Tradition Now : The Olllam

Tradition Now : The Olllam

Saturday, 18 June 2022, 8.00pm

For the first time in FOUR years, the American-Irish group the olllam are making their highly anticipated return to the stage in Ireland, hot on the heels of their new album, elllegy.

Formed in 2012, the olllam is a collaboration between Belfast piper John McSherry (Lunasa, Ulaid) and three Detroit based musicians; piper, whistler, grammy-nominated producer Tyler Duncan (Theo Katzman, Scary Pockets), drummer Michael Shimmin (May Erlewine, Millish), and bassist Joe Dart (Vulfpeck, Fearless Flyers). The resulting eponymous album, now considered a cult classic is lush with trance-like melodies, stunning instrumental virtuosity and a magical marriage of tradition and modernity.

the olllam’s inventive musical compositions and arrangements have earned them rave reviews and sold-out shows across Ireland and beyond.

the olllam
John McSherry - Pipes and Low Whistles
Tyler Duncan - Pipes and Low Whistles
Michael Shimmin - Drums
Joe Dart - Bass
Sean O’Meara - Guitar
Joe Hettinga - Fender Rhodes

Their music is exciting, confounding and astounding. Style, mastery, melody and groove – the olllam’s gig is going to be hard to beat. The Irish Times

"… the result is described by them as Neo-Acoustic Celtic Post-Rock. I’d describe it a little differently – it’s f***in’ deadly" The Irish Times

Harry Bradley & Dónal O’Connor first met in the late 1990s on the vibrant Belfast traditional music session scene. Narrow entries, leading to dark and smoke-filled pubs, pouring with fiery flute and fiddle music, was the backdrop to this initial, musical coming together. A common grá for the music of South Ulster and North Connaught was the thread on which they shared interests. However, they ventured on their own unique musical journeys thereafter. Since Harry’s recent return to Belfast, they have rekindled a musical friendship and are mining the rich repository of northern music which has been left behind by the likes of Andy Dixon, Cathal McConnell, Ciaran Carson, Desi Wilkinson, Tara Bingham, Johnny & Sean Maguire, Gary Hastings and many more. Tonight's performance is a new musical coming together with one of Dublin’s finest young musical accompanists Libby McCrohan.

The much-anticipated Tradition Now returns in 2022 with two editions – the first in June. From electronica to dark folk balladry, to trance influenced innovations, the festival shines a light on the new flourishing traditional music and folk scene.

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