Cavan Town CCÉ will host its eagerly antipcated Ed Reavy Traditional Music Festival this weekend - from October 19-21
Since its inauguration in 2015 the event to celebrate the music of Ed Reavy has established itself as the biggest trad event in the county town. This year’s festival will feature many visiting and local musicians, singers and dancers, with CD launches, masterclasses, music and singing sessions and set dancing céilithe.
Born in Barnagrove, Cootehill in 1898, Ed emigrated to Philadelphia in 1912 where he lived till his passing in 1988. An outstanding fiddler and composer of traditional dance tunes, it is estimated that he wrote between 400 and 500 tunes, of which 127 have been preserved in notational form. His compositions include such favourites as “In Memory of Coleman”, named for the inspirational Sligo fiddler, “The Hunter’s House”, “Maudabawn Chapel”, and “Lovely Lough Sheelin”.
The festival commences on Friday night 19th in the Meadow View Inn, with flute player and Killeshandra native, Céin Sweeney and fiddler Dylan Carlos playing a selection of tunes from their forthcoming CD.
The Saturday night concert, in the Cavan Crystal Hotel, features headline act Garadice, who will launch their new CD ‘Garadice’ – the band was formed out of the nucleus of musicians from the acclaimed Leitrim Equation project, and consists of Eleanor Shanley on vocals, Pádraig McGovern on uilleann pipes, concertina and whistle, Dave Sheridan on flutes, button accordion and keyboard and John McCartin on guitar. Supporting artists include the Breffni Trad Orchestra, the Cavan Fiddlers with Antóin MacGabhann, the winner of the senior fiddle competition, All Ireland winning Cavan Town CCÉ members, and Cavan native Gráinne Brady, who will perform a number of selections from her new CD ‘The Road Across the Hills’.
A number of workshops with world-class tutors will take place throughout the weekend in the Cavan Crystal - see details in advert below.
The 3rd Ed Reavy International Fiddle Player of the Year senior and junior competitions will take place on Saturday afternoon, with entrants travelling from all over the country. The senior winner will secure a cash prize of €1,000 along with the fabulous Perpetual Trophy which has been kindly donated to the festival committee by Dermot Walsh “In Memory of Martina”, his wife who sadly passed away in 2017. Previous winners of this prestigious competition are Sarah O’Gorman (Waterford) and Méabh Smyth (Armagh) – Méabh has recently launched a CD along with her brother Tiarnán, and they will also feature in the Saturday night concert. The winner of the junior (U-16) category will receive a cash prize of €200 plus a €100 voucher for Meitheal Summer School 2019, thanks to co-ordinator Garry Shannon.
At 5.30pm in Cavan Crystal on Saturday Antóin MacGabhann and Marcas O’Murchú will speak about Ed Reavy, his life and his importance. A number of musicians will perform their “Favourite Reavy Tune”, and speak briefly as to what makes this tune so special for them. Other events during the weekend include a “Pop-Up Gaeltacht” on Sunday afternoon and a singing session in the Meadow View on Sunday at 6pm.
Thanks to Cavan County Museum and its curator, Savina Donohoe, an exhibition on music and musicians past and present will be on display throughout the weekend.
In conjunction with the festival, the set dancing event Dancing in the Drumlins will run in the Backyard, under the direction of Marian and Terri Crowe (see advert below for details).
The festival committee would like to thank main sponsor EirGrid, and also Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Meitheal, Cavan County Council, Poles Co-Op, Declan Sheridan at the Meadow View, and Creative Ireland Network.
Cavan Town CCÉ have also been supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council.