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Welcome to the Baltimore Fiddle Fair Website

"Congratulations, big time, on what was for me one of the more enjoyable events of music I have been to in a while, just outstanding. I can't tell you how much I was thrilled with it."
--Brian O'Donovan, Celtic Connections
"Congrats on another savage weekend, best festival in Ireland..by far!"
--Siobhan Peoples
"WOW! Baltimore rocks! BFF2007 exceeded all my expectations - the concerts were breathtaking, the pub sessions were incredible and the workshops inspirational - thanks Declan and your team for a brilliant event!"
--Alison, attendee
"Very well done to Declan and all the people involved. I Will be coming back next year and I'll be bringing half a dozen friends with me. The best music I've heard in a long time."
--Iain O'Neill, attendee
"The Fiddle Fair has now firmly established itself as one of the premier opportunities to help encourage and develop the talents of budding fiddle players from Ireland and abroad."
--Irish Music Rights Organisation
"How on earth do I get hold of a ticket for next year's festival?"
--Phil Thomas, FolkMusic.net
"The standard and talent of all the musicians took my breath away. Thanks for such a magical weekend and I look forward to returning ... for a top up of pure heaven."
--Wendy Jane Lichtblau, attendee
"The Baltimore Fiddle Fair is unique. Whether listening through an open window to the children at an open-air workshop master a tune or the swirl of a master-fiddler in the early hours, Baltimore weaves a sweet melody. Beir bua!"
--John Creedon, The Creedon Show RTE Radio 1
"I just came back home from Baltimore. I just wanted to thank you for giving us such a wonderful festival."
--Fumihiko Akamine, attendee
"You can't ask for a nicer setting, or a more interesting lineup. Declan knows bigger isn't necessarily better ... everyone feels at home."
--Tim O'Brien, 2006 Grammy Winner

Fiddle Fair 2014 8th - 11th May

Season Passes are SOLD OUT!

2014 Line Up

SCHEDULE UPDATE: "Change of schedule"

Hey Fiddle Fair Fans, we know that lots of you were disappointed to hear that the John Sheahan concert is sold out so the good news is that we have switched his concert to 3pm at Glebe Gardens on the Sunday afternoon, as part of the double bill with the incredible Haas, Kowert, Tice Tickets are now back on sale………we always aim to pleased at the Baltimore Fiddle Fair:)"

Check out Sunday 11 May and all the shows on the Schedule page.


Baltimore Fiddle Fair 2014

8th - 11th May

Thursday 8 May
 Castle Dún na Séad - 9:00pm
 Aly Bain and Ale Möller

Friday 9 May
 Fiddle Fair Marquee - 9:00pm
 Cahalen Morrison and Eli West
 Eddi Reader

Saturday 10 May
 Castle Dún na Séad - 1:00pm
 Tara Connaghan & Ronán Galvin

 Glebe Gardens Amphitheatre - 3:00pm
 Stephanie Coleman & Cleek Schrey

 Fiddle Fair Marquee - 9:00pm
 This Is How We Fly
 The New Rope String Band

Sunday 11 May
 Castle Dún na Séad - 1:00pm
 Anna Lindblad & Ryan Drickey

 Glebe Gardens Amphitheatre - 3:00pm
 John Sheahan with Eamon Keane
 Haas, Kowert, Tice

 Fiddle Fair Marquee - 9:00pm
 Alisdair Fraser & Natalie Haas with Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh
 Dezi Donelly, Mike McGoldrick, John Joe Kelly & Damien O' Kane

Hey Fiddle Fair fans – we are delighted to announce the line-up for our 22nd anniversary festival. We hope you agree that its pretty special:

We kick off on Thursday 8th with a very special candlelit concert at Dún na Séad Castle with Aly Bain and Ale Möller – Aly Bain is one of the world's best know fiddlers, hailing from Shetland, he has been at the forefront of the traditional scene in Scotland for over 40 years. He made a very memorable visit to the Fiddle Fair 3 years ago with the great Phil Cunningham but this time he is accompanied by the amazing Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ale Möller.

On Friday 9th at the Fiddle Fair Marquee we have two amazing acts from different sides of the globe but with an unusual common thread. First up from Seattle we are delighted to present Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. Ever since we heard this duo's debut album a few years ago we have wanted to bring them to the festival so we were thrilled when we heard that they were going to be around this part of the world in May. They have just released their 3rd album, produced by Fiddle Fair Autumn School maestro Tim O' Brien. Beautiful songs and amazing singers.

Just like our next act, the incredible Eddi Reader. Glasgow native Eddi is simply one of the best singers on the planet with the voice of an angel. She has been a unique and contemporary figure in British music for over 3 decades with an intuitive ability to transform any song or genre into her own. She is also great fun and her live shows are truly remarkable.

The unusual common thread with these two acts is that neither of them have a fiddle player in their regular line-up. Do not fret though because we have a couple of very able fiddler's standing by:)

There's certainly no lack of fiddlers on our Saturday May 10 menu. We start at 1pm in Dún na Séad when we present a fiddle duo from Southwest Donegal, Tara Connaghan & Ronán Galvin. Donegal is the spiritual home of Irish fiddle music where there seems to be a fiddle in every house. Tara and Ronán play music they learned from many of the older generation of fiddlers and ensure that the Donegal tradition is in good hands.

Then we move to Glebe Gardens Amphitheatre for a double bill featuring 2 fiddles and then 4 fiddles.

First up is the amazing 'old time' duo of Stephanie Coleman & Cleek Schrey from USA. Stephanie first played here in 2007 with the great Mick Daly, while she was studying in UCC for a year and then she brought Cleek with her a couple of years ago and they created quite the impression.

We follow this with the Irish premiere of new Scottish group RANT. 4 remarkable fiddlers have come together to create a beautiful sound and they are a band with a very bright future. Shetland sisters Jenna and Bethany Reid played here way back in 2003 with the group Filska, Lauren MacColl was here in 2005 and Sarah-Jane Summers was here in 2006 so they've all been here before but it is the very first time that we feature a group comprising of 4-fiddles only. Do not miss them!

On Saturday night May 10 at the marquee we present an eclectic double bill of two very special acts.

First up is the amazing group This Is How We Fly. Dublin fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh has been here many times and was the man who trained Jeremy Irons for his memorable Fiddle Fair appearance a few years ago. The incredible Michigan dancer Nic Gareiss has also been here a few times and all of those who attended his dance workshop in 2012 will never forget it (he might be persuaded to do another one). The other two members of this exciting group are Fiddle Fair virgins, Dublin jazzman Seán Mac Erlaine and lyrical Swedish percussionist Petter Berndalen. As you listen to This is How we Fly, you might find yourself raising delightful questions as to the place, potency and possibilities of old music in a new environment.

We follow this with another Irish premiere with English trio The New Rope String Band. Once seen, never forgotten: an indefinable confusion of superb musicianship and side-splitting comic genius, the New Rope String Band are truly unique entertainers. Elements of circus, clowning, vaudeville, slapstick and sheer inspired silliness are spliced with beautiful acoustic music from various world traditions. Expect the hilariously unexpected!

At 1:00pm on Sunday May 11 at Castle Dún na Séad we present Swedish duo Anna Lindblad & Ryan Drickey. I heard Anna playing some savage late-night tunes at Celtic Connections this year with our great Foghorn friend Sammy Lind (he thinks they might be cousins from way back) and her music is a groovy mixture of traditional Swedish tunes and tunes from North America and Ireland. Ryan is a freelance violinist/fiddler and singer, known for his subtle and expressive touch.

At 3pm we go back up to the stunning Glebe Gardens for another double bill of incredible musicians.

First we present one of the true iconic figures of Irish music, John Sheahan.

Formed in 1962, The Dubliners were probably the most influential Irish folk band of the 20th century. They were instrumental in popularising Irish folk music in Europe and influenced many generations of Irish bands. John Sheehan is the last surviving member of the original line-up and we are honoured to welcome him to the Fiddle Fair.

Over the years John has gained recognition as a composer. Many of his compositions have strong characteristics of baroque music and several of these have been performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. It was a great compliment to his writing skills when André Rieu included John's composition "The Marino Waltz" on a recent album.

For this show John is accompanied Eamon Keane, Eamon is a well known journalist and broadcaster, an accomplished pianist, composer, and singer/songwriter. He recently composed the haunting score for Mná Dibeartha, the landmark series on the Famine. For today's show John and Eamon combine their talents in a kaleidoscope of music, song and poetry.

We follow them with the amazing American trio Haas, Kowert, Tice.

Brittany Haas is one of the finest young fiddlers on the planet. She plays with about 3 million amazing bands including 'Crooked Still' and was here 6 years ago with 'Darol Anger's Republic of Strings'. Hailing from Annapolis Maryland, Jordan Tice is an innovative flatpicker and prolific composer of acoustic music. He released his debut recording of original music at the age of 17 on and has since released 2 more recordings of his music to rave reviews. He also plays in about 3 million bands. Paul Kowert grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2009 he joined the incredible band 'The Punch Brothers' with whom he has released 2 albums. He also has recorded and played with 3 million bands and is truly one of the most original bassists working today. Together, Haas Tice Kowert have produced a body of work containing flights of improvisation and interesting compositional turns all grounded by memorable melodies and driving rhythms.

To round off proceedings we go back to the Fiddle Fair Marquee for two more amazing acts:

First up is Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas with Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Californian cellist Natalie Haas (Yes she's Brittany's sister) are one of the most sought after duo's at festivals around the world. We have wanted to bring them to Baltimore for a long long time and are delighted that they are finally here. We are even more delighted that they will be accompanied by the Queen of the Fiddle Fair herself, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh. Regular attendee's at our festival will know the special place we have in our hearts for Mairéad's band Altan. Quite simply our festival would not be where it is today without them and Mairéad is one of Ireland's greatest treasures – plus she's completely bonkers after a few pints:)

And then to finish things off we have some of our oldest and best Fiddle Fair friends, Dezi Donnelly, Mike McGoldrick, John Joe Kelly & Damien O' Kane. These Manchester boys need no introduction in these parts and have provided us with some magical memories over the past 2 decades. Dezi, Mike and John Joe have been coming here since they were in short trousers but Damien is earning his first cap.

As well as being unbelievable musicians they are also unbelievable party animals who will bring this year's Fiddle Fair to a rousing finale.

We told you it was pretty special, don't leave it too late to book your tickets!

See you in May,


Fiddle Fair Weblog

April 18, 2014

Fiddle Fair Autumn School

Autumn School poster

Fiddle Fair Autumn School - November 2-9 2014

Baltimore Fiddle Fair is extremely proud to present the very first Fiddle Fair Autumn school, a unique opportunity to spend a week in beautiful Baltimore, West Cork, Ireland and learn from two of the absolute masters of the fiddle tradition: Kevin Burke and Tim O' Brien.

The price of €999 includes airport transfers, seven nights accommodation at the amazing Inish Beg Estate, breakfast and dinner every evening, six days of classes at Inish Beg (morning and afternoon with Tim and Kevin), and a tailor-made immersion in Baltimore and the islands.

Baltimore is not only synonymous with great fiddling, it is now a favoured destination for humpback whales! Your trip will include some whale-watching, island hopping and nightly sessions in local pubs (with your fiddle masters). It all culminates with a concert in the bewitching Dún na Séad Castle on Saturday Nov 8 with Tim and Kevin.

This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Suitable for handy or intermediate fiddlers only. Limited to 20 students, which will allow for a really intimate, quality experience. Packages available for non-playing partners.
Dates: Nov 2-9 2014.

If you are interested in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Email declan@fiddlefair.com or grainne.mccarthy@gmail.com for more details.


April 16, 2014

Fiddle Fair Update: Schedule Change

SCHEDULE UPDATE: "Change of schedule"

Hey Fiddle Fair Fans, we know that lots of you were disappointed to hear that the John Sheahan concert is sold out so the good news is that we have switched his concert to 3pm at Glebe Gardens on the Sunday afternoon, as part of the double bill with the incredible Haas, Kowert, Tice Tickets are now back on sale………we always aim to pleased at the Baltimore Fiddle Fair:)"

Check out Sunday 11 May and all the shows on the Schedule page.