp and Providence among others.
These great names and many others will perform across several venues in the town over the three days of the fesstival.
Experienced players are welcome to join in the sessions during the weekend and there will also be a Slow Session for adults. There are also two sessions for younger players and teen players so there’s something for everyone, this weekend.