Waterford gearing up for world-class Trad weekend

Waterford city world-class John Dwyer Trad weekend
John Dwyer

John Dwyer Trad Weekend set to host world-class Trad musicians at Imagine Arts Festival

The annual John Dwyer Trad Weekend is set to be a highlight on the Imagine Arts Festival events schedule, the weekend will see workshops, sessions, concerts which features the best traditional musicians from all across the country from October 20th to 22nd in Waterford City.

On Friday evening at 8pm, the weekend gets off to a lively start with a giant concert as the stage at St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre will feature the man the weekend is named after Mr. John Dwyer on fiddle.

John will be joined in concert by Mairéad Hurley on concertina, John Blake on flute, Padraig McGovern on the uilleann pipes, Ann Marie Grogan on whistle and flute, Brian McGrath on banjo and Derek Hickey on accordion, Jack Talty on concertina, Aidan O’Donnell on fiddle, Dylan Foley on fiddle, dancer Irene Cunningham with Neill Byrne on fiddle, Edel Fox on concertina, Seán Ó Fearghail on bouzouki and Caoimhín Ó Fearghail on guitar.


On Saturday afternoon a series of music and dance workshops are on offer with some of the country’s most talented muscisians and dancers.

Workshops classes will be hosted by Aidan O’Donnell, Dylan Foley Mairead Hurley and Jack Talty, Ann Marie Grogan, John Blake, Padraig McGovern, Irene Cunningham, Derek Hickey and Brian McGrath from 11am to 2pm. A seperate tin whistle class for total beginners will take place from 11:30am – 1:30pm

On Saturday evening two giants of Irish traditional music come together for a rare performance at this year’s John Dwyer Weekend.

The ‘kings’ of concertina and fiddle will put on a rousing performance that any lover of traditional music will not want to miss.

As Noel Hill and Frankie Gavin, with Brian McGrath will be in concert on Saturday, October 21st at 8pm at St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre.

Waterford city world-class John Dwyer Trad weekend
Frankie Gavin

Noel Hill is one of those standard-setting voices in Irish music today. Few musicians in any field or in any generation achieve a position where both audiences and experts agree on their pre-eminence and mastery of an instrument; Noel Hill’s virtuosity has firmly established him as the defining Irish concertina player of our time.

Frankie Gavin is the most celebrated Irish fiddle player of all time and has performed and recorded with rock legends The Rolling Stones, Jazz Legend Stephane Grappelli and world renowned violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin amongst many others. He is considered by most to be the most virtuosic fiddle player in the Irish Tradition.

They will be joined on the night by Brian McGrath on piano for what will be certainly one of the most unforgettable performances of the festival to-date.

Tickets for all of the JohnDwyer Trad Weekend event can be booked on www.imagineartsfestival.com.

Waterford city world-class John Dwyer Trad weekend
Lissycasey native Noel Hill who has recently released an album titled ‘ The Irish Concertina 2’. Photograph by Yvonne Vaughan.

Many more events are set to take place during the John Dwyer Trad Weekend including a series of ‘Pub Sessions’ will also be on offer at venues whichn include Jordans Bar, Dooleys Hotel, Reginald Bar, Downes and Tullys Bar.

The John Dwyer Trad Weekend celebrates the music of composer and fiddle player John Dwyer, is fast becoming one of the most popular music weekends in the country.

The weekend takes is on offer as part of the 10 day Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford, which takes, place from October 19th to October 29th and promises an exceptional programme for everyone to enjoy.

Best of local arts

The 2017 festival is an exciting multi-disciplinary series of events that promote the best of local arts mixed with top national and international work.

Some 2017 festival highlights a wonderful visual art exhibition opening at Greyfriars Gallery with works from Artist Bernadette Kiely.

Musical highlights include gigs with lead guitarist with legendary indie band The Coral Bill Ryder Jones,the ‘must see’ Martin Stephenson and the Daintees and critically acclaimed James Yorkston, Jon Thorne and Suhail Khan together combine their singular talents to create a confluence of currentsand two giants of Irish traditional music Noel Hill and Frankie Gavin as well as Brian McGrath come together for a rare performance.

Writers Stefanie Preissner, Paul Howard, Cat Hogan, Eithne Shortall, Sinead Crowley, Sally Rooney, along with Waterford Whispers News Founder Colm Wiliamson and more all take part in Waterford Writers Weekend.

‘Battle of the Blaa’

Poet Mark Roper will launch his seventh poetry collection, comedian Reginald D Hunter is set for the stage and a never seen before ‘Battle of the Blaa’ is also on offer.

‘Booze, Blaas and Banter’ event celebrating the City’s Quayside and maritime heritage will offer lots of interesting chats and craic with speakers including Liam Cahill, Brid Smith, Jack Burtchell and Roddie Cleere.

The festival is packed with over 120 acts & performances for all tastes and ages, join in the fun this October in Waterford from the 19th to 29th – see Imagineartsfestival.com

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