- 24 Jun 13
Some of the greatest talents in trad descend on Dublin this summer for a series of gigs and workshops...
Over the last few years one of the highlights of the traditional music calendar in Dublin has been the Steeple Sessions, taking place in the evocative surroundings of the Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green. The church is designed so that everyone can hear and see the preacher, reflecting the importance of the spoken word to the Unitarian congregation. This, of course, makes it a wonderful venue for live music.
This year, even more than previously, is bursting with gigs, sessions and workshops. Having kicked off with sell-out concerts from Martin Hayes with Iarla Ó Lionáird and Moya Brennan and Cormac deBarra, the schedule continues apace through the summer. Thursday, June 20 sees Lumiere in the spotlight. The festival also features a session trail and masterclasses which take place between McNeill’s music shop on Capel Street, Conradh Na Gaeilge on Harcourt Street and Na Píobairí Uileann on Henrietta Street.
If that doesn’t leave you sated, then hack across town to McNeill’s, where Joe Skelton and Michael Queally lead the proceedings. The following evening in Na Píobairí Uilleann there’s a combined lecture and performance by harpist Siobhan Armstrong. Dave Munnelly’s accordion masterclass (25) kicks off at noon in Club Conradh na Gaeilge, where you can also catch Mick Conneely’s six-string bouzouki masterclass.
Later that evening the two masters team up for a concert in the Unitarian Church. Also in Club Conradh na Gaeilge (27) is Caladh Nua guitarist Colm O Caoimh’s masterclass. Kilkenny multi-instrumentalist Mick McAuley will give a lesson on the accordion while Winifred Horan, best known as part of Solas, conducts a fiddle masterclass. That evening, at 7.30, the three performers bathe Stephen’s Green in a mist of musical light as they hit the stage of the Unitarian Church.
There’s a session in McNeill’s later the same evening, on this occasion featuring Aoife Nic Cormaic and Frank Tate. If you’re out and about the following night (28) you could do worse than drop into the session at Club Conradh na Gaeilge, which runs every second Friday throughout
There’s no letting up in the schedule through July, with Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch giving masterclasses on the button accordion and fiddle respectively (2), before an evening concert. Two days later (4) James Kelly gives a fiddle masterclass while it’s the turn of John Blake to deliver a guitar masterclass.
Although neither leads a masterclass, Triona Marshall and Alyth McCormack, who between them have supplied the vocal talent for The Chieftains over the last number of years, will be performing together at the Unitarian Church (9).
The following Thursday (11) it’s the turn of the four members of We Banjo 3 to lead workshops in their given specialities of fiddle guitar and banjo. They take the stage of the Unitarian Church in the evening.