IMDL's Irish Hooley at Kings Place

IMDL's Irish Hooley at Kings Place

Saturday, 15 June 2024, 6.30pm
Added by IMDL Events

IMDL’s ‘Irish Hooley at Kings Place’ will feature performances from a number of this year’s TG4 Gradam Ceoil Award winners:
Derek Hickey (Musician of the Year)
MacDara Ó Faoiláin (Young Musician of the Year)
The Kane Sisters (Group of the Year)
Ryan Molloy (Composer of the Year)
representatives of Cairdeas na bhFhidiléirí (Outstanding Contribution) – Tara Connaghan, Conor Caldwell and Ellie Nic Fhionnghaile.

There will also be foyer music from IMDL’s youth project The Trad Gathering.

6.30pm: Music in the foyer with The Trad Gathering
7pm: Hall One doors open
Tickets: £22.50 / £8.50 (U30s)

Derek Hickey

Derek Hickey is from Adare in County Limerick. Both his grandfathers played fiddle and his own musical career began at the age of ten, when his uncle left an accordion in the family home. Derek progressed to dance tunes within weeks though he didn’t begin lessons – under the tutelage of Dónal de Barra – until he was 12. His professional career began three years later when he joined the Shannonside Céilí Band, founded by the Liddy family. The band toured extensively in England and throughout Europe.

In 1991 Frankie Gavin asked Derek to join him for regular sessions in his then leased hotel in Kinvara, Co. Galway. One year later, at just eighteen, Derek joined Arcady, Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh’s band, along with Frances Black, Brendan Larrisey and Patsy Broderick. Other guest members of this band included Sharon Shannon, Cathal Hayden and Gerry O’Connor.

In 1995 he joined De Dannan, recording two albums and touring until they disbanded in 2003. Derek is the button accordion tutor on the BA Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. In 2023 he performed at the National Concert Hall Dublin, as part of the third series of the Irish Traditional Music Archive’s ‘Drawing from the Well’ series. Widely acknowledged as one of Ireland’s most prominent and influential master accordion players, his eponymous 2022 album was deemed by fellow box player Dermot Byrne as “a recording of a pure genius”.

The Kane Sisters

From North Conamara, Liz and Yvonne Kane, known as The Kane Sisters, are much respected musicians and educators. Born in Letterfrack, they were educated in Kylemore Abbey School. They were taught music by the great Sligo musician and music teacher, Mary Finn and by their grandfather, Jimmy Mullen.

From a young age, they have been very influenced by the traditional music of Sligo and East Galway, in particular the music of the master composer and fiddle player Paddy Fahey. Liz and Yvonne first came to national and international prominence during the three-year period in which they toured with accordion player, Sharon Shannon as members of her band, The Woodchoppers. They travelled all over the world with her band and are featured artists on Sharon’s album ‘The Diamond Mountain Sessions.’

Following this period of touring with Sharon Shannon, they decided to embark musically on their own and they recorded their first album in 2002 entitled ‘The Well Tempered Bow’. The Kane Sisters toured Ireland and the United States following the release of their first album and they followed up with a second album ‘Under the Diamond’ in 2004 and third album in 2010 called ‘Side by side’. In 2022 they released their fourth album ‘In Memory of Paddy Fahey’ featuring 15 of his compositions as well as newly written tunes from both Liz and Yvonne. Based in Letterfrack they have a solid teaching schedule with a large number of fiddle students both locally and virtually.

MacDara Ó Faoiláin

Macdara Ó Faoláin is a multi-instrumentalist and instrument maker from An Rinn, County Waterford. He started learning tin whistle and the fiddle at the age of 5 but discovering the music of Andy Irvine and Planxty and being mesmerised by it, he progressed on to the mandolin, under the instruction of Peter O’Connor. He received a bouzouki for Christmas when he was 8 and it quickly took over as his main instrument, receiving lessons from Seán Ó Fearghail. He has recorded and performed with some of the best-known names in Irish traditional music, including Derek Hickey, The Friel Sisters, Nell Ní Chróinín, Cormac McCarthy, Victoria Adiiye and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. His intimate knowledge of harmony and instrumental technique come together to create his own unique style of accompaniment on the bouzouki.

Twin-tracking with his playing and performing, he developed a keen interest in woodwork at a very early age, after receiving a children’s woodwork set from his parents. Aged 14, he made his first instrument – a ukulele – as part of a Junior Certificate programme.

He is now a professional luthier, building beautiful, fretted instruments – primarily bouzoukis and mandolins – for clients internationally from his studio at An Sean Phobal, close to the family home at An Rinn. He is a founding member of the group Nuadán, along with his brothers Cárthach and Pax, with whom he has recorded two albums, “Lá Laindí Lugha” and “Dén Díobháil”. He continues to have a busy performing career and recently completed an honours degree in the Cork School of Music.

Ryan Molloy

Ryan Molloy is a composer and performer from Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, currently resident in Co. Kildare. His music has been recorded on over thirty albums and his repertoire spans numerous genres from traditional Irish music to contemporary classical music. He has worked with a host of internationally renowned artists such as Fergal Scahill, Seán Óg Graham, Paddy Glackin, Iarla Ó Lionáird, North Cregg, Barry Kerr, the Danish String Quartet, the Ulster Orchestra, and Irish Chamber Orchestra, amongst many others.

He has written over fifty works and his music has been performed to audiences on four continents for over twenty years, as well as featuring regularly in national and international TV and radio broadcasts (including BBC, RTÉ, TG4 and RnaG). As a composer, Ryan has represented Ireland at the prestigious ISCM World New Music Days festivals in Hong Kong (2015), Vancouver (2017) and Auckland/Christchurch (2022).

Described as a ‘milestone’ in traditional piano performance, Ryan’s critically acclaimed first solo recording pianophony was released in 2019 and earned him two RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards nominations in 2020 and 2021. That year also saw the release of Tempered, a new CD of music for uilleann pipes and piano, as well as a digital EP featuring the 30-minute song cycle Buaine na Gaoithe performed by its commissioners, the Damselfly Trio. Ryan is currently Associate Professor of composition at Maynooth University. He is also reported to own a fiddle.

Cairdeas na bhFhidiléirí

This organisation was formed in the early 1980s to help support and promote the art of fiddle playing in the Donegal tradition. Led by musician/researcher/author Caoimhín MacAoidh and fiddle-maker, Rab Cherry, the organisation’s core mission is to strengthen Donegal fiddle playing at its roots, and to improve standards, promote participation in all aspects of Donegal fiddle music and encourage the transmission of the Donegal styles and repertoire. The organisation’s main events include the annual Donegal Fiddlers’ Summer School in Glencolmbcille and the October Donegal Fiddlers’ Meeting Glenties. Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí has issued a substantial body of recordings by fiddle players, past and present, and shares a wealth of information about fiddle styles and associated history and folklore on its website, This site also offers a suite of fiddle lessons by contemporary Donegal fiddlers as well as the unique Musical Landscape project, a cartography mapping fiddlers and their stories across the county.

Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí’s monumental efforts in preserving local traditions and nurturing a vibrant musical community have left an indelible mark in Donegal and beyond. Its influence extends to every fiddle player in the county, from legendary figures like Tommy Peoples to contemporary icons like Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, and rising stars like Megan Nic Fhionnghaile. The diverse and dynamic crop of contemporary fiddle players across Donegal stands as a testament to the profound impact of this organisation’s contribution.

Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí operates as a not-for-profit voluntary organisation and any income generated is invested directly into their events, programmes, publications, projects and support for living artists. Its mission is supported by An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council who provide vital financial support for this work.

Appearing at this evening’s concert will be: Tara Connaghan, Conor Caldwell and Ellie Nic Fhionnghaile

The Trad Gathering

IMDL’s London-wide youth project The Trad Gathering features 30 young traditional Irish musicians from different music schools/ teachers led by Karen Ryan and Pete Quinn. This evening, members of the group will play an acoustic session of music including tunes from the repertoire of the legendary London Irish banjo player, Mick O’Connor. An icon of the traditional Irish music scene in London since the 1970s.

The Trad Gathering was jointly commissioned in 2008 by the BBC Proms and Return to Camden Town Festival. In recent years, the group have been celebrating music from the repertoires of a number of prominent members of the London Irish music scene, including: Bryan Rooney, The McCarthy Family, Roger Sherlock, Lucy Farr, Danny Meehan, John Bowe and Julia Clifford. The group have performed on stages including: the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall, Mayor of London’s St Patrick’s Day Festival (Trafalgar Square stage) and more.

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Added by IMDL Events on 19 May 2024

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