William Kennedy Piping Festival 2018
Armagh will be alive with the sounds of reeds, chanters and drones from all over the world as it celebrates the 25th anniversary of the William Kennedy Piping Festival.
The Festival, organised by Armagh Pipers Club, runs from 15-18 November, and brings together an unprecedented line-up of the most accomplished pipers from all of the main bagpiping traditions of Europe including Anxo Lorenzo from Galicia, José Manuel Tejedor from Asturias, Luigi Lai from Sardinia, Ivan Georgiev from Bulgaria, and Georgi Makris from Greece. From closer to home in neighbouring Scotland, come Ross Ainslie, Finlay MacDonald, Brighde Chaimbeul, and Fin Moore, and from Northumberland, Andy May.
2018 is coincidentally the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Kennedy, the blind master pipemaker after whom the Festival is named. That occasion will be marked by the unveiling of a blue plaque on the site of his home and workshop in Tandragee.
The Club is especially delighted to host a special one-off reunion performance from two legends of Irish music – Paddy Keenan and Paddy Glackin. Both former members of the Bothy Band, they recorded a seminal album, ‘Doublin’, in 1979 which became one of the most influential Irish traditional music albums. Other highlights include a return from globetrotting Lúnasa, who have just released their latest album ‘Cas’, which features collaborations with Natalie Merchant and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Festival favourites Ulaid will perform with Armagh’s singing legend Ríoghnach Connolly; while Gàidhlig-language supergroup Dàimh, from Skye and Lochaber, will also be making another highly anticipated foray across the Straits of Moyle.
Over the weekend, a new double CD of material recorded at the festival will be released to mark the festival’s quarter century landmark. The album consists of 35 live tracks originally collected by the Irish Traditional Music Archive curated into a truly unique and diverse compilation.
The Festival again features a Piping Academy, with a stellar line-up of tutors including Seán Óg Potts, Mick O’Brien, Louise Mulcahy, Seán McKeon, Síle Friel, Jarlath Henderson, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, and Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby. There is also a full range of workshops in all instruments, plus sessions, lectures, performances for children, a special ‘Day of Song’, and much more.
Thursday, 15 November
7.30pm, Áras na bPíobairí: A World of Piping 1, with Anxo Lorenzo, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Ross Ainslie, Brighde Chaimbeul and Ivan Georgiev. £7
Friday, 16 November
6pm, Armagh Robinson Library: A World of Piping 2, with Dråm, Luigi Lai, Finlay McDonald, Cillian Vallely and Síle Friel. £7
5.30pm, Áras na bPíobairí: Festival Lecture – History of the Cork Pipers Club by Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby. £7
Saturday, 17 November
10am, St Malachy’s Primary School: Workshops. £12
12pm, Armagh First Presbyterian Church: A World of Piping 3, with Georgi Makris, Seán Óg Potts, Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby, Seán McKeon, Bradley Parker. £7
2.30pm, Market Place Theatre: An Afternoon of Song, with Barry Kerr, Fiona Kelleher, Jarlath Henderson, Joy Dunlop, Maeve MacKinnon, Niall Hanna, Ríoghnach Connolly, Síle Denvir. £12
5.30pm, Armagh County Museum: A World of Piping 4, with Fin Moore, Mick O’Brien, Louise Mulcahy, Andy May, José Manuel Tejedor. £7
7.30pm, Market Place Theatre: Spraoi san Amharclann, with Lúnasa, Paddy Keenan & Paddy Glackin and more. £17
Sunday 18 November
11.15am, Áras na bPíobairí: Na Píobairí Óga, with Aoife Smyth, Peter McKenna, Jane Walls, Iarla McMahon, Amy Campbell. £5
15.15pm, Market Place Theatre: Uilleann Pipes Concert, with Louise Mulcahy, Mick O’Brien, Paddy Keenan, Seán Óg Potts, Síle Friel, young pipers. £12
Published on 1 October 2018