Skip to main content

Masters of Tradition Festival announce their 20th Anniversary Programme

August 5, 2022

Celebrate the last days of summer with a visit to Masters of Tradition which runs from 24 – 28 August in Bantry, Co. Cork. It’s the Festival’s 20th anniversary and as usual, endeavours to journey to the heart of Irish music and provide a platform where subtle elements of the music can be heard.

As ever, the Festival is headlined by its Artistic Director Martin Hayes, the fiddler from East Clare, whose extravagant virtuosity has brought the tradition to new levels.

He says, “Inside traditional music is a significant mastery. This is something you might not notice at a big outdoor event or in a corner of a noisy bar. In this environment, it is possible to bring people inside a very intimate and detailed experience of the music. This was an experience I had growing up myself and I want to share that with people.”

Joining Martin Hayes in an unmissable opening concert in the Maritime Hotel are Cork pianist Cormac McCarthy, accordion player Brian Donnellan, dancer Stephanie Keane and sean-nós singer Saileog Ní Cheannabháin.

The Thursday evening concert in St Brendan’s Church is eagerly anticipated and presents the renowned Kathryn Tickell Trio from Northumberland. “To say that Kathryn plays pipes is like saying that Shakespeare was a bit of a writer… one of the true stars of our music.” Living Tradition. Sean-nós singer Lorcán MacMathúna joins Martin Hayes and Italian-born, Irish-based fiddler Andrea Palandri.

The Bantry House concerts open on Friday evening with fiddler Sorcha Costello and pianist Catherine McHugh joined by Lorcán MacMathúna, fiddler Daire Bracken and pianist and accordionist Martin Tourish. Late night audiences can catch uilleann piper David Power with violinist Marja Gaynor and Flamenco guitarist John Walsh.

The popular duo, concertina player and dancer Caitlín Nic Gabhann and fiddler Ciarán Ó Maonaigh take to the Bantry House stage on Saturday, alongside accordion player Derek Hickey and guitarist Steve Cooney. The candlelit late night níos déanaí welcomes the Cormac McCarthy Project featuring fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain, cellist Kate Ellis and singer Nell Ní Chróinín, Brian Donnellan and Cormac McCarthy for music specially composed and arranged by McCarthy himself.

Elsewhere during the five day festival are secret concerts in unique local venues including Future Forests in Kealkil, as well as a series of talks in Bantry’s oldest pub, Ma Murphy’s.

Full programme at

Masters of Tradition is generously supported by the Arts Council and Cork County Council.

Youtube channel:

Keep up to date with IMRO news and events

Please select login