A person needing very little introduction at Dingle Folkfest is our own Éilís Kennedy. Éilís is a folk and traditional singer celebrated both locally and Internationally. She has performed just about everywhere from St James’ on Main Street, Dingle, The Barbican Centre on London’s South Bank to Carnigie Hall in New York!
In 2016, Éilís traveled to Santa Cruz, California to embark on her third solo project Westward. She teamed up once again with Grammy award winning guitarist William Coulter to produce a beautiful collection of songs that reflect her musical travels over the last 20 years as well as, for the first time, some origional songs of her own. William Coulter will be joining Éilís with his Duet act Fire and Grace.
Fire & Grace is an eclectic collaboration between guitarist William Coulter and violinist Edwin Huizinga. This unique duo explores the connective musical elements of classical, folk and contemporary traditions from around the world. Fire & Grace’s repertoire is vast, ranging from Bach to Vivaldi, tango to Celtic tunes, traditional Bulgarian to American fiddle tunes and waltzes, all played with a sense of discovery and commitment to the elements of passion and virtuosity -- fire and grace -- found in these diverse traditions.
Atlantic Arc Orchestra is a new collaborative project that brings together some of the world’s most respected traditional musicians from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Brittany, under the musical direction of Dónal Lunny. Formed in 2016 Atlantic Arc Orchestra came together for a series of special shows including Cork Folk Festival and Celtic Connections. Having discovered a shared interest in exploring and cultivating contemporary expressions of traditional music, the eight members set Atlantic Arc Orchestra on a course of openness and curiosity towards collaboration.
Through a programme of original, traditional, re-arranged and shared material, the eight members create a powerful fusion that pushes the tradition to the edge of its boundaries in an organic collaboration of Irish, Scottish and Breton musical ancestry. The creative process is an improvisational journey of Celtic synergies, its rhythms, melodies and songs. Together these figureheads of the tradition form an extraordinary ensemble for a musically charged experience that redefines brilliance.
Dónal Lunny – Bouzouki (& Musical Director)
Pauline Scanlon – Vocals
Pádraig Rynne – Concertina
Jarlath Henderson – Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, Guitar, Vocals Aidan O'Rourke – Fiddle
Sylvain Barou – Uilleann Pipes, Flutes
Ewen Vernal – Bass
John Blease – Drums, Percussion
Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra are one of the hardest working bands in the UK roots circuit; with thousands of touring miles under their belts, they have earned themselves a sizeable fan base in the UK, Europe and beyond. Based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, they play their own brand of Western Swing, Blues, Gypsy Jazz and Country, or “North Eastern Swing” as they’ve coined it.
Their style is more eclectic than most, influenced by early 20th century American music, with the addition of “razor-sharp” solos, great arrangements and original songs; their music harks back to a golden age whilst staying perfectly modern. The songs are penned by Rob Heron, a crazy fool for country music and a full time dandy-cowboy. His songs are full of character, satire, and good old fashion hollerin’.
The band, a hot six-piece, features Ben Fitzgerald (guitar), Tom Cronin (mandolin), Colin Nicholson (accordion), Rob Blazey (double bass) and Paul Archibald (drums).
Their debut album, ‘Money Isn’t Everything’, caused a sensation when it was released in 2012, winning a host of rave reviews – many of them 5-star. Their second album, “Talk About The Weather” (released July 7th 2014) is also gathering some notable radio play and reviews.
Four Men & A Dog burst on the scene in the early nineties as one of the most exciting trad bands in the world. They were the first Irish band ever to win Album of the Year from Folk Roots magazine. Featuring Cathal and Stephen
Hayden, Donal Murphy, Gino Lupari and Kevin Doherty, their fiery tune sets are second to none for passion & precision, while the songs are full of surprise - anything from traditional ballads to American folk songs to acoustic rock n' roll.
The Whileaways see three distinct voices combining to weave a beguiling tapestry of harmonies and beautifully crafted original songs. Their sound is true, their performances gloriously engaging.
These three singers could all front their own projects, and indeed have, with six previous albums to their collective credit. Having toured separately, they came to know each other’s singing on home ground while playing sessions in the folk melting pot of Galway city. Dipping their toe in the water as a trio, they were hailed as ‘a knockout of the festival’ at the legendary Port Fairy Folk Festival, Australia in 2012, and have continued to make waves in the folk music scene both at home and abroad since then. Their critically acclaimed most recent album 'Saltwater Kisses' received a four star review in the Irish Times and was the RTE Radio 1 Album of the week on it's release.
This is a unique combination of songwriters, singers and voices, whose enthralling live performances have secured their firm footing in Irish roots music. Prepare to be spellbound.
Individually, The Whileaways are:
Noriana Kennedy, whose solo album Ebb n Flow received rave reviews in Ireland and as far off as Australia where she was acknowledged as ’an exceptional young artist with a rare ability’ (ABC Australia).
Nicola Joyce, ‘a magnificent vocalist who sings with sheer beauty and poignancy” (Earl Hitchener, The Wall St. Journal), recorded and toured extensively as the leader singer with the group Gráda, working with folk stalwart and Grammy winner Tim O Brien along the way.
Noelie McDonnell, ‘a startlingly good Irish talent’ (New York Post), spent two months in the iTunes Top 10 folk album charts and has three solo albums to his credit.