When Rory Allen sold his flock of 1000 sheep and in their place planted wheat and sugar beet, he had time to pursue his life long passion, music. He started an after dinner session in the drawing room on Saturday nights about 10 years ago and to this day it is as popular as ever. He regularly invites musicians to play with him or hold concerts themselves. These informal evenings developed into Music Weeks twice a year, where guests could come and enjoy a variety of Irish and International music in a very intimate and relaxed setting.
As farming grew quieter, Rory’s enthusiasm to bring music to Ballymaloe got stronger. In 2008 he converted a 17th century farm yard building into a magnificent venue, where very successful concerts have been performed by a number of artists including Moya Brennan and Micheál Ó’Súilleabháin and Zoe Conway.
The next music week shall be held on November 20th to 24th, 2012.
Music will start each evening in the drawing room at Ballymaloe House from around 9.30pm
Tuesday 20th - Pauline Scanlon & Éilís Kennedy, singers from Dingle accompanied by Donogh Hennessy, guitarist.
Pauline Scanlon is an award-winning singer from the same Kerry town of Dingle. She is part of a tradition of Irish female voices from Sinead O’Connor to Enya; all personal interpreters of their physical and spiritual landscape. Scanlon has two critically acclaimed albums to her credit as well as extensive touring experience.
Éilís Kennedy’s sound has ready access to the soul without need for fanfare or spotlight. Éilís performs regularly in County Kerry and is much sought after for her natural and genuine interpretations of songs, both old and new, sung in her native Gaelic and in English.
Donogh Hennessy was born in Dublin. He started playing guitar at about the age of 14. However it wasn’t till he moved to Dingle in west Kerry at 17 that he first started to listen to Irish traditional music. In no time he was hooked and playing sessions 7 nights a week and spending his days learning and writing tunes on the tinwhistle. He moved to Galway 7 years later where he befriended Sharon Shannon, who asked him to join her band. The bass player in the group at the time was a fellow called Trevor Hutchinson. Donogh still loves to play in sessions whenever he’s at home. He has also recorded, co-written and produced both songs and tunes with several other artists.
Wednesday 21st - Pauline Scanlon & Éilís Kennedy, singers from Dingle accompanied by Donogh Hennessy, guitarist. With special invited guests Sinead Casey & Marie Kearney singers from East Cork.
Thursday 22nd - Dave Hennessy, traditional box payer with Mairead Casey, traditional musician.
Dave Hennessy, from Cork, is widely regarded as one of the best player of melodeon, noted for his swing style. He has composed many tunes, many recorded by some of Irelands top players.
Friday 23rd - Frankie Gavin & his band - Michelle Lally on vocals, Barry Brady on the Accordian and Frankie Gavin on the Fiddle
Frankie Gavin is one of the genuine legends of Irish music. From his first TV appearance playing the tin-whistle when he was seven, through All-Ireland Championship victories on both fiddle and flute, sixteen albums with the seminal Dé Dannan, seven solo albums, his adventures in the realms of Jazz, Gospel, and Klezmer, to appearances with such luminaries as Earl Scruggs, Stephane Grapelli, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and The Rolling Stones, ‘the prince of Irish fiddlers’ is one of the outstanding performers of the past thirty years.
Saturday 24th - Rory Allen and friends in the Drawing Room.
We have music events and concerts taking place in Ballymaloe and the Grain Store more and more frequently, please visit the Grain Store for additional upcoming events.