The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo) will be the largest musical event in the north west this year as hundreds of musicians, dancers, academics and plain music loving people flock to Derry and Donegal over the last week in June to participate in the first NAFco convention to be held in Ireland.
NAFCo is a celebration of all things related to fiddle music and there will be workshops, concerts, discussions, films, exhibitions, masterclasses, lectures, ceilis, a festival club and lunchtime concerts taking place throughout the city of Derry and in various parts of the county of Donegal.
One of the eagerly anticipated highlights of NAFCo will be a guided bus tour that leaves Derry on the morning of Saturday 30th June and travels south to take in some of the more famous places associated with fiddle music in Donegal. Leading the tour will be fiddle players Dermot Diamond, originally form Belfast but now resident in Dublin and Raphoe man, Martin McGinley. A frequent visitor to south Donegal where he teaches during the fiddle week in Glencolumcille, Dermot is Professor of Chemistry in Dublin City University . Martin is well known as the editor of The Derry Journal but his prowess as a fiddle player has spread his name near and far. Glenties musicians Vincent, Jimmy and Peter Campbell will be on hand to play a few tunes for those taking the tour which will include a lunch stop in Glencolmcille.
The bus will then make its way to the Highlands Hotel where later that evening at 8pm Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh, founder member of Cairedean na bhFidileiri and highly regarded chronicler of Donegals musical history, will introduce an evening of fiddle music and dance entitled “Strathspey Stories” with contributions from Tommy Peoples, Ciaran O Maonaigh and Aidan O’Donnell, Paddy McMenamin, Ann Connaghan, Visiting musicians with include fiddle player Paul Anderson, singer and harper, Mary Ann Kennedy, the piper Fin Moore along with dancer Caroline Reagh from Scotland, From Cape Breton in Canada where fiddle, piano and dance are supreme come Andrea Beaton, Janine Randall and sisters, Dawn and Margie Beaton. This looks set to be a truly memorable international gathering in Glenties and the music in the Highlands Hotel will last long into the night as there is a pass the fiddle session planned for later that same evening.
The Cape Breton musicians scheduled to play in the Highlands Hotel on Saturday 30th will be giving a free lunchtime presentation on their music and styles of playing and traditional dance in the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey at 1pm.
Irish music legends The Chieftains are the guests of honour chosen to bring the curtain down on NAFCo on Sunday July 1st when they play the Plaza, Buncrana at 8pm with support from the Danish female fiddle trio Fiolministeriet. Earlier that day in Letterkenny there will be a free lunchtime concert in the Regional Cultural Centre, Port Road featuring Canadian musicians Pierre Schryer and his trio and the old time/bluegrass sensations Oh My Darling.
For more information check out:
www.donegalgathering.com and information from 048 71 375134.