Mayo musicians explore Breton connections for Achill International Harp Festival

Jean-Michel Veillon is one of the Breton musicians taking part in the opening night of the Achill International Harp Festival.

Jean-Michel Veillon is one of the Breton musicians taking part in the opening night of the Achill International Harp Festival.

Achill International Harp Festival are embarking on an exciting new musical venture to open this year’s festival on Friday, October 27. After the success of last year’s commissioned show Sraith Oileán Acla/Achill Island Suite which explored the Achill-Scotland connections, the festival is currently developing another cross-cultural collaboration, this time with a Breton-Mayo theme.

Supported by the Arts Council, this exciting collaboration will highlight the musical crosscurrents between Mayo and Brittany, through explorations of shared cultural heritage, language, tunes, rhythms, songs and more. Brittany, in the northwest of France, is one of the six Celtic cultures, and retains a distinct Breton cultural identity that reflects its history. This collaboration will feature leading lights in Breton music such as Jean-Michel Veillon (flute/bombard ), Clotilde Trouillaud (harp ), Anne Auffret (vocals/harp ), Erwan Menguy (Breton pipes/binioù ), and Erwan Berenguer (guitar ), and some of Mayo’s finest musicians including Laoise Kelly (harp ), Julie Langan (fiddle ), Diarmuid Gielty (fiddle ), and Liam Dever (bagpipes ).

Led by Mayo harper Laoise Kelly and Breton musician Jean-Michel Veillon, both of whom are at the forefront of Irish and Breton traditional music. Kelly, considered the most significant harper of her generation, has pioneered a new style of driving instrumental harping as evidenced in her three critically acclaimed solo CDs.

Jean-Michel Veillon is at the forefront of modern interpretation and development of the Breton musical tradition. He has achieved widespread recognition as one of world’s premier traditional flute players and is widely credited with introducing and popularising the wooden flute in Breton music.

Don’t miss the premiere performance of this exciting collaboration on the opening night of Achill International Harp Festival on Friday, October 27 at The Wavecrest Hotel, Dooagh, Achill. Early booking is advised. Bookings on www.achillharpfestival.ie

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