On December 17th 2021, the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre presents a night of Traditional Irish Music with four musical masters, Liam O’Connor (fiddle), Seán McKeon (uilleann pipes), John Blake (flute, guitar & piano) and Padraig O’Connor (box accordion). Cáirde Cheoil will be the first time these musicians have played together in over 2 years and promises to be a night to remember.
The event will take place in our Theatre space, with a live audience and will be live-streamed on our YouTube and Facebook channels in conjunction with the To Be Irish at Christmas programme.
Patrons please note:
All ticket holders must hold a valid Covid-19 vaccine certificate to attend on the night.
Tickets are extremely limited, and must be booked in advance.
We cannot accommodate walk-ups at this time.
Please note that this event will be live-streamed for remote audience. Your image may be used on our social media platforms as part of the live-streamed event.
We respectfully request that you read our Covid-19 information here.
Due to the extremely limited capacity of our indoor venue, we ask that anyone booking a ticket only do so if they are certain they will be able to attend the event.
One of Ireland’s leading fiddle players, was born into a musical family in Dublin. His solo CD “The Loom” received 5 star reviews and was voted Trad Album of the Year 2017 by the Irish Times. In September 2018 he was nominated for the Best Folk Instrumentalist RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards. He is Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.Read More on Liam
Liam was awarded TG4 Young Musician of the Year in 2002. At the time, Liam was described in the Irish Times as “Possibly one of the most exciting fiddle players on the music scene since the emergence of Sean Keane and Frankie Gavin more than 30 years ago. He has an exceptional natural ability and the standard of his playing defies logic given his age.”
In 2009, he released a critically acclaimed CD “Dublin Made Me” with uilleann piper Seán McKeon which was described as “Exceptional musicians who marry technical prowess with a marvellous sense of adventure and history” (Irish Times).
Liam regularly performs an exciting duets with concertina player Cormac Begley, Seán McKeon and Noel Hill, in addition to various solo recitals and masterclasses.
“His is a muscular, sculpted sound, characterised by notes chiselled out of thin air with laser-sharp precision and a rhythmic intensity that confidently underscores the shape of each tune. He pushes the boundaries of piping while reinforcing their position at the heart of the tradition.” The Irish Times
One of Ireland’s leading uilleann pipers, Seán grew up listening to music at home in Dublin with his parents Gay McKeon (uilleann pipes) and Mary Corcoran (fiddle and piano) being his earliest influences. He began playing the tin whistle at the age of 6 and within two years Sean progressed to the uilleann pipes receiving lessons from Seán Óg Potts. Seán was the youngest tutor ever at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy at the age of 14. By the age of 15 Seán had amassed a total of 5 Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann titles and before the age of 18 he had won the senior Oireactas solo competition.Read More on Séan
In 2005, Seán was honoured to be awarded TG4 Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana. McKeon and fiddler Liam O’Connor released the duet album “Dublin Made Me” in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim, with it being described in The Irish Times as “a vibrant collection that never once loses sight of its birthright yet still manages to herald a new departure in casting a spotlight on two exceptional musicians who marry technical prowess with a marvelous sense of adventure and history”. It was awarded the Irish Times CD of the week across all genres.
June 2013 saw McKeon release a much anticipated solo piping album “To The City” to further acclaim.
Seán is a keen collaborator with exponents of many different genres having performed with orchestras, jazz musicians, world music artists and spoken word artists throughout his musical career. Seán is also a member of the Damien Dempsey band, performing around the world with the Dublin singer/songwriter, a highlight of which was supporting U2 in Croke Park and has appeared on many of Dempsey’s albums. Not only an exhilarating performer, Seán is highly in demand as a tutor and speaker about the uilleann pipes and has conducted tuition workshops at festivals in Ireland and around the world.
Praise for “Dublin Made Me”
“Dublin Made Me is so much more than the sum of its parts. What makes it stand out from the crowded arena of traditional music is its blithe conviction that one’s inheritance, whether musical, historical or social, is there to be inhabited in all its ragged and real glory. This is a vibrant collection that never once loses sight of its birthright yet still manages to herald a new departure in casting a spotlight on two exceptional musicians who marry technical prowess with a marvelous sense of adventure and history.” (Irish Times)
“The piping solo by McKeon on the reels “The Ladies’ Bonnet/The Pinch of Snuff” is simply sensational. He plays each note roundly, never eliding, and his imaginative fingering of the chanter and wristing of the regulators combine to produce music of rare eloquence” (Earl Hitchner)
“I think that it’s this ‘performance beyond technique’ that elevates this recording to a special status. Staying confidently within the structural constraints of Irish traditional music, this framework, with all its limits, seems to goad McKeon’s and O’Connor’s curiosity and their appetite for exploration.” (The Journal of Music)
John Blake is a traditional Irish flute player, guitarist and pianist. An ex member of traditional group Teada, John has performed and recorded with the cream of Irish musicians including, John Carty, Paddy Glackin, Noel Hill, Liam O’Flynn, Jesse Smith, Harry Bradley, Colm Gannon, The Kane Sisters and James Kelly. Brought up in London, John was immersed in the vibrant Irish music scene at the time, and was tutored by famed teacher Brendan Mulkere.Read More on John
He moved to Ireland in 1998 and developed a reputation as an accompanist of note, racking up several album credits. He joined traditional band ‘Teada‘ in 2001 and toured with them for 3 years recording 2 albums with them. John released his debut solo album ‘The Narrow Edge‘ in December 2013, and continues to record, produce and play on many albums of note including the recent release ‘The Truckley Howl’ along with his wife Mairead Hurley and Wisconsin native Nathan Gourley.
Paudie O’Connor is an accordion player from Sliabh Luachra Kerry. His playing follows in the traditions of Sliabh Luachra, with his influences ranging from the bowing of Padraig O’Keeffe and Denis Murphy to the time spent in his youth playing with local box players Johnny O’Leary, Jimmy Doyle and John Brosnan. In 2005 he launched a landmark recording of Sliabh Luachra music entitled ‘Different State’ which featured in the best of 2005 lists of both The Irish Times and The Irish Echo. Paudie’s music also featured on the album The County Bounds, a 1999 Ossian records production featuring a compilation of music from the Cork-Kerry border including contributions from Johnny O’Leary, Jackie Daly and Peadar Ó’Riada.Read More on Paudie
In 2008 Paudie released the album Wind and Reeds with ex-Riverdance uilleann piper John O’Brien and Jim Murray on guitar. Paudie is a regular contributor to traditional music festivals, workshops and lectures at home and abroad. In October 2010 Paudie performed in the music ensemble as part of Rough Magic’s production of Phaedra for the Dublin Theatre Festival and in 2011 presented an episode of Geantraí featuring many of the musicians currently playing in Sliabh Luachra.
Paudie teaches regularly at festivals and summer schools including Scoil Samhradh Willie Clancy and The Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival.
Paudie presents the monthly slow music session for adult learners that has been a regular feature at Teach Séamus Ennis over the past 11 years. You can check it out and participate via the Séamus Ennis website