There'll be Manx music both at home and away later this month, as the festival season gets into full swing, with opportunity to enjoy contributions from many of our Celtic neighbours.
Based predominantly in Ramsey and now in its eighteenth year, Shennaghys Jiu will have a programme of concerts, ceilis, music sessions and workshops. Irish musicians Achrann, who are Fleadhanna competitors and medal winners, have joined forces especially for their Shennaghys Jiu debut. Joining them on stage will be the highly acclaimed Kilcummin Set Dancers, displaying a mixture of Irish dances, including the amazing brush dance! Currently reigning world and All Ireland champions, they have toured extensively in Europe.
Additionally, the festival includes musicians Ross Hull and Cameron Grant, who met as members of the North East Folk Collective and then progressed to the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, before forming as a duo whilst studying on the Isle of Benbecula; playing their music across Scotland. They will be joined by fellow musician Christian Gamauf, who will inject some distinctive Cape Breton sounds into their performance.
Local musicians will include singer and guitarist Adam Melvin (previous winner of the Young Singer/Songwriter of Man) who's working on a new EP, and the mighty Mollag Band, with their profound view of life.
Look out too for the Schools Art Exhibition in Ramsey Town Hall.
Meanwhile, the forty fifth Pan Celtic International Festival returns to Carlow in the sunny south-east of Ireland, with a colourful spectacle of dancers, singers and musicians from the Celtic Diaspora.
Its aim is to promote the modern Celtic languages, culture and artists from the six Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and of course the Isle of Man.
Known for its strong, competitive focus, a number of main events will place at the Seven Oaks Hotel, including the Pan Celtic International Song Contest. This year the Island will be represented in the competition by local band Glashtyn (a goblin or sprite from Manx folklore) with their composition Pynt dy Lhune (A Pint of Beer). But Island duo Adhene will also compete in the competition for a new song in traditional style, with their song Awin Auldyn (Auldyn River). In recent years the Isle of Man has been very successful in competition alongside its larger, Celtic cousins.
Other events during the festival include street performances, club nights, an open-air ceili and a choral concert at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow.
There's also a range of fringe events, involving food and craft markets, sport, classes and workshops.
Successful local band Mec Lir will also be making a welcome return to the festival, with their contemporary interpretation of Manx music putting the Island at the forefront of the traditional music scene.
© March 2016
(Courtesy of Manx Tails)