Chieftains top bill in NAFCO concerts

The legendary Chieftains will close NAFCO with a big show at the Plaza in Buncrana on Sunday 1st July - from left, Matt Molloy, Paddy Moloney, Kevin Cuneff and Sean Keane.
The legendary Chieftains will close NAFCO with a big show at the Plaza in Buncrana on Sunday 1st July - from left, Matt Molloy, Paddy Moloney, Kevin Cuneff and Sean Keane.

Six-time Grammy winners The Chieftains top the bill in a concert which will be remarkable even in the long history of the venue, the Plaza in Buncrana.

The closing NAFCO 2012 concert, on Sunday 1st July, features the Chieftains and a line-up which includes musicians who have appeared at major festivals around the world, such as Alasdair Fraser from Scotland and US, and Troy McGillivray from Cape Breton Island in Canada.

But the Plaza concert is just one of six major concerts during NAFCO 2012, with lots more lunchtime and evening performances and sessions durin the Convention.

Here are some details on the concerts.

Taste of NAFCO

McGrory’s in Culdaff hosts the opening concert of NAFCO 2012, with music and dance from Canada, Denmark and Ireland - and some top names in fiddling.

Blazing Bows features three of Ireland’s leading traditional fiddle players; Cathal Hayden, Dezi Donnelly, Tola Custy with one of the most in-demand rhythm sections in Irish music guitarist Ed Boyd and percussionist John Joe Kelly.

Lau from Scotland are currently one of the hottest properties on the British folk scene. The three piece comprise of Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle), Martin Green (accordion) and Orkney singer and guitarist Kris Drever.

From Denmark come the award winning young 10 piece dance band Habadekuk whose brass section enliven their fun approach to Danish music , Troy MacGillivray, Shane Cook and Jake Charron (Cape Breton/Ontario) are among Canada’s leading traditional players. Rounding off this remarkable bill will be Cape Breton musicians Andrea Beaton, Janine Randall with dancers, Dawn and Margie Beaton.

The concert starts at 9pm with doors open at 8pm, and tickets€15.00 at or 028- 7137513

A Feast of Fiddles

Sandino’s is the venue for the Feast of Fiddles concert which will take place in a relaxed folk club type setting in the heart of Derry City on Wednesday June 27th.

Headlining this impressive international line-up are the exquisite fiddle and guitar duo of Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill.

From Scotland originally but now based on the west coast of America, fiddle player Alasdair Fraser has carved out an international reputation playing alongside innovative cello player Natalie Haas. Quebec in Canada is renowned for its exciting percussive dance music and there are few greater exponents than Eric Favreau, Pierre Chartrand and friends. Buncrana man, Kevin Doherty along with Magherafelt based Gino Lupari and Pomeroy’s Cathal Hayden front one of Ireland’s leading traditional bands, Four Men and a Dog. From Copenhagen come Habadekuk whose exuberant and innovative approach has revolutionised the perception of folk music in their native Denmark.

The line-up is completed by the remarkable American dancer Nic Gareiss (USA).

Concert starts 9pm, doors open at 8pm. Tickets: £15.00 at or 028- 71375134.

Fiddle & Feet at the Forum!

A spectacular evening of fiddle music and ance at the Millennium Forum on Thursday 28th June – with the emphasis firmly on the dance!

Fiddle & Feet will feature premieres of new work from international dance star, Breandán de Gallaí, who made his name as lead dancer with Riverdance, with champion dancers from across the north west and a specially commissioned piece from Shetland islander, Chris Stout, entitled Sail/Seol, that celebrates the various fiddle traditions of the North Atlantic and will feature a 10 piece band.

Also appearing will be Seamus Begley (accordion) and Tim Edey (guitar) with the polkas and slides which provide the rhythm for the west Kerry Set Dancers- music and dance is guaranteed to raise dust from any floor.

From Norway comes the spectacular dance ensemble Frikar who made an international impact when they featured as part of the winning entry for Norway at Eurovision 2009. The couple dance tradition of Donegal and Sweden will be featured with dancers from both areas and musicians including Donegal’s acclaimed band Fidil.

A sean-nós step-off will feature renowned dancers from Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the US along with lilters and fiddle players including Nic Gareiss, Frank McConnell, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, Joe McGuiggan and Margie Beaton.

Concert starts at 8pm. Tickets: £15.00 (family ticket £50.00) at 028 71 264455 or 028- 71375134 and

Women of the Fiddle

A line-up that features some of the most highly acclaimed women in traditional music from around the North Atlantic including, on their first ever performance in Ireland, the String Sisters. Acclaimed at international festivals the world over String Sisters eaturing the three Liz’s – Liz Carroll from Chicago, Liz Doherty from Buncrana and Liz Knowles from St. Louis, Catriona MacDonald from Shetland, Annbjorg Lien from Norway and Sweden’s Emma Hardelin. Stellar musical support is provided by a Scottish rhythm section of David Milligan(piano), James Mackintosh (drums), Conrad Ivitsky (bass) and Norwegian guitarist, Tore Bruvell. Along with the String Sisters also sharing the bill are The Wrigley Sisters from Orkney. More welcome visitors to NAFCo are Nancy Kerr from England and and Australian-born James Fagan who were deserved winners of the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Duo of the Year 2011. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia boasts one of the greatest living musical traditions of any place and exceptional exponents of this Scottish influenced music are Andrea Beaton, Janine Randall and Dawn and Margie Beaton.

Tickets: €15/€13 at +353 71 9120777 or 028- 71375134.

Fiddles of the World

The Waterside Theatre on Saturday 30th une hosts a showcase of international fiddle traditions that will include Scottish, Shetland, Ulster Scots, Canadian, Irish and Galician. From Ontario in Canada comes the exceptional fiddleplayer, Pierre Schryer and his Trio. The Ulster Scots tradition will be ably represented by Antrim’s Willie Drennan. Two of the more adventurous musicians working in the traditional field are American Dan Trueman and Caoimhín O Rathallaigh from Dublin -their work shows innovative elements that meld beautifully. The Scottish fiddle and harp duo of Chris Stout and Caitriona McKay have travelled the world as members of Scottish folk supergroup Blazing Fiddles and have been described by The Guardian as “sonically exquisite” and they are not to be missed. From Galicia on Spain’s atlantic north west coast comes the fiddle and percussion duo of Alfonso Franco and Alfonso Merino. This concert will be presented in an informal round-robin style.

Tickets: £10.00 at or 028- 71375134.

Chieftains take to the Plaza

Is there a more famous or critically acclaimed folk music band in the world than the six time Grammy winners The Chieftains? For the closing concert The Chieftains bring dancers Cara Butler from New York and the dynamic Jon and Nathan Pilatzke from the Ottowa Valley in Canada and their regular guest vocalist Alyth McCormack. They will showcase collaborations with Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas (Scotland/USA), Annbjorg Lien (Norway), Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, Pierre Schryer and Friends (Canada) and young local musicians and dancers from the Inishowen Music Project and Coyle School of Irish Dancing. Opening this concert are the all female fiddle trio from Denmark, Fiolministeriet. Tickets: €20 at 028- 71375134 or