New sean-nós singer at Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway

It was with delight that Joe John Mac An Iomaire was appointed the sean-nós singer in residence for 2013. Designating this prestigious role to Joe John Mac An Iomaire is a testimony to his valued presence in the rich singing tradition of Connemara and the west of Ireland and his long time association with the art of sean-nós befits his new role.

As part of his new residency at the NUI Galway, Mr Mac An Iomaire will be featured in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies as well as other venues within the Galway region. In addition to these upcoming performances, a selection of his tracks will be recorded to deposit in the sean-nós archive at the Centre for Irish Studies.

Joe John Mac An Iomaire comes from a household steeped in this strand of music. A native of Ros Dugáin, Cill Chíaráin, he remembers his mother singing from a young age, but learned much of his singing from the time-honoured practice of ‘cuartaíocht’ at houses such as that of Seainín Choilmín. Like many of his contemporaries, Mac An Iomaire’s singing is firmly rooted in the repertoire and style of his locale. His voice is instantly recognisable for its sweetness of tone and distinct delivery, and his renditions of ‘An Droighneán Donn’ and ‘Bean a Leanna’ are among his signature performances which featured in TG4’s recent Amhrán is Ansa Liom. ‘Caoineadh na dTrí Mhuire’ is also a favourite and he makes the annual pilgrimage to Maméan each August to sing it as part of the revived pattern there.

Mr Mac An Iomaire won Corn Uí Riada on two occasions (1975 and 1977 ), and he was also successful in Comórtas na bhFear at An tOireachtas in 1968 and again in 1978. He has been invited to sing at festivals throughout Ireland, and indeed, has been an esteemed guest of Conradh na Gaeilge in Boston on many occasions.

The sean13 2013 and are free of charge and open to all. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway.

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