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Dublin: 14°C Sunday 20 September 2020

Dublin is to turn into Musictown this month - here are the highlights

We’ve taken a look at the line-up.

Top: Poet Felispeaks. Bottom: John Sheahan and Rachel Croash.
Top: Poet Felispeaks. Bottom: John Sheahan and Rachel Croash.
Image: RollingNews.ie

FROM THIS WEEKEND, the capital has been turned into a town filled with music thanks to a festival involving a range of diverse events.

The 10-day MusicTown – which kicked off on Friday – sees a range of concerts, masterclasses, collaborations and workshops taking place in Dublin until 22 April.

The event, which is organised by Dublin City Council and Aiken Promotions, bills itself as “setting out to explore and celebrate the diverse constellation of music cultures that exist in Dublin City, MusicTown aims to unify the city, making its music relatable and accessible, instilling a sense of pride in Dublin’s musical heritage, whilst welcoming newcomers and visiting artists”.

This year, the overall programme focuses on the themes of collaboration and community.

As to what genres will be covered? Expect everything from opera, choral and contemporary classical to hip-hop, electronic, traditional, folk and rock.

“Through MusicTown Dublin City Council seeks to showcase the best of Dublin’s music while also encouraging new audiences to try new musical experiences,” says City Arts Officer, Ray Yeates

Leagues O’Toole, Creative Director for MusicTown, says that “music is one of the most community-oriented activities I can think of”.

What I love about music is how open a playing-field it is, one where actors, writers, visual artists, literally anyone can get involved. So we thought this year it would be good to meditate on those themes of “community” and “collaboration”.

Programme highlights

We’ve taken a look at the line-up and picked out some of our favourites – but there’s a huge amount on, so do take a look at the full line-up on the MusicTown website.

Tuesday 17 April

  • The Unthanks with the Orchestra of Ireland, conducted by Charles Hazlewood. Tickets €32 www.AbbeyTheatre.ie/01-8787222.

The Unthanks and the Orchestra of Ireland collaborate across two consecutive nights. The Mercury nominated Tynesiders will take a symphonic exploration into their best-loved material, plus new work specially devised for these shows.

  • Word Up Collective presents: Issa Vibe. 7pm Workman’s Club, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 – tickets €10 from www.TicketWeb.ie

Issa Vibe will bring together live music from Loud Motive, JyellowL, Sequence and Verified alongside spoken word from Felispeaks, Sasha Terfous and Dagogo Hart. The night will also feature an art exhibition based around the Issa Vibe theme.

Wednesday 18 April

  • Ficino Ensemble present: The Still Point of the Turning World. 7pm, Assembly Rooms, Irish Georgian Society, 58 South William Street, Dublin 2 – tickets €20 from www.eventbrite.ie

Olwen Fouéré will recite TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, and to accompany this Ficino Ensemble will perform two contemporary string quartet masterpieces: Thomas Ades’ String Quartet Four Quarters and John Corigliano’s Grammy Award-winning String Quartet. Both these works will be performed in Ireland for the first time.

  • Macdara Yeates & The Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society: Are You A Button Man? 8pm, The Sugar Club, Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Tickets €10 plus booking fee from www.sugarclubtickets.com

A collaboration of storytelling, song and instrumental music recounting the tales of Dublin’s former dockworkers. Paddy Nevin, Declan Byrne, Paddy Daly and John Walsh will tell the historic, grueling and comic stories of their many years of service on the Dublin docks. East Wall’s Macdara Yeates will provide songs between stories that are inspired by the Dublin quays.

Friday 20 April 

  • Lisa O’Neill presents Little Birdies, in collaboration with Pat McCabe, Ian Lynch (Lankum) and Cass McCombs. The Abbey Theatre. Tickets €30

County Cavan songwriter Lisa O’Neill has invited writer Pat McCabe and musicians Lynch and McCombs to collaborate with her for this special musical event.

  • The Ark presents: Trad gigs for children – Moxie. 10.15am and 12.15pm, the Ark Theatre, 11a Eustace Street, Temple Bar – tickets €12.50/€9.50 (€5 for schools), ark.ie/ 01-6707788

A series of special concerts for young audiences of all ages. Featuring banjo, guitar, accordion, keyboard and percussion, Moxie are inspired by traditional music and the west of Ireland – with some world and jazz influences too.

Saturday 21 April 

  • John Sheahan and Colm Mac Con Iomaire. The Abbey Theatre. Tickets €30 on sale from AbbeyTheatre.ie

John Sheahan is the last living member of The Dubliners, while Colm Mac Con Iomaire is a solo musician and founding member of the influential experimental trad outfit Kíla and The Frames. One for those who love trad and folk.

  • Tadhg Byrne presents: Sounds of the Diaspora. 8pm, the Sugar Club. Tickets €12.50 and booking fees from www.sugarclubtickets.com

Sounds of the Diaspora is dedicated to the diversity of African and Caribbean music styles and their influence within the Irish music scene today. This concert showcases three artists who explore their musical heritage in melody, rhythm and imagery, while combining it with contemporary musical styles. Ines Khai, Farah Elle and Fehdah will perform.

Sunday 22 April

  • Dublin Choral Foundation present The Teddybear’s Picnic. 12 – 2pm, beginning at South King Street and stopping at South William street, Andrew street, temple bar square, millennium bridge, Italian quarter and finishing at Wolfe tone square.

For this family-friendly event, children aged from seven to 15 along with their favourite teddies and dollies will be joined by adult members of the choir dressed as Dublin ‘characters’. They will make their way through the streets of Dublin performing as they go.

Read: ‘I wanted to humanise this image we have of lads from disadvantaged communities’>

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