PICK OF THE WEEK
KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL FINALE On Sunday, the Kilkenny Arts Festival stages a grand finale with this concert. Its official duration is three hours (unlike a Kilkenny GAA match, expect extra time to be added).
This is actually a great idea that KAF has devised – it gathers all the available performers at the festival’s final weekend, places them under the curated guidance of a seasoned (and admin-efficient) musician, and says goodbye to the festival in a classy supergroup-style ensemble show.
Martin Hayes is the MC/mentor, but if you think he’ll just be making small talk and introducing the guests, think again. Hayes will be in the thick of it, as he conducts and collaborates with the likes of his good friends (and Gloaming bandmates) guitarist Dennis Cahill and vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird.
Music predominates here – expect further guest slots, creative dovetailing and the swapping of instruments from the likes of US Americana/ roots expert Ricky Skaggs, UK folk act The Unthanks (sisters Becky and Rachel, above) and associated members), Hindustani jazz pianist Utsav Lal, US singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, Kentucky fiddle player Liz Knowles, jazz clarinettist Doug Wieselman, and Irish uileann piper/composer David Power. Factor in NYC-based Irish poet, Paul Muldoon, and you have an equally potent and lyrical conclusion to one of Ireland’s most loved arts events. Tony Clayton-Lea