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Event Schedule and Purchase Tickets

Fiddle Fair 2018 10th - 13th May

Dates and Times | Purchase Tickets*

Please note - Doors open 30 minutes prior to each show.

PLEASE NOTE all tickets purchased online are subject to a service fee

Sea Sessions

Sea Sessions Poster

We are delighted to announce an exciting addition to this year's Fiddle Fair programme!

Sea Sessions is 4 musical cruises around the harbour on the beautiful 50ft yacht Inish Beg.

On Sunday 13th May at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, and 3.30pm - €20 (€1 service fee applies).

Musicians include Natalie & Brittany Haas, Brendan Begley, Paul Meehan, Ryan Young, Jenn Butterworth, Derek Hickey, and a couple more!

*weather permitting *10 places only per trip *lifejackets supplied *advance booking essential

*in association with Baltimore Yacht Charters (

Session One - 11:00am Sold Out - check with box office

Session Two - 12:30pm - €20 (€1 service fee applies) Sold Out - check with box office

Session Three - 2:00pm - €20 (€1 service fee applies) Sold Out - check with box office

Session Four - 3:30pm - €20 (€1 service fee applies) Sold Out - check with box office

Purchase Tickets for Individual Shows Below

Thursday 10 May | Saint Matthew's | 8.30pm

Dezi Donnelly & Michael McGoldrick

€20 (€1 service fee applies)


To kick off Fiddle Fair 2018 we are delighted to welcome back 2 of our oldest pals, Dezi Donnelly and Michael McGoldrick to launch their new album, The Dog in the Fog. Playing together since they were young kids, they are quite simply two of the finest exponents of traditional music on the planet. They have played many memorable shows in Baltimore over the years but this will be the first acoustic one, magic!

It is a well known cliche, to describe a fiddle player as 'a devil fiddler' but in Dezi Donnelly's case this is more of an understatement! The sibling of a Manchester fiddler dynasty is both All Britain and All Ireland Champion, a title truly deserved for his brilliant jigs and reels.

Michael McGoldrick English low whistle, Irish flute, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, and bodhran player. He also plays other instruments such as guitar and mandolin in some of his tracks. A multi-instrumentalist, McGoldrick has been playing traditional Irish music since his early childhood days in the working class town of Manchester, England, thanks to his influential parents and thickly absorbed cultural background.

Friday 11 May | Fiddle Fair Marquee | 9:00pm

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
Ahlberg, Ek & Roswall

Paypal Category A Guaranteed seating first 8 rows
€35 (€1 service fee applies) SOLD OUT

Paypal Category B Guaranteed seating next 10 rows
€30 (€1 service fee applies) SOLD OUT

Paypal Category C Standing
€25 (€1 service fee applies)

We are thrilled to welcome American superstar Rhiannon Giddens to this year's Fiddle Fair. A founder member of the legendary 'Carolina Chocolate Drops', this incredible lady plays fiddle and banjo and might just have the most amazing voice you'll ever hear. Her solo career has seen the release of two critically acclaimed records, Tomorrow is my Turn and Freedom Highway and her light is burning brighter and brighter all around the world. With a rich voice and an equally rich sense of history, Rhiannon animates American folk tradition with her electrifying song interpretations -

Tonight, Rhiannon is joined by Francesco Turrisi - an Italian pianist, percussionist and accordionist specialising in jazz, early music and Mediterranean music. Together they trace a distinctive musical globalism. Join as they journey from Africa and the Middle East, through Southern Europe and England, and over to the Americas for a hand-crafted evening of music across cultures.

Ahlberg, Ek & Roswall are the second Swedish band to visit our festival. Their repertoire is based on traditional Swedish tunes plus their own compositions.Their dazzling interplay and imaginative arrangements have established them as one of the most exciting and popular acts on today's folk scene. Ahlberg, Ek & Roswall's music is characterized by both pop and baroque influences, a great tonal range and an absolutely irresistible swing.

Emma Ahlberg was born in Sundsvall in the north of Sweden. She was brought up in a family of musicians, surrounded by music, much of which was in the folk music genre. At the age of five she began playing the fiddle and has over the years developed her own distinctly strong and personal style. She has studied Swedish folk music at Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. In the summer of 2010 she became a Riksspelman which is one of the highest accolades within Swedish folk music.

Daniel Ek was born and raised in Vuollerim, a small town in Lapland in the far north of Sweden.He began playing guitar at a young age and now works both as a freelance musician and music teacher. He can be seen in groups as Göran Månsson Band, with Sofia Karlsson and former Ranarim.

Niklas Roswall comes from the small village of Kverrestad in Skåne. He began playing the fiddle, but soon thereafter switched to the nyckelharpa. Niklas became a Riksspelman 1992 and won the title of World champion of chromatic nyckelharpa in 1996. Since graduating from music studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, he has worked as folk musician in a variety of contexts.

Saturday 12 May | Saint Matthew's | 1:00pm

Sheila Garry & Elaine Hogan

"Elaine Hogan on harp and Sheila Garry on fiddle play tunes on this new album that allow us to feel the pleasure they feel in playing and appreciating the tunes...Fine Music!" - Eoin O' Neill
€15 (€1 service fee applies)
Online Bookings Sold Out - Check for availability with Box Office during the festival

One of our favourite albums from the past few years is The Shores Of Lough Breda from Clare musicians Sheila Garry and Elaine Hogan, which features the compositions of the late, great Paddy O'Donoghue from Tulla in East Clare. The recording has, at its heart, O'Donoghue's lyrical compositions brought out sensitively and soulfully by the fiddle and harp combination.

This project has been the culmination of a number of years work which initially began when Sheila and Elaine met in Bunratty Castle where they were employed as castle entertainers. Their musical connection was both instantaneous and mutual. The Shores of Lough Breda was the tune which ignited the idea of a recording, and their mutual admiration for Paddy's music lead them on a memorable journey.

Lunchtime concerts at Saint Matthew's are always very special and this show will prove no exception.

Saturday 12 May | Glebe Gardens Amphitheatre | 3pm

Ciaran Tourish and Kevin Doherty
The Murphy Beds with Stephanie Coleman

€15 (€1 service fee applies)

Ciaran Tourish hails from Buncrana in East Co. Donegal. Although Ciaran started playing the tin whistle at an early age, he soon took up the fiddle under the guidance of local legendary fiddler and teacher, Dinny McLaughlin. In addition to his mastery of the dance music tradition, Ciaran's quick ear, love of harmony and counterpoint have led to his talent being in demand as a valued collaborator on non-Altan and even non-Irish music projects with a wide range of musicians and singers including Paul Brady, Matt Molloy, Mary Black, Maura O'Connell, Máirtín O'Connor, Dolores Keane, Dé Danann and American musicians, Jerry Douglas and Tim OʼBrien. He released his first solo recording "Down the Line" in 2005 featuring guest musicians Arty McGlynn, Paul Brady, Maura O'Connell, Mick Hanley,, Tim O'Brien, Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas among others.

Kevin Doherty came to music through records and radio rather than a handed down tradition. In his teens he began playing with a number of successful local bands, as they packed out hotels and halls. all sorts of styles were incorporated - Bluegrass, country, folk, rock, blues, jazz, swing and trad. He joined renowned traditional group Four Men and a Dog in 1991 and toured the globe and recorded seven records, two of which were recorded in the late Levon Helm's studio in New York.

Aside from this, Kevin has recorded three solo records, the latest being 'Seeing things' with some of Ireland's best known musicians including James Delaney, Conor Brady, Des Lacey and Paul Moore. He is currently working on his next solo project.

The Murphy Beds present traditional and original folk songs with close harmonies and deft instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. They have performed and collaborated with artists across the folk spectrum including Beth Orton, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Anais Mitchell, and Sam Amidon.

Eamon O'Leary started playing Irish music while growing up in Dublin through his friendship with the Mayock family, traditional musicians from County Mayo. When he moved to New York City in the early 90's, he immersed himself in the city's traditional music scene and travelled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music. In 2004 he and fiddler Patrick Ourceau released the album Live at Mona's. Eamon has taught at many traditional music programmes in the US and also records and performs original music. His last solo record, Old Clump, was released in 2012.

" ... their great feat turns out to be taking what's best of the classic Irish folk revival without falling into any of its clichés. The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs." -- Huffington Post

Jefferson Hamer is a guitarist and singer based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2013, in addition to The Murphy Beds, he and songwriter Anais Mitchell released Child Ballads, a collection of new adaptations of English and Scottish folk songs which won a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award. His original songs are featured on the 2016 album Great Shakes by Cambridge, MA roots rock ensemble Session Americana.

"A gifted guitarist and singer, Hamer is able to hit close harmonies ... and weave gorgeous instrumental lines." -- Acoustic Guitar magazine, Oct. 2013

Stephanie Coleman is a fiddle player steeped in the American traditions of Midwestern and Appalachian old-time music. She has performed and taught throughout the US, Europe, and Australia and remains a regular finalist in the renowned fiddle competition at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, West Virginia. She's spent the last decade in New York City, collaborating and touring with such artists as all-girl string band Uncle Earl, clawhammer banjo virtuoso Adam Hurt, and experimental fiddler Cleek Schrey. She has played at Fiddle Fair on numerous occasions and we're delighted to have her back!

Saturday 12 May | Fiddle Fair Marquee | 9pm

Heidi Talbot, John McCusker, Brendan Begley & Paul Meehan
Ulaid with Duke Special

Paypal Category A Guaranteed seating first 8 rows in the marquee
€35 (€1 service fee applies) SOLD OUT

Paypal Category B Guaranteed seating next 10 rows in the marquee
€30 (€1 service fee applies) SOLD OUT

Paypal Category C Standing
€25 (€1 service fee applies)

Heidi Talbot, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, John McCusker and Paul Meehan *in association with Music Network

We're delighted to continue our partnership with Music Network that involves bringing musicians from different cultures together and seeing what comes out. This year's offering is a delightful combination featuring musicIans from Scotland, West Kerry and Northern Ireland.

Chanteuse Heidi Talbot has garnered rave reviews for her live performances, both with Cherish the Ladies and as featured soloist with Idlewild, King Creosote, and Eddi Reader among others, and the pairing of her expressive vocals with the extraordinary voice of traditional maestro Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich is a match made in heaven.

Winner of BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year, John McCusker goes where other traditional musicians fear to tread, sharing a stage with the likes of Paul Weller, Roseanne Cash, Paolo Nutini, Teenage Fanclub, and Eddi Reader in addition to being a member of Mark Knopfler’s band since 2008.

Completing this stellar line-up is Manchester-born guitarist Paul Meehan, who has toured with such high profile bands as Lúnasa, Na Dorsa, North Cregg, and Buille.

Ulaid with Duke SpecialWhen contemporary song writing and traditional Irish music meet, the results can be something to be treasured. Such is the case with the new release A Note Let Go, a collaboration between traditional trio Ulaid, and singer-songwriter extraordinaire Duke Special.

Born Peter Wilson and known to his fans as Duke Special, this alternative rock, soul, and folk singer, songwriter, and pianist came to prominence with his debut, platinum selling album Songs from the Deep Forest in 2006. Since then he has released a dozen other recordings including Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children, a Paul Auster inspired album recorded by Steve Albini, the first ever recording of Kurt Weill's unfinished musical based on Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, an album based on the work of the founding fathers of art photography and most recently, the album Hallow, based on the poetry of renowned poet Michael Longley. He is an artistic magpie, inspired by theatre, visual art, literature and gramophones and the art of collaboration. Duke Special draws on a dusty, pre-rock and roll world of melody and is regarded as one of Ireland's finest voices.

Ulaid is an internationally acclaimed Belfast based traditional group steeped in the rich tradition of a thousand years. Belfast born John McSherry has been a major figure in Irish music for almost 20 years. Described by Irish Music Magazine as 'a true master' John is hailed as one of the finest exponents of the art of uilleann piping in the world today and has recorded with everyone from Sinead O'Connor to Nancy Griffiths to Gary Kemp and The Corrs.

Hailing from a famous family of musicians in the Cooley mountains, Dónal O'Connor has recorded and performed with the likes of Moya Brennan of Clannad, Liam O'Maonlaí, and John Spillane to name a few. He has also presented TV programmes for BBCNI, TG4 & BBC Alba and is a highly regarded record producer in his own right. Portglenone native and multi-instrumentalist, Seán Óg Graham is a member of the traditional group Beoga who have recently recorded and performed with Ed Sheeran having co-written his recent chart topping song Galway Girl.

Sunday 13 May | Sea Sessions | 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, and 3.30pm

Sea Sessions is 4 musical cruises around the harbour on the beautiful 50ft yacht Inish Beg..

Click for details and purchase tickets

Sunday 13 May | Saint Matthew's | 1:00pm

Ryan Young with Jen Butterworth

"Uniquely graceful and expressive playing. A future star of the Scottish fiddle world" - Aidan O'Rourke (Lau)

€15 (€1 service fee applies)
Online Bookings Sold Out - Check for availability with Box Office during the festival

One of the most exciting young fiddlers in Scotland, Ryan Young was a winner of the Danny Kyle Open Stage in 2007 at Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival and was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards in both 2007 and 2008. He was also a finalist in both 2015 and 2016 in the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. He has performed at many festivals across Scotland and abroad. Ryan focuses mainly on Scottish music, bringing new life to very old, often forgotten tunes by playing them in his own unique way. He is very influenced by the fiddle playing of County Clare and has been fascinated by the playing of renowned fiddlers such as Bobby Casey, Paddy Canny, PJ and Martin Hayes and Tommy Potts from Dublin.

Ryan has just completed his MMus at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has just recorded his debut solo album, of his own and traditional Scottish tunes, with triple Grammy award winning producer Jesse Lewis. The album was released on August the 11th 2017 and Ryan launched the CD, accompanied by Dennis Cahill, at Feakle Festival, County Clare, Ireland.

Sunday 13 May | Glebe Gardens | 3pm

Sam Amidon
The Underskore Orchestra

15€ (€1 service fee applies)

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/artist Sam Amidon began playing fiddle at the age of three. Raised by musician parents on a steady diet of Irish and Appalachian folk in Brattleboro, Vermont, Amidon spent the early arc of his teens performing and recording traditional dance and avant folk music with his parents, as well as his own group, Assembly.

He added banjo and guitar to his repertoire after relocating to New York City, where he began collaborating with longtime friend Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), as well as a host of other acts like Tall Firs, the Swell Season, and Stares. He released his debut album, Solo Fiddle, in 2003, followed in 2007 by But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted and All Is Well in 2008.

Amidon married singer/songwriter Beth Orton and the two had a son in 2011. Output remained strong from Amidon as he entered into family life, with new volumes arriving in the form of 2009's duet with percussionist Aaron Siegel, Fiddle and Drum, 2010's I See the Sign, and for Nonesuch, 2013's Bright Sunny South and 2014's Lily-O. The latter featured guitar legend Bill Frisell. In 2015, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted was reissued in an expanded edition from Omnivore Records after years out of print. His first album to consist entirely of original songs, The Following Mountain arrived via Nonesuch in 2017. It was produced by Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Frightened Rabbit) and featured guests including veteran jazz drummer Milford Graves.

Formed in Portland, Oregon and now based in Cork Ireland, with members hailing from many corners of the globe, The Underskore Orchestra play a blend of Balkan, Klezmer, Hot Jazz, Swing and Americana music. Their performance evokes the old world and the new, the eerily haunting sounds from the east, with definite roots in the west.

They have been touring the US, Canada, Europe, Central America, Australia and New Zealand for the past 9 years and has traveled in many ways, including but not limited to: vegetable-oil-powered tour bus, planes, trains, boats, autos, driving and hitch hiking. Their favorite way is by bicycle, which they have done numerous times in Europe.

Their live shows are something to remember for years to come, they are fond of Table Dance and of selling many wares, including Underscore Underwear, Uncle Jerry's Magically Malicious Mustache Wax, CD's, Neck Ties, Nude Calendars, Music boxes, and Stand up tub Basses.

Sunday 13 May | Fiddle Fair Marquee | 9pm

Brittany & Natalie Haas
Pennoù Skoulm

Paypal Category A Guaranteed seating first 8 rows
€35 (€1 service fee applies) SOLD OUT

Paypal Category B Guaranteed seating next 10 rows
€30 (€1 service fee applies)

Paypal Category C Standing
€25 (€1 service fee applies)

We are honoured to present the first international duo appearance by incredible American siblings Brittany and Natalie Haas. The Haas sisters have collaborated with each other many times over the years, whether it be appearing on each other's albums or playing in other people's bands. This is their first international duo appearance!

Brittany is widely regarded as one of the most influential fiddlers of her generation. She grew up honing her craft at string camps across the USA and developed her unique style of fiddling at the influence of her mentors, Bruce Molsky and Darol Anger. She has since toured with Darol Anger's Republic of Strings and seminal "chamber-grass" band Crooked Still. Highly in demand as a session musician, she has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, and the Ellen DeGeneres show as part of Steve Martin's bluegrass band. Now residing in Nashville, Brittany currently performs with her quartet Hawktail, the Dave Rawlings Machine, and the house band for Live from Here, hosted by Chris Thile.

Natalie is one of the most sought-after cellists playing traditional music today. She and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser have toured as a duo for over 18 years, wowing audiences at festivals and concerts worldwide with their unique sound. Natalie has also toured with Mark O'Connor as a member of his Appalachia Waltz Trio. As a studio musician, Natalie has been a guest artist on over 50 albums, including those of Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, Irish greats Altan, Solas, and Liz Carroll, and Americana icon Dirk Powell. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Natalie now teaches at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she is an active member of the traditional music scene.

Pennoù Skoulm was created in 1982, this band arose from the musicians participating in the two concert bands Kornog and Gwerz. At first the band sounded more like a "work-in-progress-live-band" than the usual fest-noz band ! Several musicians participated in Pennoù Skoulm's original adventure, including the piper Patrick Molard who made an essential contribution to the present album's repertoire, and the guitarist Soïg Siberil, recently replaced by Nicolas Quemener.

Pennoù Skoulm played throughout Europe and the USA, in concert and in fest-noz.The five musicians on this CD have very varied careers, having appeared with many famous artists of various musical styles, and their influence as a band, as well as individuals, has strongly influenced the lively world of the breton music.

*PLEASE NOTE all tickets purchased online are subject to a service fee