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September 2018

Date: September 12 @ 7:30 pm
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

This fresh new trio from the heart of Connemara combines Irish music and an intriguing blend of modern folk influences to produce a rich sound and exciting experience. Featuring a lineup of flute, whistles, harp, bodhrán, guitar and vocals – with some Irish dancing steps thrown in! – HighTime make a youthful and energetic statement. Equal measures of music and tradition, coupled with bold new arrangements, make for a tasty platter of music, song, and dance. Band members Conall and Séamus Flaherty (brothers) and Ciarán Bolger (friend and neighbour) have a unique musical connection through so many years of performing together. HighTime play with a breathtaking energy and passion that…

Date: September 13 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Highly regarded for her work in arranging traditional Irish dance tunes and airs for the harp, Kathleen Loughnane will perform a selection of arrangements based on her research into 17th and 18th century music. Her repertoire this lunchtime will focus on newly arranged music from the manuscripts of Patrick O’Neill (1765-1832) from Co Kilkenny. These take in several musical traditions, including those of Ireland, Scotland, England and wider Europe. The manuscripts, which reflect the cultural and social changes of the late 17th and early 18th centuries and the European musical influences that were seeping into the Irish repertoire at the time, were published by the National Library in 2008. In…

Date: September 13 @ 4:00 pm
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Reading by E.M. Reapy and Michael Gorman with songs by Brian O’Rourke E.M. Reapy is from Mayo and has an MA in creative writing from Queen’s University, Belfast. In 2016, her debut novel Red Dirt was published by Head of Zeus. It won Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Irish Book Awards and the 2017 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Reapy is currently a UNESCO Dublin City of Literature writer-in-residence. Michael Gorman was born in Sligo and educated at Summerhill College and National University College Galway, where he taught for many years. He has edited The Mayo Anthology (Mayo Co. Council) and 21: An Anthology (NUIG). He is a…

Date: September 13 @ 7:00 pm
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue West Connemara Sports & Leisure Centre
Address: Ardbear

John Crumlish, CEO of Galway International Arts Festival, will open the 41st Clifden Arts Festival. Shuttle bus departs Clifden Library at 6:15pm.

Date: September 13 @ 9:00 pm
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue Clifden Town Hall
Address: Beach Road

Born and raised in Co. Longford, Declan Nerney grew up in thrall to international greats like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as stars of the Irish showband scene such as Joe Dolan, Big Tom, Philomena Begley and The Capital Showband. As a young boy, he would beg his mother to attend the Marquee in Drumlish festival each summer, where he would stand close to the stage and watch every move made by guitarists like Dan O’Hara and Seamus McMahon. Declan taught himself to play guitar and, aged 16, started playing with local showband the Hi-Los. He went on to play with Gene Stuart and the Homesteaders for…

Date: September 13 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Music with Síomha Brock with support from 9:30pm Síomha’s beautifully crafted songs and soulful melodies have been captivating audiences and garnering her fans across the globe. With her powerful voice and extraordinary guitar skills, she dances the line between folk, jazz and neo-soul effortlessly, transcending musical boundaries. From a Co Clare family steeped in music, Síomha grew up on a diet of musical greats, with the sounds of jazz, traditional Irish, folk and soul leaving an indelible mark on her musical tastes and influences. She first took up jazz guitar as a teenager on a visit to the south of France, when an Italian gypsy taught her the manouche gypsy…

Date: September 14 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Alcock & Brown Hotel
Address: Market Square

Two of Ireland’s master musicians join for a special concert for Clifden Arts Festival 2018. Frankie Gavin (Fiddle, Flute) and Brendan O’Regan (Bouzouki, Mandolin) will play a one off concert for this years Festival. Both Frankie and Brendan are very highly regarded in Traditional Music and have been at its forefront for many decades. Frankie won Traditional Musician of the year 2018 at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil awards. A co-founder of Dé Dannan, Frankie has recorded with Irish musicians such as Andy Irvine and Sharon Shannon, and international acts including Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones. Composer and producer Brendan O'Regan is a former member of Dé Dannan, accomplished solo artist…

Date: September 14 @ 3:00 pm
Time: 3:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Reading with Aifric Mac Aodha and Louis De Paor and Music by Lynn Saoirse Foreign News (2017) is Aifric Mac Aodha’s first collection with The Gallery Press. She has taught in St Petersburg, New York and Canada and has lectured in old and modern Irish at UCD. She lives in Dublin, where she works for Irish-language publisher An Gúm. Her poetry is both playful and exact. As Clíona Ní Ríordáin put it in The Irish Times: ‘If the subject matter of her poems is serious, the images that are dotted throughout the volume are engaging and contemporary, they include a laconic DJ, Marilyn Monroe and her voluminous skirts and the…

Date: September 14 @ 9:00 pm
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

‘Wild and unpredictable,’ Wallis Bird cannot – and should not – be easily pigeonholed. Capable of the delicate, gossamer-thin ballads that her tiny, five-foot-two frame would suggest, she can also summon up a whirlwind of passion and rage in the blink of an eye. Her performances can transition seamlessly from defiant anthems that can motivate thousands of festival-goers into a rousing sing-a-long, to the most hushed and fragile ballads that can captivate an audience for spellbound silence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PORpgm4y9q0 A two-time Irish Meteor Award winner, mostly recently for Best Female Artist, and a nominee for Ireland’s prestigious Choice Music Prize, Bird has toured with Billy Bragg, The Gossip, Emiliana Torrini, ZAZ,…

Date: September 14 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Dr. Mindflip with support by The Curley Organ Dr. Mindflip are a delightfully-bizarre bunch that weave their considerable musical chops into a scintillating blur of styles. This is Supertramp on the tear with David Lynch, the manic energy of The Mighty Boosh jamming with the sneering spectre of Frank Zappa – intense, atmospheric, impossibly catchy music. The Doctor himself holds the show together on keys and coaxes jazzy avant-pop from the aristocratic Owly, soulful sax-wielding Sage, gently unnerving Dollhead, and a very cheerful drummer. Last year, Dr Mindflip packed Mullarkey’s Bar with grooves and grins – we’re delighted to have them back to give our 2018 programme a potent shot…

Date: September 14 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Keogh’s Bar
Address:

Clifden Arts Festival welcomes back John Joe Forde and Mike Fahey for their annual traditional Irish music session, bringing the rich tradition of East Galway music to Connemara in what promises to be yet another powerful night!

Date: September 15 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Beethoven Cello Sonata Op.69 in A Major Chopin Cello Sonata Op.65 Dublin-born Miriam Roycroft studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, winning the Muriel Taylor Cello Competition in London upon graduation. Further studies included a period in Banff, Canada, with Aldo Parisot. Miriam has performed as a soloist with the RTÉ NSO and has played many of the major concerti for cello with orchestras throughout the UK and Ireland. She has been a guest leader of the cello sections of the RTÉ CO, RTÉ NSO, BBC NOW, the BBC SSO, and the Northern Sinfonia. Miriam was Head of Strings at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in…

Date: September 15 @ 2:00 pm
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue Foyle’s Hotel
Address: Main Street

This is a vibrant group – their members have published books of poetry and non-fiction and contributed to Sunday Miscellany.  Their broadcasts on Connemara Community Radio range from scary Halloween stories to heart-moving memoir. Come and enjoy their Arts Festival programme – an hour of stories, poetry and the beautiful music of the harp, played by Lynn Saoirse. Everyone welcome, and admission is free.

Date: September 15 @ 3:00 pm
Time: 3:00 pm
Venue Tom King’s Bar
Address: Market Square

Music session led by Marie Walsh. Admission free

Date: September 15 @ 4:00 pm
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue Market Square
Address: Market Square

Defense Forces Military Band 2 Brigade Band 2 Brigade was formed in 1936 and has been based in Athlone since that time. Join them as they play a mix of military, jazz and popular music. Band Conductor: Captain Thomas Kelly Band CS: CS Terry Donovan Free event

Date: September 15 @ 5:00 pm
Time: 5:00 pm
Venue Alcock & Brown Hotel
Address: Market Square

Poetry Reading and Songs with Rita Ann Higgins and Con ‘Fada’ Ó Drisceoil Rita Ann Higgins has published 11 books of poetry, including Tongulish, Ireland Is Changing Mother, and Throw in the Vowels: New & Selected Poems, all from Bloodaxe. In 2010, Salmon published her controversial memoir, Hurting God – Part Essay Part Rhyme. She is also a playwright with a number of plays to her name, including The Plastic Bag, The Empty Frame (about the incarceration of Hanna Greally) and The Colossal Longing of Julie Connors. She has recently written two short films in Irish. The Galway-based writer’s many awards include a Peadar O’Donnell Award and several Arts Council…

Date: September 15 @ 6:00 pm
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue E.J. King’s Bar
Address: The Town Square

Great traditional music with Paddy Buckley (banjo), David Kinsella (pipes), James Kinsella (accordion), and Michael Buckley (fiddle

Date: September 15 @ 7:00 pm
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Camerata Kilkenny with David Power, Uilleann Pipes Claire Duff - baroque violin Marja Gaynor - baroque violin Nathan Sherman - viola Norah O’Leary - baroque cello Malcolm Proud - harpsichord David Power is a master of the uilleann pipes. Influenced by the great pipers of the past, he has won All-Ireland and Oireachtas Piping prizes and makes appearances at many international festivals. He has three critically acclaimed solo recordings ‘My Love is in America’, ‘Cuachín Ghleann Neifin’ and ‘The Eighteen Moloney’. He regularly performs with fiddle player Martin Hayes and his most recent collaboration is a project for stage with Kerry Hardie and Olivia O’Leary, based on the 6th Century Irish Christian…

Date: September 15 @ 9:00 pm
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Lisa Hannigan’s third album At Swim is out now on Play It Again Sam. Produced by Aaron Dessner, her third – and arguably most bewitching – record follows the double-platinum, Mercury-nominated debut Sea Sew, and 2011’s Passenger, which charted at number one in Ireland, and earned Lisa another Choice Music Prize nomination. https://youtu.be/GRdj8MRj9Js After playing in support of Passenger for nearly two years, Lisa struggled at first to write new material. A new relationship meant that she was dividing her time between Dublin and London; adrift and lost, she threw herself into distraction instead. There was an acting debut as a mermaid in the Oscar-nominated animation Song of the Sea,…

Date: September 15 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Double-bill: My Fellow Sponges and Nick Timothy with Special Guests My Fellow Sponges are four piece from Galway. They are eccentric, energetic and we can even say mildly influential. Between their members that embrace love for minimalism, words, bossa, jazz, theatricals and synthesizers. And if you think all those things can’t be mashed into one bag, be shaken up and emerge beautiful, you have to listen to Sponges new self titled album. My Fellow Sponges have collaborated with storytellers, comedians, dancers and brass-ensembles. They have played entire shows improvised, under the moniker, Community. Their live concerts are lively, unpredictable and intimate. They comfortably switch from eerie-electronica to hip-shaking-bossa-nova. Admission €8

Date: September 16 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Noelie McDonnell, Nicola Joyce and Noriana Kennedy Three powerful forces in Irish roots music, Noelie McDonnell, Nicola Joyce and Noriana Kennedy combine as The Whileaways to create a beguiling tapestry of harmonies, tradition and beautifully crafted original songs. All three write and sing, drawing on their own experience, and the result is captivating. These three singers could all front their own projects, and indeed have, with six previous albums to their collective credit. Having toured separately, they came to know each other’s singing on home ground while playing sessions in the folk melting pot of Galway city. Dipping their toe in the water as a trio, they were hailed as ‘a knockout of…

Date: September 16 @ 2:00 pm
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue Mannion’s Bar
Address: Market Street

The Clifden Arts Festival is delighted to welcome back Betty and the Baby Boomers. The group first performed here in 1993. Over many visits since, the students in the Boomers’ audiences back then have grown up; their children now listen to the group in Clifden’s schools. The Boomers are older, too, but their music is timeless, featuring songs by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and others who shaped the ‘baby boomer’ generation in America. Betty Boomer, Jean McAvoy, Paul Rubeo, Steve Stanne, and Robert Bard create distinctive arrangements for these classics as well as recent songs in that tradition; original compositions, and selections inspired by their experiences in Ireland.…

Date: September 16 @ 2:30 pm
Time: 2:30 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Robyn Rowland has 13 books, 10 of poetry. In her new book, Mosaics from the Map (Doire, 2018) history is lived in personal stories through war, change, family and friendship – in Ireland, Turkey, the Balkans and Australia. They touch on Cork, the city from which the poet’s family emigrated to Australia and where an Armenian created Hadji Bey’s Turkish Delight; Sarajevo, flowering now after a brutal war; Alcock and Brown and their pathway from POW camps to fly the first crossing of the Atlantic; Titanic with her very modern story; and Turkey, a country for blossoming friendships and love. Robyn’s poetry appears in national and international journals, in over 40 anthologies, including 8 editions of Best…

Date: September 16 @ 4:00 pm
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

James Harpur will read from his new collection of poems, The White Silhouette, which explores the numinous in a snowy pilgrimage from West Cork to Dorset, the mystery of Russian icons, the Perseids meteor shower, and the medieval Celtic art of the Book of Kells. The title poem is a ‘compelling spiritual memoir’ (TLS) of ‘missed encounters’ in the landscapes of Tipperary, Wiltshire, and Patmos. James is poetry editor of Temenos and a member of Aosdána. His awards include the Michael Hartnett Prize, the Vincent Buckley Award, and the UK National Poetry Competition. He writes poetry in the wilds of West Cork and appears regularly on RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany and…

Date: September 16 @ 6:00 pm
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue Paddy Power’s
Address: Main Street

This spellbinding entertainment is now in its ninth year! Poems, songs and recitations about horses, ponies and greyhounds are presented by an assortment of local and national crowd-pleasers. The audience exceeds the gatherings in Paddy Power bookmakers for derbies or grand nationals! It is co-compered by Des Kavanagh and Pete Molineux. An atmosphere of banter and high culture pervades. Paddy Power kindly sponsors cheese and wine. Admission €5

Date: September 16 @ 8:00 pm
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue West Connemara Sports & Leisure Centre
Address: Ardbear

Conductor: Gavin Maloney Soloist: Gavan Ring (Baritone) Programme: Bach Brandenburg Concerto No 3 Haydn Symphony No 44 – Trauer Interval From the Danube to the Owenglin – songs from Austria and home with Gavan Ring. Introducing orchestra music to new audiences since 1948, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra has built a strong connection with the public that saw it named the World’s Favourite Orchestra 2015, winning 25% of the vote in an international poll. The RTÉ CO has performed with countless extraordinary artists across all genres: from the classical world, Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras, Gheroghiu, and Lang Lang; film and stage composers including Lalo Schifrin, Michel Legrand, David Arnold, and Marvin Hamlisch;…

Date: September 16 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Music Network presents Máirtín O'Connor, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Séamie O'Dowd Live in Concert For this very special tour, the swashbuckling musical spirit that has seen Máirtín O’Connor and Séamie O’Dowd dazzle audiences in the past provides an anchor to the shimmering vocals of Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill — with the promise of free-flowing instrumental duos to boot. Maighread Ní Dhomnaill, winner of TG4’s Traditional Singer of the Year award, formed the band Skara Brae before touring the world with Donal Lunny’s Coolfin. She sings and tours most often with her sister Tríona and their recent concert performances with Martin Hayes, Denis Cahill, and David Power have met with widespread critical acclaim.…

Date: September 16 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Music with Mama Kin Spender with support from 9:30pm Mama Kin Spender is a lightning bolt moment between two long-time friends, co-writers and mischief-makers: ARIA-nominated Mama Kin and producer Tommy Spender. It’s a stripped-back duo of brooding guitars, primal drums and howling harmonies, illuminated by a chorus of singers arranged by Virginia Bott (Brighter Later, First Chorus Band of Singers). Mama Kin Spender’s songs rattle, roll and tremble, from block party to heart-rending ballad. With a sound that is as raw as it is joyful, Mama Kin Spender brings the collective, collaborative and chaotic, inviting you to traverse the golden magnetic. Their album, The Golden Magnetic, is out now on…

Date: September 17 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Mozart – Flute Quartet (arranged for pan flute, violin, viola, and cello) Schumann – String Quartet op 42 no 1 Pugnani – Venetian Carnival for pan flute and string quartet Dinicu Grigoras – Hora Staccato for pan flute and string quartet Lulian Pusca (pronounced Julian Pooshka) is a young artist of ever-growing talent, known for his astonishing skills in playing the pan flute. His wide repertoire – which includes pieces that would normally be played on violin or flute – as well as his unique technique and manner of performing make Iulian stand out from the crowd. Iulian studied music in his native Moldova before pursuing an international performance career.…

Date: September 17 @ 2:00 pm
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Jim Murphy is director emeritus of the Irish Studies Program at Villanova University, Pennsylvania. In 2017, Jim was gifted with a letter found by his Aunt Joan of Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. In this letter, written around 1938, Jim’s father – who hailed from Co. Leitrim – writes from Brooklyn to ask for Jim’s mother’s hand in marriage. This beautiful letter captures the joys and heartbreaks of emigration and immigration; hopes for a future in a new world are tempered by the sense of loss. It is a story that will have a special resonance for a west of Ireland audience. Séidiú is a vocal ensemble founded in Clifden in 2015.…

Date: September 17 @ 6:30 pm
Time: 6:30 pm
Venue E.J. King’s Bar
Address: The Town Square

Tom McHugh, banjo, blues harp, vocals Tom Mitchell, guitar, vocals Robert Redd, piano Tom Anthony, bass Sue Matthews, vocals John Harris, trombone Guys and Doll are supported by the Kent County, Maryland, Arts Council. Additional Appearances Monday 17th September, 1pm – Clúid Tuesday 18th September, 2pm – Elm Tree centre Wednesday 19th September, 2pm – Mannion’s Bar Thursday 20th September, 3pm – Steam Café Thursday 20th September, 9pm – Tom King's Bar  

Date: September 17 @ 7:00 pm
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

All Strings Bright and Beautiful: The Carolan String Quartet and guitarist Ewan Cowley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dObBhlsnVuc&feature=youtu.be The Carolan String Quartet and guitarist Ewan Cowley have more strings to their bows, more tricks up their rolled-up sleeves and more genres of music under their fingers than you can shake a stick at. The Carolan String Quartet have enjoyed long associations with contemporary Irish traditional music, most notably with composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, elements of which will be showcased in this concert. The classical music closely associated with a string quartet is juxtaposed with more experimental forms as well as the original and arranged music of Ewan Cowley, which is best described as contemporary…

Date: September 17 @ 9:00 pm
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Following the release of a new album this year, and hailed as ‘the distinctive voice of Ireland,’ Sean Keane will bring his much-loved music to the the Clifden Arts Festival. Sean will be joined by Fergus Feely on mandocello and Pat Coyne on guitar, and will play songs from his albums down the years, including his latest, Gratitude, released earlier this year. Expect songs from 2016’s New Day Dawning, as well as set-favourites such as ‘Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears,’ ‘From Galway to Gracelands,’ and ‘Fields of Gold.’ Sean comes from a musical family in Caherlistrane, Co. Galway, and has been performing around the world for nearly 40 years.…

Date: September 17 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Together with famed guitarist Ged Foley, virtuoso fiddle player Anna Falkenau will present a powerful program of Irish and American music. Besides driving tunes and delicate melody playing, Ged will also treat the audience to some gems out of his huge treasure of folk songs. After four years of regular Connemara sessions together, these two outstanding musicians have grown into a tight and intuitive musical unit. Be surprised and entertained. Admission €8

Date: September 18 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Alcock & Brown Hotel
Address: Market Square

A stalwart of the Irish folk scene since the 1960s, Charlie has enjoyed success as a solo artist, a collaborator, and a songwriter. His most recent album, Tuesdays with Paul, was released in March of this year – others include In Your Old Room, Family Matters, The Man From 20, and Stolen Moments, produced in Nashville by legendary producer Bil Vorndick. Charlie has collaborated with artists such as Maura O’Connell and Eleanor Shanley, who have both recorded many of his songs, including ‘Feet of a Dancer,’ ‘A Bed for the Night’ and ‘If Anything Happened to You.’ Other artists who have recorded Charlie’s songs include De Danann, Mary and Frances…

Date: September 18 @ 9:00 pm
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Martin Hayes is regarded as one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, mastery of the fiddle, and ability to draw on the music’s past while shaping its future combine to create an astonishing and formidable artistic intelligence. He has drawn inspiration from sources as diverse as the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the Spanish viola da gamba master, Jordi Savall, and the jazz genius John Coltrane, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in Feakle, Co. Clare. Dennis Cahill is a master guitarist, a native of Chicago born to parents from the Dingle peninsula in Co. Kerry.…

Date: September 18 @ 9:45 pm
Time: 9:45 pm
Venue Ardagh Hotel
Address: Ballyconneely Road

David Lyttle, drums Lucian Grey, guitar Conor Chaplin, bass Drummer David Lyttle is Ireland’s most celebrated jazz musician of today. He is the island’s only MOBO Award nominee and has made appearances in over 20 countries, including recent artist residencies in the US, where he traveled from LA to New York in a Cadillac, performing for cowboys, bikers and UFO tourists; and China, where he was the British Council’s Musician in Residence for five weeks. Growing up in a prominent musical family in Co. Armagh, he’s gone on to collaborate with global icons of jazz, including Joe Lovano and Kurt Rosenwinkel, and his latest album was described by Rolling Stone…

Date: September 18 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Lowry’s Bar
Address: Market Street

Musician Carmel Dempsey made her first Arts Festival appearance in 1983 and has been a regular performer ever since. Carmel has her own wedding band and tours with Dolores Keane. Playing with Carmel are fiddle player/vocalist – and former Lord of the Dance soloist – Brenda Curtin and Frankie Colohan on guitar and vocals.

Date: September 19 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Guitar Recitals – Virtuosos of the Guitar: Dave Flynn and Shane Hennessy Described as a ‘genre-jumping genius’ (tradreview.com), Dave Flynn is an award-winning guitarist, composer, songwriter and arranger who ‘occupies a unique position in the world of music’ (Martin Hayes, The Gloaming). Dave’s expertise in classical guitar, composition and traditional Irish music takes audiences on a unique musical journey. His repertoire mixes stunning arrangements of Irish music and other international styles with improvisations and compositions praised for their ‘power and grittiness’ in The New York Times. He cut his teeth sharing a stage at open-mic events with the likes of Oscar-winner Glen Hansard, folk legend Christy Moore and songsmith Declan…

Date: September 19 @ 8:00 pm
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue West Connemara Sports & Leisure Centre
Address: Ardbear

Aslan, who took their name from the heroic lion in C.S. Lewis’s series of books chronicling the fictional land of Narnia, (Aslan is the Turkish for ‘Lion’), emerged from the working class areas of Finglas and Ballymun in Dublin’s Northside, in the mid 1980s. They released a demo single, ‘This Is’, in the Spring of 1986, which was a huge hit and became the longest ever play-listed single on Ireland’s pop radio station, RTÉ 2fm. In the summer of 1986 they played a series of rapturously received shows in the UK and Melody Maker noted, ‘Lucky the label that signs this band!’. Janice Long at BBC Radio 1 recorded Aslan…

Date: September 19 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

David Lyttle, drums Lucian Gray, guitar Conor Chaplin, bass Drummer David Lyttle is Ireland’s most celebrated jazz musician of today. He is the island’s only MOBO Award nominee and has made appearances in over 25 countries, including recent artist residencies in the US, where he traveled from LA to New York in a Cadillac, performing for cowboys, bikers and UFO tourists; and China, where he was the British Council’s Musician in Residence for five weeks. Growing up in a prominent musical family in Co. Armagh, he’s gone on to collaborate with global icons of jazz, including Joe Lovano and Kurt Rosenwinkel, and his latest album was described by Rolling Stone…

Date: September 19 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Abbeyglen Castle Hotel
Address: Sky Road

We welcome back our old friends from Seattle, True North. True North rides again! Lefty, Tumbleweed, Blind Boy, Dusty, Doc, and Calamity, honoured to be a part of the 41st Clifden Arts Festival, bring you the sound of America’s western saloons, barn dances, front porches, parlours, and cowboy campfires. Free event. Additional Appearances Wednesday 19th September, 6:30pm – E.J.King's Bar Thursday 20th September, 6pm – Clifden Boat Club Thursday 20th September, 9pm – O’Malleys Bar Friday 21st September, 4pm – .J.King's Bar Friday 21st September, 9pm – Tom King's Bar  

Date: September 20 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Alcock & Brown Hotel
Address: Market Square

Tommy Sands, County Down’s singer, songwriter and social activist, has achieved something akin to legendary status in his own lifetime. From the pioneering tours with the highly influential Sands Family, playing Carnegie Hall to Moscow’s Olympic Stadium, he has become one of Ireland’s most powerful songwriters and enchanting performers. He enjoys celebrity status in many parts of the world, tempered by artistic integrity and the sorrow of personal tragedy in his formerly war-torn homeland. Walking the road between two cultures, he dreams of an island at peace with itself. Indeed, his songs speak to all that Ireland is, from its troubled past to its indomitable spirit and a vision of…

Date: September 20 @ 3:00 pm
Time: 3:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

The Sound of Ireland The Uilleann Pipes by Peter Browne To mark the international recognition by UNESCO of the cultural value of the uilleann pipes and the centenary of the birth in 1918 of the celebrated Clare piper Willie Clancy, Peter Browne will talk about the instrument, its history and popularity, and feature recordings of some celebrated pipers. Peter Browne has been presenting The Rolling Wave on RTÉ Radio One since 2006, and playing traditional music since the age of six. Born in Dublin, he has received tuition on the uilleann pipes from three of the great players of modern times: Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome, and Willie Clancy. He frequently…

Date: September 20 @ 7:00 pm
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Take 16 strings, eight dancing feet and four voices with one aim – to make classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating for everyone, young and old. Graffiti Classics burst the elitist boundaries of the traditional string quartet with their hilarious all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy show. It’s a classical concert, a gypsy folk-romp, an opera, a stand-up comedy set, and a brilliant dance show all rolled into one! From Beethoven to bluegrass, Bach to Brahm, Strauss to Saturday Night Fever, Offenbbach to Elvis, there is something for everyone and Graffiti Classics never fail to get the audience laughing, clapping and singing along. Kids and adults alike love the uplifting and…

Date: September 20 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Music with Joshua Burnside with support from 9:30pm There is a man in an attic somewhere at four in the morning. He is shaking knives in a biscuit tin, stomping and shouting, pitch bending, coding, looping, plucking banjos and squeezing accordions, layering sound upon sound like a demented chef creating a monstrous cake, a swirling dream of colours and visions, and stories of people trying to carve out their place in the universe. Joshua Burnside was born in Ireland, but cites the music of Colombia, Eastern Europe and North America as the greatest influences on his unique sound. Deftly blending folk textures and melodies with elements of electronica, he has…

Date: September 21 @ 2:00 pm
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Pianist Veronica McSwiney has been performing around the world for over 50 years. She commenced her studies in Dublin at the age of seven and later studied at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg under Bruno Seidlhofer and with Ilona Kabos in London. She played her first concerto with the RTÉ SO at the tender age of 14, and after her Wigmore Hall debut in London, her reputation spread far beyond her native Ireland. Mozart – Sonata in C Major K330 (Allegro moderato, Andante cantabile, Allegretto) Debussy – La Cathedrale Engloutie; Deux Arabesques; Clair de Lune Chopin – Waltz in E Minor Opus Posthumous; Scherzo No. 2 In B Flat Minor Opus 31…

Date: September 21 @ 4:00 pm
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue Alcock & Brown Hotel
Address: Market Square

Fine music, songs and entertainment are in store from four distinctive performers at the heart of the Irish music tradition. Slides and polkas, jigs and reels, solos, duets, trios, and songs with entertaining speech introductions will make this an event not to be missed! Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíóch is from a celebrated musical dynasty in West Kerry, bringing rare songs from her own home area as well as other favourites she has learned over the years. Fiddle-player Gerry Harrington is also from Co. Kerry and has that county’s Sliabh Luachra tradition to draw on, as well as the music style of Co Sligo where he has spent much of his life.…

Date: September 21 @ 7:00 pm
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Album Launch: Sophie & Fiachra Sophie Lavoie and Fiachra O'Regan play a blend of Irish and French-Canadian traditional music. Their previous album Un Canadien Errant (2016) was nominated in Canada for Traditional Album of the Year (Canadian Folk Music Awards and ADISQ). This latest album was recorded with André Marchand, one of the leading figures in Quebec’s trad scene. As well as traditional tunes, the album includes a selection of songs and compositions from Sophie Lavoie. The group is thrilled to launch at Clifden Arts Festival and will present a selection of work from the CD. It’s refreshing to hear a traditional band reference the present with such subtlety and…

Date: September 21 @ 8:00 pm
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue Alcock & Brown Hotel
Address: Market Square

Triskele (pronounced Tris-Kay-lee) is an all-female Celtic band out of Albany, New York. They are known for their stunning harmonies, their use of the Irish language, and for their distinctive wit. Triskele not only revitalizes the Irish language, but weaves history and traditions about growing up in Ireland, lending a deeper appreciation of aural history. Noeleen Druckenmiller – Bodhran Sharon Wheeler – Guitar Jenn Kilinski – Flute, tin whistle Admission €5

Date: September 21 @ 9:00 pm
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Two giants of the Irish trad scene, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, unite for an evening of great music, featuring celebrated fiddle player Paddy Glackin and a mixture of traditional songs and originals composed by Andy. Between them, Andy and Donal have been at the helm of legendary bands like Sweeney’s Men, Planxty, The Bothy Band, Mozaik, LAPD and, recently, Usher’s Island. Their unique style of accompaniment is an ongoing influence in the wider world of Irish music. Donal Lunny has produced albums for Elvis Costello, Paul Brady, Clannad, and The Indigo Girls, and performed on more than a dozen Christy Moore albums. Andy Irvine is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, singer…

Date: September 21 @ 10:00 pm
Time: 10:00 pm
Venue The Central Bar
Address: Main Street

Clifden Arts Festival welcomes back John Joe Forde and Mike Fahey for their annual traditional Irish music session, bringing the rich tradition of East Galway music to Connemara in what promises to be yet another powerful night!

Date: September 21 @ 10:30 pm
Time: 10:30 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Yule & McQ’s Big Band with support from 10pm Big band soul, blues and Motown review with full brass section, bringing you classics and originals. Not to be missed! Admission €8

Date: September 22 @ 1:00 pm
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

Recital with Tenor Patrick Hyland and Dearbhla Collins, piano Patrick Hyland studied with Dr Veronica Dunne at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Patrick was awarded The Dermot Troy Prize for the best overall Irish singer at the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in 2016, and was a semi-finalist at the Angelo Loforse Competition in Milan in 2017. Operatic roles include Erik Oxenstjerna, Cristina, Regina Di Svezia (Wexford Festival Opera), Nemorino, L’Elisir d’Amore (Wexford Festival Opera), Tamino, The Magic Flute (Wexford Fesival Opera), El Remendado, Carmen (RTÉ CO), Jupiter, Semele (RIAM), Rinuccio, Gianni Schicchi (RIAM) Camille, The Merry Widow (Lyric Opera and Cork Opera House), and Rodolfo (cover), La Boheme…

Date: September 22 @ 2:00 pm
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue Lough Inagh Lodge
Address: Lough Inagh Lodge

Johnny Mháirtn Learaí Mac Donnchadha is one of the finest sean-nós singers in Ireland. He has won numerous awards and All Ireland Con Uí Riada for his singing and has travelled extensively to USA, France and the UK. Johnny has a very unique singing voice, is a supporter of festivals, locally and globally, and teaches sean-nós singing to all ages, ensuring it continues into the next generations. Johnny is a long-time friend of Clifden Arts Festival and we welcome him to this glorious location to share his talents. Caitriona and Paul Canavan are also mastersof this style of music, and we are fortunate that this special event brings together three…

Date: September 22 @ 4:00 pm
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue Connemara Sands Hotel
Address: Mannin, Ballyconneely

Lynn Saoirse is an accomplished exponent of the Irish harp and a long-time friend of and performer at Clifden Arts Festival. Lynn has composed An Brainse Airgid/The Silver Branch, a piece for the Irish harp in honour of the late author and philosopher John Moriarty. Lynn’s musical sensitivity is always an inspiration.

Date: September 22 @ 4:30 pm
Time: 4:30 pm
Venue Station House Theatre
Address: Station House Complex

Reading with Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Music by John Sheahan Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer. Among her awards are the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, a Seamus Heaney Centre fellowship, the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary, the Michael Hartnett Award, and most recently, the Ostana Prize (Italy). Her fifth book, a bilingual selection of poetry titled Lies, will be published in October. Scríobhann Doireann Ní Ghríofa as Gaeilge agus as Béarla araon. Ar na gradaim a bronnadh uirthi tá Duais Uí Ruanaigh do Litríocht Éireannach, Comhaltacht Seamus Heaney (Ollscoil na Banraíona) agus Duais Liteartha Ostana (An Iodáil). Foilseofar Lies cnuasach dátheangach léi, um Fhómhair. John Sheahan was a…

Date: September 22 @ 5:00 pm
Time: 5:00 pm
Venue Market Square
Address: Market Square

The Mexican-Irish San Patricio Celebration Celebration to honour the memory of John Reilly and the San Patricio Battalion. We will celebrate the shared culture of Ireland and Mexico through music and dance. featured image: Battle of Churubusco, painting by Carl Nebel Free event.

Date: September 22 @ 6:00 pm
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

The Henry Girls are three sisters from Co. Donegal: Karen – vocals, fiddle, piano, ukelele Lorna – vocals, accordion, piano Joleen – vocals, harp, piano The Henry Girls bring something enchanting to the folk scene; their lyrics are thoughtful, intelligent and often powerful, and the musicianship they possess is truly unique, covering a range of instruments including harp, fiddle, ukulele, accordion and piano.  Most notable are their bewitching three-part harmonies. Their performances create a sense of nostalgia as the harp and voices soothe and the lyrics inspire. This is a group who’ve mastered the balance of being contemporary without falling short in old-folk, rootsy charm. Their harmonies are also influenced by…

Date: September 22 @ 7:30 pm
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue Market Square
Address: Market Square

Tonight, the streets of Clifden will flow with light, colour, music and costumes as the procession sails around the town. Ireland’s internationally-acclaimed illuminated processional artists LUXe present this spectacular community parade of light through the town. Every year, LUXe fill their lungs with Atlantic air in order to breathe some of that rare energy into the towns and cities they visit. Working with 200 local participants, this event is a highlight of everyone’s year. Fidget Feet will take to the skies of Clifden, bringing you amazing aerial acts high in the sky. Performances will take place from 2pm-5pm and again that night during the gig, with live special effects. Each…

Date: September 22 @ 11:00 pm
Time: 11:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Nigerian Afrobeat & High Life: Afrobeat Orchestra with support from 10:30pm Allen-Taylor’s Afrobeat Orchestra grew from the Oleku Band, formed in 2006 from a group of Nigerian musicians recently settled in and around Dublin. Led by composer/arranger Allen-Taylor Adeniyi – originally from Abeokuta in south-west Nigeria, the birthplace of Fela Kuti – the band plays authentic Afrobeat and highlife from their Yoruba roots. Oleku Band was always an Afrobeat orchestra in miniature so it was no surprise that the six-piece band metamorphosed into a full Afrobeat orchestra, with a brass section, rhythm section and chorus. Allen-Taylor Adeniyi is still in charge of the band and his wife Tomilola still runs…

Date: September 23 @ 12:00 pm
Time: 12:00 pm
Venue Mullarkey’s Bar (in Foyle’s Hotel)
Address: Main Street

Cliodhna Costello hails from North Tipperary, an area rich in traditional music. She was exposed to music at a young age, both at home among her siblings, and with local musicians, the likes of Paddy O’Brien, his daughter Eileen, the Larkins, O’Connors, and Slatterys. She started learning piano and whistle, and quickly progressed to the banjo. She learned much early on from listening to the likes of Jody Moran, John Carty, John Morrow and Brian McGrath, but also has been heavily influenced by the fiddle and accordion music of both Sligo and east Galway. Cliodhna’s rhythmic style is widely admired, and she has won numerous awards for her playing. She…

Date: September 23 @ 2:00 pm
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue Church of Ireland
Address: Church Hill

A native of Mannin, James Ruddy began his musical studies with Breda O’ Toole in Claddaghduff before going on to study with Sr Karol O’Connell in Kylemore Abbey. James has completed his grade examinations with The Royal Irish Academy and holds three Gold Medal awards for junior, middle and advanced recital repertoire. This year, James competed in Cork in his first classical piano competitions, taking first place in the Solo Piano under 15 and second place in the Piano Repertoire under 18. James and brother Myles featured in Making The Grade, a documentary about the grade system in Ireland, recently shown nationwide. Sponsored by Roseanne and Peter O'Grady Walsh. Admission…

Date: September 23 @ 6:00 pm
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue Clifden Mart
Address: Galway Road

We remember Clifden’s World War One 1918-2018 roll of honour with a dramatic presentation of The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins. Galway Tribal Chamber Choir and Cantairí Chonamara perform, with mezzo-soprano Raphaela Mangan and conductor Mark Keane, in association with Clifden Arts Festival. Featuring World War One film clips from Big Idea Films, the performance takes place in a period air raid shelter constructed at Clifden Mart. Sponsored by John Corless. With thanks to Clifden Mart. No wheelchair access. Admission €15 Please Note there will be an additional later performance at 8pm. Please go here to buy tickets for that event.

Date: September 23 @ 8:00 pm
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue Clifden Mart
Address: Galway Road

We remember Clifden’s World War One 1918-2018 roll of honour with a dramatic presentation of The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins. Galway Tribal Chamber Choir and Cantairí Chonamara perform, with mezzo-soprano Raphaela Mangan and conductor Mark Keane, in association with Clifden Arts Festival. Featuring World War One film clips from Big Idea Films, the performance takes place in a period air raid shelter constructed at Clifden Mart. Sponsored by John Corless. With thanks to Clifden Mart. No wheelchair access. Admission €15

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