Ireland Folk Magazine and News
IMDL and ICC celebrate International Women’s Day
An exciting weekend of events has been collaboratively planned by IMDL (Irish Music and Dance in London) and the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith to celebrate International Women’s Day in style.
On the evening of Friday 8th March a concert will take place at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, opening with a 40-strong group of the finest traditional Irish musicians and singers based in London, performing as ‘Fair Plé Ladies of London’. The Fair Plé movement was started in Ireland by internationally renowned singer/ songwriter Karan Casey in 2018 to raise awareness about and promote gender equality in traditional and folk music.
The ‘Fair Plé Ladies of London’ founded by Dublin accordion player, Paula Hanley and London fiddler, Karen Ryan will be accompanied on the evening by long time pianist with ‘The London Lasses’ Pete Quinn – the group will play a number of selections from the repertoire of The London Lasses, followed by a selection of new sets arranged specifically for the evening, featuring traditional Irish dance tunes composed by prominent female musicians/ composers within the genre. The Fair Plé set will also feature traditional Irish (sean nós) songs, airs and Irish ballads.
Musical families are often the backbone of multi-generational continuity within that global community, and no musical family today is more impressive in upholding the best principles of the tradition than the Mulcahys of Abbeyfeale. Mick, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy play a dazzling array of instruments between them but it’s the sweetness and tunefulness of their ensemble playing that is most striking. They have an unmistakable, infectious sound and their skill and enthusiasm comes from a lifetime of playing together. Their latest family album ‘The Reel Note’ has received worldwide acclaim and was awarded, ‘Album of the Year’ by Tradconnect in 2017.
Mick Mulcahy is a living legend in Irish accordion playing, with a rare repertoire of old tunes which he plays in a highly distinctive style, a style of personal touch which distinguishes the work of the true traditional musician, a touch which has been passed down to his two daughters Louise and Michelle. Previous albums from the family include, ‘The Mulcahy Family’ recorded with the American Label Shanachie, ‘Notes From The Heart’ and ‘Reelin’ in Tradition’ which were recorded with Cló Iar-Chonnacht. Mick, Louise and Michelle have also recorded individual solo albums titled ‘Mick Mulcahy’, ‘Tuning the Road’ and ‘Suaimhneas’. The family has made a regular appearance in the top ten traditional album charts in the United States, Ireland and the UK Louise and Michelle were voted ‘Female Musicians of the Year’ at the Live Ireland Music Awards 2017. Michelle was awarded Tg4 Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana in 2006. As part of Louise’s current PhD studies, she has been presenting regular talks about prominent women in the uilleann piping tradition.
The Friday night concert is preceded by the usual weekly session in the Irish Centre bar, hosted by resident tutor, Tad Sargent and friends (5-8pm).
Following this very special concert, on Saturday 9th March Michelle, Louise and Mick Mulcahy will give hour long instrumental workshops on uilleann pipes, harp, flute, concertina and accordion at the Irish Cultural Centre from 2pm.
Events on Saturday will be rounded off with a Céilí for All, featuring music by the 9-piece ‘Gleann Catha Céilí Band’ and a caller to show you the moves – a family band with its roots firmly in South Connemara, Co. Galway featuring Gary Connolly (accordion), Teresa Connolly (fiddle), Karen Ryan (fiddle), Colman Connolly (uilleann pipes), Pete Quinn (piano) and other family members.
Doors open for Friday evening’s concert at 7.30pm for 8pm onstage (Tickets £12/£10 concession), preceded by session in the bar from 5pm until 8pm, Saturday’s workshops start at 2pm (£10/ £6 U18s) and Saturday evenings céilí opens its doors at 7pm for an 8pm star (£9/ £8 concession).
See video clips here: