William Kennedy Piping Festival
After a one-year pause, one of the longest-running international festivals of pipe-based music anywhere in the world is returning to Armagh. The 27th William Kennedy Piping Festival takes place from the 18th to the 21st November at venues across Armagh City.
The festival, organised since 1994 by Armagh Pipers Club, will feature three principal concerts, concerts in schools, an immersive Piping Academy, and master classes in several instruments. The 2021 Festival will not be like the massive 80-artist events of recent years: it is scaled down to ensure, as far as possible, Covid-safe events, with a back-to-roots emphasis on Irish piping, but with a few superb overseas guests.
Featured artists include Mick O’Brien, Emer Mayock and Aoife Ní Bhriain performing as the Goodman Trio; uilleann pipers Pádraig McGovern, Louise Mulcahy and Cillian Vallely, and Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn who will be performing in duet with harpist Laoise Kelly. (All six pipers will contribute to the Academy) From Asturias, the festival is delighted to welcome back gaita virtuoso José Manuel Tejedor, while French favourites Sébastien Lagrange and Quentin Millet make a long-awaited return.
Scotland is represented by Mike Katz of Battlefield Band fame, and Alana MacInnes from South Uist. Completing the line-up is the sublime vocalist Diane Cannon from the west Donegal Gaeltacht.
The event is made possible by grants from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.