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Earagail Arts: Top class music for festival

Lisa O'Neill.

Lisa O’Neill.

EARAGAIL Arts Festival is delighted to present a range of first class concerts ranging from a classical recital by acclaimed Japanese pianist Satoko Inoue (July 23rd) to flamenco guitar king Eduardo Niebla (25th) and sizzling Irish Americana four-piece We Banjo 3 (24th).

Emily Portman Trio – Monday 14 July 8pm – €15 and €12, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny. Emily Portman is the 2013 holder of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Original Song; an accolade which reflects her power to lure listeners into a complex and darkly surreal netherworld, conjuring a dark and brooding realm. Her ethereal voice and the trio’s enchanting harmonies belie a world of dark storytelling, cruel deeds and sordid city landscapes, part inspired by traditional balladry and part by rich literary sources, from the myth of Leda and the Swan to the magical realism of Angela Carter. The trio, featuring Emily, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton bewitches audiences with sirenic harmonies and haunting arrangements for harp, concertina, banjo, strings and saw. All ages.

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Satiko-Inoue.

Satiko-Inoue.

Satoko Inoue – Wednesday, 23 July 8pm – €15 and €12, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny. Pianist Satoko Inoue is renowned as a leading interpreter of contemporary solo piano music. She has premiered works by some of Japan’s foremost composers including Jo Kondo, Yori-aki Matsudaira, Yoritsune Matsudaira and Toshi Ichiyanagi and is known for recitals of works by contemporary composers. For this special concert she will perform a selection of Irish and Japanese composers’ piano works including Toru Takemitsu, Jo Kondo, Yori-aki, Yuji Itoh, John McLachlan and a world premiere by Paul Hayes.

We Banjo 3.

We Banjo 3.

We Banjo 3 – Thursday 24 July 8pm – €15 and €12, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny. With titles such as Irish Times Trad Album of the Year, Best New Group of the Year (Live Ireland.com) and Concert of the Year, (Irish American News) this award-winning quartet from Galway combines Irish Music with Old-Time American and Bluegrass influences to reveal the banjo’s rich legacy and roots. Collectively the group has been at the forefront of Irish banjo and fiddle for two decades, while their competitive success is unrivalled, with Martin holding 7 All Ireland titles, Enda with 4, while Fergal and David hold All Ireland accolades on Banjo, Fiddle, Bodhrán and Guitar. We Banjo 3 make a bold and extraordinary musical statement. With creativity, sensitivity and passion present in full measure, traditional Irish music is at the heart of what they play.

Eduardo Niebla.

Eduardo Niebla.

Eduardo Niebla – Friday 25 July 8pm – €15 and €12, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny. In a career spanning four decades, guitar virtuoso and composer Eduardo Niebla has been acclaimed as one of the most potent forces in flamenco music. His highly lyrical style, with explorations into Indian, Arabic and classical music, has resulted in some of the most poignantly poetic guitar playing on the world circuit. He has recorded 23 albums and has written music for films and documentaries. In what promises to be a spellbinding evening of fleet-fingered virtuosity, Eduardo Niebla and his trio will present a repertoire of stunning flamenco jazz from his latest albums at the RCC on . He will be joined by the Donegal Youth Choir and The Errigal Singers in two specially composed pieces.

Danny Meehan.

Danny Meehan.

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The Donegal Master Fiddlers EAF Closing Concert – Sunday 27 July 8pm – €15 and €12, An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. The Donegal Master Fiddlers gala concert is a celebration of the life and music of three of the county’s greatest living traditional fiddlers – Vincent Campbell, Dinny McLaughlin and Danny Meehan.  Each Master Fiddler will be introduced in turn by a younger renowned fiddler, Vincent Campbell by Martin Mc Ginley, Danny Meehan by Aiden O’Donnell and Dinny McLaughlin by Roisin Harrigan. This feast of traditional Irish music will also feature the Campbells (Vincent, his brother Jimmy and nephew Peter), Dinny McLaughlin’s group and Fidil the new generation of Donegal fiddlers (Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Aidan O’Donnell and Damien McGeehan). The opening performance of this incredible night of music will come from an even younger generation of musicians drawn from the Ceol na Coille School of Irish Traditional Music.

Lisa O’Neill – Saturday 26 July 8pm – €15 and €12, An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny
It’s been an incredible year for Cavan’s Lisa O’Neill. With a new album Same Cloth or Not she won over fans and critics alike. Her rich aged folk voice, melancholic melodies and brilliant lyrical wit marked her a genuinely unique Irish artist. Her live shows became much talked about affairs with the audience welling up one moment, and in stitches the next. Lisa toured Ireland and mainland Europe this year with Glen Hansard, supported David Gray on his Irish tour and James Yorkston on his UK tour.

Dublin Afrobeat Ensemble – Saturday 26 July 10pm – €10, The Greenroom, Letterkenny. Dublin Afrobeat Ensemble is a 14 strong outer-national group of Afrobeat exponents from the four corners of the world. They are a musical crossroads made up of musicians that have washed up on our shores and share an ancestral understanding of the Underground Spiritual Game, playing a blend of free flow Afrobeat rhythms and heavy dance-floor Afro funk. The band was founded in 2012, when a group of Afro-beat enthusiasts started meeting up regularly at down-town jam sessions in Dublin. From there, they began making plans to form a new collective that would combine their various musical interests with their particular world view, a fitting finale for the closing party of EAF 2014. The show is 18+

Now in its 26th year, Earagail Arts Festival takes place from Saturday, 12th – 26th July and is one of the flagship Donegal events along the Wild Atlantic Way. 
This year’s festival has something for everyone, from family and outdoor events to theatre, comedy, art, workshops and music from all corners of the world. Hosting a vibrant and varied programme throughout Inishowen, Letterkenny and west Donegal, Earagail Arts Festival features the best of local and international performances. Volunteering is one of the best ways to experience all that the festival has to offer, so come along to the volunteers’ information sessions and start planning your summer of festival fun. 

Earagail Arts Festival is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council. All tickets can be booked at An Grianan Theatre on 00353 74 9120777 or online at eaf.ie. For full details on the Earagail Arts programme visit www.eaf.ie  

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