Féile Chaoimhín Uí Dhochartaigh

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Féile Chaoimhín Uí Dhochartaigh

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin has launched the full programme for its annual folk and traditional music festival, Féile Chaoimhín Uí Dhochartaigh.

From 5th – 8th February, Derry’s centre of Irish culture and arts will play host to an impressive selection of performances by the best musicians and singers on the traditional music circuit. The festival, which has been named in honour of the late Caoimhín Ó Dochartaigh, one of the city’s best loved musicians, is renowned for its high calibre of performers as well as its many memorable gigs and events over the past three years.

This year the festival boasts its biggest programme of concerts and workshops since its inception in 2012 and includes The Glassworks as a venue for the first time. This atmospheric 18th century church is quickly becoming one of Derry’s most popular venues.

This years headline event, ‘A Study in Strings’, which takes place on Saturday 7th February will explore the wealth of different musical textures that can be achieved on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, harp and guitar. The line-up comprises We Banjo 3, Chris Stout & Catríona McKay, RANT, Arty McGlynn, Nollaig Casey, Bríd Harper and Maeve Donnelly.

There is a strong Scottish connection to the programme this year, as demonstrated in the festival’s opening event, which brings together key figures from the Irish and Scottish singing traditions to take part in an ‘exchange of songs’.

A programme highlight, ‘The Song Exchange’ on Thursday 5th February will feature the legendary Cork singer Séamus Begley, along with BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Mischa Macpherson, Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde, Griogair Labhruidh, Ríoghnach Connolly, and Derry’s own Kevin Mitchell.

The very best in traditional music talent in the North West will be on display for the annual concert to honour the festival’s namesake, ‘Cairde Chaoimhín’. This gathering of Caoimhín’s friends and musicians has become a festival staple, taking place on Friday 6th February at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

Central to the festival are the masterclasses and workshops, which offer musicians of all ages and ability levels the opportunity to develop their skills, technique and repertoire. One of Ireland’s mostly highly regarded bodhrán maestros, Colm Phelan (Goitse) and renowned singer-guitarist Alan Burke will deliver workshops alongside Brendan Mulholland (flute), Bríd Harper and Maeve Donnelly (fiddles).

The festival is also another opportunity for people to sharpen their skills in speaking Irish and Scots Gaelic, with intensive language courses for all levels taking place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th February.

The festival atmosphere will extend to the nearby pubs through the session trail featuring many visiting musicians, in association with the Derby Bar and the Grand Central Bar.

Full festival programme details and tickets are available now at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, 37 Great James Street, Derry, BT48 7DF (+4428 71 264 132) or online at www.culturlann-doire.ie.