With a few days to go, the Kilkenny St. Patrick’s Festival programme is looking pretty packed on the music front.
Instead of lining the streets and venues of Kilkenny this year, we’ll be tuned in online at stpatricksfestivalkilkenny.com with events on St. Patrick’s Day unfolding from 1.30pm.
Given the breadth of the programme, you can start clicking into traditional Irish music performances from Tuesday night in a series curated by uilleann piper Leonard Barry.
Here’s a look at what’s happening and when for St. Patrick’s Day in Kilkenny.
St. Patrick’s Festival Programme 2021 (Music)
All video events can be watched here at StPatricksFestivalKilkenny.com.
Tuesday 16 March
Trad faoi Dhó (part 1) – 8pm
The first part of Trad faoi Dhó (presented in duets) mixes flute, fiddle, pipes, accordion and guitar.
In an hour-long performance, curated by Leonard Barry, you’ll hear and see Colin Farrell and Kevin Crawford (Flute and Fiddle), both members of Lúnasa, their performance coming from the US.
Mick O’ Brien and Ciara Ní Bhriain (Pipes and Fiddle) make a father-and-daughter duo live from Dublin while Mick McAuley & John Doyle (Accordion and Fiddle) add to the local contingent while from Donegal we’ll be treated to Dermot Byrne and Steve Cooney (Accordion and Guitar).
Wednesday 17 March, St. Patrick’s Day
Alize’s School of Singing, 1.30pm – 3pm
Especially for the 2021 St. Patrick’s Festival, the children of the Kilkenny School of Singing have put together a very special performance for you. Led by School of Singing Director and head vocal coach Alize Comerford, the choir have been busily rehearsing and perfecting ‘Ireland’s Call’ which they will bring to you this St. Patrick’s Day.
Orla Fallon, 1.30pm – 3pm
Join harpist, singer and songwriter Orla Fallon for a special performance to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Kilkenny. Fallon is a former member of Celtic Women and the chamber choir Anuna and has performed for the Pope, the President of Ireland and at Carnegie Hall. For a slip-jig Orla will be joined by local Irish dancer Sofia Khodabacksh who attends the Kilkenny Academy of Irish Dance, recorded at Rothe House.
Drum & Dance, 1.30pm – 3pm
Jeremy Hickey & Zahra Khodabacksh drum and dance for Kilkenny’s virtual parade. Hickey, flying the flag here under his R.S.A.G. moniker, is joined by Bennettsbridge student Zahra Khodabacksh for a foot-tapping, heart-beating performance shot under the moonlit Kilkenny Castle.
Robert Grace, 1.30pm – 3pm
Topping the Irish homegrown charts in 2020 with Fake Fine and recently named on RTÉ 2FM’s ‘Rising’ list for 2021, Graiguenamanagh native Grace has put together a special performance of a classic Irish folk song for the St. Patrick’s Day ‘Main Stage’. He’s also just dropped new single The Hurt You Gave Me.
Seo Linn, 1.30pm – 3pm
As part of St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny, Seo Linn (Kev, Daithí, Keith and Stiofán) are delighted to bring you an exclusive viewing of their contemporary take on a traditional classic, “Siúil a Rún.” The video was recorded in the iconic Hole in the Wall bar and venue just off Kilkenny’s High Street.
Nell Ní Chroinín, 1.30pm – 3pm
Nell Ní Chroinín will perform a collection of Sean Nós songs specially for the people of Kilkenny as part of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day programme, recorded n the Medieval Room in Kilkenny Castle.
Luan Parle, 1.30pm – 3pm
With her latest album release Never Say Goodbye out just over a year, Luan Parle joins the St. Patrick’s Festival lineup with a special performance recorded in the Medieval Room of Kilkenny Castle. You can grab a copy of Luan’s album from LuanParle.com.
Music Generation: Rithim Glasa, 1.30pm – 3pm
Composed specially for the St. Patrick’s Festival, Music Generation Kilkenny is thrilled to bring you an original and up-lifting drumming piece based on ‘Ireland’s Call’
Performed virtually by Music Generation Kilkenny musician educators and drumming luminaries Jeremy Hickey (R.S.A.G) Tom Duffy (Rhythmriot) and Mark Colbert (The Remedy Club).
Music Generation: Uilleann Pipe Dreams, 1.30pm – 3pm
Music Generation Kilkenny’s young Uilleann Pipers and international Uilleann Pipers Padraig Butler, Leonard Barry and Mick Foley will be putting on a very special Uilleann Pipe performance, accompanied by 12 young pipers from the Music Generation Kilkenny Uilleann Pipe Programme.
Produced by Music Generation Kilkenny in partnership with Na Píobairí Uilleann and the Kilkenny Pipers Club.
Nicholas Dunphy, Sean Nós Dancing 1.30pm – 3pm
Sean Nós dancer and Comhaltas member, Nicholas Dunphy performs at the Medieval Mile Museium, accompanied by Seo Linn’s Kevin Shortall on button accordion.
Burnchurch, 1.30pm – 3pm
Performing original songs as Gaeilge agus as Béarla, brother-and-sister quartet Burnchuch – Sadhbh, Síofra, Éanna and Ruarí Ó’Casaide – perform a specially produced and recorded set for this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival in Kilkenny.
Lady Desart Choir, 1.30pm – 3pm
The music-loving fun-loving Lady Desart choir, who welcome anyone with a love of singing and performance with others, have produced a fun video for St. Patrick’s Day. With an operatic feel, this performance of ‘Ireland’s Call is fun and engaging, streaming as part of the afternoon lineup for the St. Patrick’s Festival.
WolfWalkers with Kíla in concert, 4-5pm
As the crew from Cartoon Saloon bask in the glow of multiple nominations and award wins for their latest feature film, WolfWalkers, they are taking time out from the virtual red carpet to play their part in Kilkenny’s celebration of our national holiday in their hometown of Kilkenny.
WolfWalkers draws heavily on the rich Irish mythology, folklore and landmarks readily available in Kilkenny. Scenes from the film will provide the backdrop during this very special performance by musical partners Kila, who teamed up with Cartoon Saloon’s regular composer Bruno Coulais for the third time to create the soundtrack to the film.
The event is available for free, worldwide all thanks to the event partners Kilkenny County Council, St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny, Cartoon Saloon, Kíla and Culture Ireland.
Trad faoi Dhó (Part 2), 8pm
Closing out this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival in Kilkenny as the second part of a specially-commissioned gig with traditional musicians from across Ireland and the UK. Featuring some of the best-loved traditional musicians it is the perfect way to close St. Patrick’s Day and celebrate our musical tradition and heritage.
On the bill for part two are Tommy Fitzharris & Donal McCague (whistle & fiddle), Leonard Barry and Declan Folan (pipes and fiddle), Muireann MacAomhlaigh & Gerry O Byrne (flute, vocals and guitar) and Michael McGoldrick with Dezi Donnelly (flute and fiddle).
How to watch St. Patrick’s Festival events in Kilkenny
Watching is easy – get yourself to the St. Patrick’s Festival YouTube channel or here on StPatricksFestivalKilkenny.com to find trailers, the scheduled performances and playbacks.