Sliabh Luachra Represented at North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Aberdeen

Festival Chairman, Cormac O’Mahony (left) pictured with founder members, Mary Jones and Peter Browne, Matt Cranitch the 2017 festival award winner; Caoimhe Flannery, Fiddler of Dooney U-18 winner and Ciarán Browne at the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival 25th anniversary concert at the River Island Hotel, Castleisland last October. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Matt Cranitch and Caoimhe Flannery, Rockchapel pictured with the original Scartaglin Féile Cheoil Pádraig Ó Caoimh Perpetual Shield which was won by the late Scartaglin fiddle player, Mikey Duggan on its first outing in 1967. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo) will take place in Aberdeen in Scotland from 11th to 15th of July.

This is a major event in the world of traditional fiddle music and, at least, two of Sliabh Luachra’s finest exponents will be attending and participating.

No Stranger

Corkman, Matt Cranitch is no stranger to Castleisland or Scartaglin audiences and has featured in the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival in Castleisland both in on-stage and behind-the-scenes roles.

He has presented lectures and participated in concerts in Scart in the course of the Handed Down series and on World Fiddle Day itself in the village.

Most Accomplished Student

One of Matt’s most accomplished students, Caoimhe Flannery from Rockchapel has also been invited to the event and there she will appear with Matt as well as giving solo performances.

The organisers of the event believe that the 2018 programme is their most ambitious yet for NAFCo in Scotland, with more than 150 events, featuring over 75 artists representing traditions from Scotland to the Baltic, throughout Scandinavia, down to Spain and across the Atlantic from Ireland to Canada, USA, and Mexico, and even Africa and India!

Pop-up Activities

“In addition to extending our free pop-up activities around Aberdeen City, we have doubled our festival programming in Aberdeenshire, reaching from Arbuthnott to Banff and MacDuff, and Braemar to Fraserburgh.

“The beauty of NAFCo is variety of the events – from masterclasses to beginner workshops, dances, demonstrations, talks, film screenings, sessions, tours and so much more, there is something for everyone to enjoy,” according to the organisers.

Lectures and Workshops

“NAFCo takes place every two or three years, and I’ve attended various times over the past number of years,” said Matt Cranitch.

“On these occasions, in addition to presenting lectures and workshops, I’ve performed at the concerts – Aberdeen in 2006 and in St. John’s Newfoundland in 2008 – both with Séamus Creagh and in Derry in 2012 with Geraldine O’Callaghan.

This year, I will also present a paper at the academic conference, as well as doing workshops and playing at the concerts.

Passing on the Tradition

“An added element this time will be that NAFCo has invited one of my students, Caoimhe Flannery from Rockchapel, to perform and partake in the festival, thereby underscoring the importance of the mentor/student dimension in passing on the tradition.

“Caoimhe will play with me at the various concerts, and will also be involved in the workshops, as well as in the Youth Camp. As you know, Caoimhe has played in Scart various times as well as in Castleisland,” said Matt in conclusion.

The NAFCo biogs for Matt and Caoimhe are as follows

Matt Cranitch Aberdeen bound. ©Photograph:John Reidy

Matt Cranitch is renowned as a fiddle-player and teacher at home in Ireland and abroad.

He has performed extensively at concerts and festivals, on radio and television, and has presented many lectures, master-classes and workshops. Author of The Irish Fiddle Book, he has also contributed to other books on Irish traditional music.

Authority on Sliabh Luachra

He has made various albums, the most recent being Rolling On with Jackie Daly. He is an authority on the music of Sliabh Luachra in the south-west of Ireland, and received a PhD from the University of Limerick for his study on the fiddle-playing tradition of this region.

Caoimhe Flannery from Rockchapel playing at Handed Down in Scartaglin. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Caoimhe Flannery is a rising star in the world of Irish traditional music.

With a number of All-Ireland titles to her name, she won the prestigious Fiddler of Dooney junior U-18 competition in 2017. Her music displays a confidence and maturity, as well as depth of feeling that belie her age.

A Fluent Irish Speaker

A native of Co. Cork, she is a keen student of the Sliabh Luachra style and repertoire, and is in regular demand to perform at concerts. She is also a fluent Irish-language speaker. At NAFCo, she will perform with her teacher and mentor, Matt Cranitch, as well as in a solo capacity.

Click for More Information

You can find out more about the event with a click on the link here.


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