A Night of Note and Notes in Scartaglin

Matt Cranitch (left) and Jackie Daly will feature in 'The Man from Kanturk' at the Handed Down, January 23rd show at Scartaglin Heritage Centre from 8pm sharp.
Matt Cranitch (left) and Jackie Daly will feature in ‘The Man from Kanturk’ at the Handed Down, January 23rd show at Scartaglin Heritage Centre from 8pm sharp.

Musicians, singers and patrons from both sides of the Cork / Kerry border will unite under the borderless Sliabh Luachra banner and proceed to Scartaglin on the Saturday night of January 23rd.

There, they’ll take part in the first Handed Down programme of the 2016 series at the cosy heritage centre at 8pm sharp. The night-with-a-difference will be all about Jackie Daly and his life and times will be teased out in interview style by Matt Cranitch.

For many years, Matt Cranitch (fiddle) and Jackie Daly (accordion) have been among the foremost interpreters of the rich Sliabh Luachra tradition of instrumental music. However, they will present an entirely different style of show on the Scartaglin stage on that night.

Unique Cultural Area

The unique cultural area on the borders of Northwest Cork and East Kerry provides a special repertoire of tunes as well as a very distinctive style of playing, and has long been a source of inspiration for both Jackie and Matt.

Through their respective performances over many years, they have established enviable individual reputations in the world of Irish traditional music.

The two men will be well known to Castleisland audiences at the time of the annual Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival. Both for their long attendance records here and for the vibrancy of their musical contributions as part of whatever company they happened to be in.

Now they’re teaming up again for a different class of a gig as part of the rolling, Handed Down series of lectures and recitals at the Scartaglin Heritage Centre on January 23rd.

Life and Times

In this chapter of the series, Jackie’s life and times will be put under the scope by Matt – in a question and answer style presentation. Of course the event with be liberally punctuated by tunes from the pair and it is likely to be a lively affair – and it will be alright to laugh if you want to because I suspect the people around you will be doing likewise.

They will be musically accompanied on the occasion by: Geraldine O’Callaghan, Paul de Grae, Caoimhe and Eimear Flannery and with songs by Tim Browne.

The announcement of the event before Christmas in Scartaglin was greeted with cheers and laughter and a full house is expected on the night.

The words ‘Button Accordion’ and ‘Jackie Daly’ are synonymous in the world of Irish traditional music. Described in the New York Times as ‘probably the best accordionist in Ireland’ Jackie was born in Kanturk, Co. Cork, where he grew up surrounded by the rich music tradition of Sliabh Luachra.

Lifelong Affinity

One of the greatest influences on his early musical development was Ballydesmond fiddle-player, Jim O’Keeffe, a pupil of the renowned Sliabh Luachra fiddle-master, Patrick O’Keeffe. Over the years, Jackie’s lifelong affinity with fiddle-music has resulted in highly-acclaimed albums featuring fiddle and accordion – with the late Cork-based musician Séamus Creagh, with Kevin Burke, and now with Matt Cranitch.

Jackie was a central figure in some of the most dominant groups playing Irish music in recent times. His performances with bands such as: De Danann; Patrick Street; Buttons and Bows; Arcady; Reel Union and Kinvara – will all attest to his wonderful skill and versatility.

However, it is the style and repertoire of the Sliabh Luachra tradition that has made the most significant impression on his accordion-playing – a fact well exemplified through his performances and recordings. He has toured extensively and has also taught.

In 2005, he received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil (National Music Award), and, in 2009, the Kanturk Arts Festival Award.

Matt Cranitch, fiddle-player and teacher

Matt Cranitch is renowned as a fiddle-player and teacher, both at home in Ireland and abroad. He has performed extensively at concerts and festivals, as well as on radio and television, and has presented lectures, master-classes and workshops on various aspects of Irish music.

He has won All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles, as well as The Fiddler of Dooney and Oireachtas Crotty Cup. Author of The Irish Fiddle Book, first published in 1988 and now in its fourth edition, he has also contributed to other books on Irish traditional music.

Currently, he plays with Sliabh Notes, with whom he has recorded three highly-praised albums. Among his other recordings is Éistigh Seal which consists entirely of slow airs.

An authority on the Sliabh Luachra fiddle-style, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Limerick in 2006 for his study entitled ‘Pádraig O’Keeffe and The Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Tradition’.

A long-time consultant for the Geantraí series on TG4, he is also an advisor to the Arts Council Deis scheme for the traditional arts, and has served on the board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive (2007–2010). In 2003, he received the ‘University College Cork Hall of Fame Award’ in recognition of his contribution to Irish traditional music.

A great night’s entertainment is expected in Scart on Saturday week, January 23rd. from 8pm. sharp. Adults €7. Children U-12 €3.

For more information on the Handed Down programme of events for that particular night please click here: http://www.mainevalleypost.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/HD-Jan-23rd-2016.pdf