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The Galway Sessions 2020 due to take place last June had to be rescheduled due to Covid 19 restrictions. It will now take place from 12th to 17th of October.
The original lineup was to include bands from Scotland, Scandinavia, Ireland, France, Spain, Canada, USA, Mexico and Brazil with a view to exploring the interconnection between European folk music cultures along the Atlantic coast and also to explore the role played by them in the development and evolution of new music cultures in the New World.
This theme was in line with one of the major themes of Galway 2020, Migration, Making Waves, across the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, due to the current travel restrictions it is not possible for the overseas acts to attend. This situation however, allows us to showcase our population of very talented international musicians resident in Galway and to put together and exciting programme of events in keeping with the theme.
New World Music at the King’s Head
Galway Sessions 2020 will host a series of lunchtime gigs at 1 pm Monday 12th to Friday 16th at the King’s Head, featuring music from the New World. Kicking off on Monday 12th is multi-instrumentalist, film composer, producer and songwriter JOHN FAULKNER, accompanied by well-known Clare accordeon player Connor McCarthy. John will perform a set of songs and tunes of migration and emigration.
Tuesday 13th an American Old Time set will be performed by German fiddler Anna Falkenau and Ben Keogh of the Sackville string band.
Wednesday 14th is the turn of the Galway Retro Orchestra. The band’s focus is on performing and reviving early 20th century trad music from Ireland, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia as it developed in the USA.
Thursday 15th sees one of Ireland’s most popular bluegrass bands, GREENSHINE take to the stage.
The final gig in the lunchtime series at the King’s Head on Friday 16th features the Galway CHORO Ensemble. This multinational ensemble play ‘choro’ which is a vibrant Brazilian instrumental genre that evolved in the early 20th century and has Latin and African origins.
Galway Sessions at the Crane Bar
A further series of gigs will take place at the Crane Bar, Sea Road, from Tuesday 13th to Sunday 18th of October. These gigs will take place at 8 pm.
Tuesday 13th will see Galway resident Flamenco guitarist Javier Mula and dancer Mongse teaming up with melodeon player Johnny O’Halloran from Inisbofin and sean-nos dancer Paul Moran. Though there is no immediate link between the two genres, the shared antiquity of performance style and presentation are obvious to the observer.
On Wednesday 14th Dublin born fiddler Liz Coleman and her husband, piper Paidin Breathnach from An Rinn Gaeltacht in Waterford will be accompanied by Galway Folk legend Greg Cotter for a night of Irish Traditional music and song at its very best.
Thursday 15th will feature resident story teller at the Crane Bar, Scotsman Rab Swannock who will relate tales of mystic migration to other wordly places!
On Friday 16th a special celebration of the book ‘This is Happiness’ by Niall Williams will take place. This book features the music and playing of West Clare fiddler and composer Junior Crehan as a sub plot. Maeve Joyce Crehan will read selected passages and Junior’s music will be played by concertina player Liam O’Brien, Mick Crehan, Junior’s nephew, and Angela Crotty, Junior’s daughter.
On Saturday 17th the Galway Sessions 2020 in association with Cruit Eireann will host a harp recital by Una Ni Fhlannagan to celebrate National Harp Day. Una’s music is rooted in the Irish Harp Tradition but also branches out into jazz, pop and original composition. Una won the Riada Gold Medal for Harp in 2017 and the All Ireland Slow Airs competition in 2018. Note: this recital will start at 3 pm.
Later that evening, Saturday 17th, in the Crane Bar, singer Dave Larkin will launch his new CD of the songs of Percy French, at 6 pm.
Finally, on Sunday 18th of October, at 2 pm a special tribute to the memory of singer and guitarist, Pat Conneely from Oughterard will take place on the 10th anniversary of his death. It will feature whistlers Sean Ryan and Mick Crehan with singers Greg Cotter and Gerry Darcy. Pat played in the famous Sunday session at the Crane Bar with Sean Ryan for over 30 years.
Shaskeen 50th Anniversary at the Town Hall Theatre
Thursday 15 October at 8 pm
The Galway Sessions 2020 is delighted to present this special concert. Few bands make this remarkable milestone and the fact that Shaskeen have reached such is a testament to the band’s exceptional music and their ability to entertain throughout five decades.
A fantastic year-long tour had been planned by band leader and banjo player Tom Cussens, which unfortunately has to be cancelled due to Covid 19. Also, tragically, the band lost two of its members, singer, guitarist, folklorist and radio presenter, Pat Costello as well as well-known piper Pat Broderick. RIP. This concert is a tribute to both of these well-known and well-loved musicians.
Tickets for this concert are limited to 40 people due to Covid 19 regulations. Tickets are 25€. Max 6 tickets/3 households per purchase.
Tickets available from www.tht.ie Box office not open. Phone enquiries to 091 569777 Mon to Fri 10 am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 4 pm. This concert will be live streamed. Details and charges from www.galwaysessions.com
Other Special Events
On Monday 12th whistle player Mick Crehan and Danish accordeon player Anders Traberg with bodhran player from Scotland Niall McQuaid will recreate the first session played by them in Tigh Choili’s 20 years ago. Keep an eye out for further celebrations of Tigh Choili’s 20th birthday later in the year.
All other events are free but will be ticketed in order to comply with Covid 19 regulations. All events will adhere to those regulations in the interest of safety of performers and audience alike. We recommend minimum bookings of 4 and maximum bookings of 6/3 households per event.
The Galway Sessions is supported by Galway City Council, Galway 2020 and Cruit Eireann. It is sponsored by the King’s Head and the Crane Bar.
All details from www.galwaysessions.com