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Tradition Now Returns to the National Concert Hall June 15-19

April 22, 2022

Tradition Now, the National Concert Hall’s festival of innovative and contemporary traditional music, presented twice yearly and in partnership with The Arts Council, and Davy as Innovation Partner, returns from the 15th to the 19th of June, with six uniquely curated concerts featuring a roster of exciting new and established artists. From electronica to dark folk balladry, to trance influenced innovations, the festival shines a light on the new in a flourishing traditional music and folk scene.

Highlights include a main stage concert on the 18th of June 8pm by the American Irish group the olllam who make a welcome return to the concert stage for the first time in four years and hot on the heels of their new album ‘Ellegy’. They perform with special guests Harry Bradley, Dónal O’Connor and Libby McCrohan. Formed in 2012, the olllam is a collaboration between Belfast piper John McSherry (Lunasa, Ulaid) and three Detroit based musicians; piper, whistler, Grammy-nominated producer Tyler Duncan (Theo Katzman, Scary Pockets), drummer Michael Shimmin (May Erlewine, Millish), and bassist Joe Dart (Vulfpeck, Fearless Flyers). Their eponymous album, now considered a cult classic, is lush with trance-like melodies, stunning instrumental virtuosity and a magical marriage of tradition and modernity.

The main stage event is complimented by a range of more intimate concerts in the NCH’s studio. On 15th June at 8.30pm Eimear Bradley and Natalia Beylis, two musicians who began creating music together in 2020 for an arboreal music and research project titled ‘Whose Woods These Are’, continue that collaboration and will perform new music for keyboard instruments, cello and electronics.

On the 16th of June at 8.30pm, Edinburgh born singer and multi-instrumentalist whose music is rooted in traditional Scottish music Iona Zajac and Daragh Lynch, best-known as a band member of Award-winning group Lankum, come together to showcase their solo material, as well as a music they have collaborated on and recorded in 2021.

On 18th June at 6pm, Rufous Nightjar comprising three singers Branwen Kavanagh, Anna Meike and Zoe Basha perform work from their new album which is to be released later this year. The album is the collective efforts of the trio, who spent the 2021 lockdown composing a number of acapella songs around the themes of mythology, folklore, landscape, loss and the otherworld and later performing a sold-out Irish tour. Involved in Dublin’s burgeoning traditional singing scene as individual artists over the past number of years, Rufous Nightjar have developed a unique friendship based on a shared interest in folk music and with their musical and harmonious dynamic evident in this unique collaborative project.

On 19th June at 3pm, Notify, an Irish 6-piece contemporary ensemble fronted by well-known concertina player Pádraig Rynne, comprising fiddle player Tara Breen, Davie Ryan, on drums and percussion, Adam Taylor, electric bass, Rory McCarthy on piano and keyboards and Hugh Dillon, acoustic and electric guitars, perform a unique afternoon concert as part of Tradition Now. With backgrounds in jazz, traditional Irish, avant-garde and folk music, Notify’s music has resonated with audiences worldwide, as they seamlessly combine a deep knowledge of, and respect for, musical tradition with forward-thinking innovation, breathing new life into Irish music.

Also, on the 19th of June at 8.30pm, under the Fire Draw Near moniker, Ian Lynch of Lankum presents a live show exploring the outer boundaries of traditional song, bringing us through time, across continents, and into various states of consciousness; a forgotten and strange wilderness that feels as much Alan Moore as Alan Lomax. Ian is a musician, singer, songwriter and founding member of the band Lankum. From his home in north Dublin, he makes the twice-monthly podcast Fire Draw Near, which investigates Irish traditional music in all its myriad forms. This concert rounds off the first of two Tradition Now series for NCH this year.

The Olllam with special guest Harry Bradley, Dónal O’Connor & Libby McCrohan ,Saturday 18th June 8pm – Main Stage.

Eimear Reidy and Natalia Beylis, Wednesday 15th June 8.30pm (The Studio).

Iona Zajac and Daragh Lynch, Thursday 15th June 8.30pm (The Studio).

Rufous Nightjar, Saturday 18th June 6pm (The Studio).

Notify with Padraig Rynne,  Sunday 19th June 3pm (The Studio).

Fire Draw Near Sunday 19th June 8.30pm (The Studio).

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