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26th William Kennedy Piping Festival

Nov
14
Anne-Marie Bell
26th William Kennedy Piping Festival
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26th William Kennedy Piping Festival

 

The 26th edition of the world-renowned William Kennedy Piping Festival runs from the 14-17 November in Armagh City. With a mixture of concerts, sessions, workshops, lectures and events for children, the festival holds a special place in the musical calendar for both piping enthusiasts and traditional music fans in general.

One of the key themes to this years festival is a celebration of the family and its role in promoting and transmitting traditional music. We welcome members of traditional music dynasties such as the McKeons, Mulligans, Rowsomes, Potts, Keanes, Dunnes, and Vallelys for a special celebration concert entitled ‘Ó Ghlúin go Glúin’. This will take place in the unique surroundings of the Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive on Sunda7 17th November.

An undoubted festival highlight will be a special performance from the mercurial Martin Hayes along with uilleann pipes supremo David Power. This duo only gets the opportunity to perform sporadically so the festival is privileged to host them in Armagh this year. Also on the bill is a unique collaboration between Iranian and Irish musicians led by bagpipe virtuoso Mohsen Sharifian. He will be joined by compatriot Mohammad Jaberi along with the cream of Irish musicians including Emer Mayock, Niall Vallely and Sylvain Barou. Completing the line-up for this stellar concert will be Belfast songstress Gráinne Holland who will be joined by local hero Brian Finnegan and Tony Byrne. This concert takes place in the Market Place Theatre on Saturday 16th November at 8pm.

David Power will also be performing a specially commissioned piece from Dana Lyn based on the epic story of Buile Shuibhne/The Madness of Sweeney. Complementing David’s uilleann pipes will be the RTÉ ConTempo String Quartet and recitations from renowned actor Barry McGovern. This eagerly anticipated event takes place in the majestic setting of the 1st Presbyterian Church Armagh adjacent to the historic Mall.

Scotland is well represented by award winning piper Brìghde Chaimbeul who will be joined by fiddler Aidan O’Rourke; step-dancer Sophie Stephenson; and also the innovative pipe ensemble Tryst featuring a host of familiar names including Finlay MacDonald, Ross Ainslie and Calum MacCrimmon. The festival, as has become its trademark, will also welcome a diverse range of pipers from all over the Europe including Stefče Stojkoski from Macedonia, Nico Berardi from Puglia, Edelmiro Fernández from Galicia, and Loïc Bléjean from Brittany.

Full line-up and details of the 2019 Festival are available from wkpf.org or by contacting info@wkpf.org.

The festival’s main sponsor is Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council who have generously supported the event since its inception. For a full listing of events and things to see and do in Armagh, go to www.visitarmagh.com.

 

 

Armagh