Cloughjordan Festival Launches Summer School of Music Programme with Mary McPartlan Gig Wed. 26 May

Acclaimed singer Mary McPartlan brings her gloriously earthy mix of trad, folk and the blues to Cloughjordan on Wednesday, 26 May at 8pm in St. Kieran’s Church as part of the launch of the programme for the Cloughjordan Festival Summer School of Music. This year’s Cloughjordan Festival takes place from Friday, 25 June to Saturday, 3 July. The Cloughjordan Festival Summer School of Music takes place from Monday, 28 June to 3 July, finishing with a Grúpa Cheoil performance by students.

UK-based MOJO magazine described Mary McPartlan as ‘A voice that pins you against the wall’, and McPartlan has long been recognised as one of the finest female voices to come out of Ireland. Born in Drumkeerin, County Leitrim, and now living in Galway, Mary started singing in the early 1970s, but it was not until 2004 that she released her critically acclaimed first album, The Holland Handkerchief, which was voted Number One Folk Album of the year by MOJO magazine.

This was followed by her second acclaimed album, Petticoat Loose, in 2008, which celebrated her long association with many of the high profile artists in the traditional music world in Ireland, including Frankie Gavin, Cathal Hayden, and Dervish.

For her 2010 tour, Mary is joined by an imaginative line-up which incorporates the best of traditional music and song mixed with American folk and blues. Rick Epping was born in California but has been travelling back and forth between Ireland and the USA for forty years. He became immersed in traditional music and picked up all-Ireland harmonica titles.

Aidan Brennan was one of our musical emigrants in the 80s and soon became one of the most sought after guitarists in the U.S. playing with the likes of Martin Hayes, Grammy award winner Susan McKeown, Kevin Burke and Loreena McKennitt. He is currently based in Kilkenny.

The Cloughjordan Festival Summer School of Music gives children and adults a chance to develop their musical skills in a lively but relaxed environment with experienced, enthusiastic teachers, many of whom are respected members of Roscrea Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

Featuring five days of classes for beginning and intermediate students, the summer school will wrap up with a Grúpa Cheoil performance suitable for all students, including beginners, on Saturday, 3 July.

Mary McPartlan’s tour has been organised by the Rural Arts Network, which trains and supports individuals and local communities to promote arts and cultural events.

Tickets are €8 and are on sale in advance from Austin’s Centra and Sheelagh na Gig bookshop, Cloughjordan.

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