Rhiannon Giddens’ Prism: Denise Chaila, Emer Mayock, Niwel Tsumbu

Sunday 10th October 2021

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Denise Chaila, Emer Mayock, Niwel Tsumbu
Hosted by Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi

Grammy and MacArthur award winner Rhiannon Giddens curates and hosts two evenings at NCH in this new occasional series creating evenings exploring her musical and cultural insights.

Coming to mainstream attention with her 2020 hit single ‘Chaila’, the Limerick rapper Denise Chaila went on to take home Ireland’s highest music award, the Choice Music Prize album of the year award for her debut mixtape ‘Go Bravely’. That a mixtape was named album of the year is emblematic of Chaila’s penchant for challenging stereotypes and deliberately flouting convention.

Rejecting the tropes that society attempts to assign is child’s play to Chaila; favouring kings, pharaohs and fantastical creatures as aspirations above queens and princesses. Call her a diva, a prima ballerina, but she’s still on point. As The Guardian wrote when they named Denise as one to watch in February 2021, “With deft, immersive production, Chaila’s slick delivery shines through, her voice exuding confidence amid rap brags and references to mythology, mental health and being “the black James Bond”.

Emer Mayock is a musician and composer from Co. Mayo. She began to play traditional music during her childhood on a range of instruments including the flute, uilleann pipes and fiddle. She has released two acclaimed albums ‘Merry Bits of Timber’ and ‘Playground’ - the latter continuing her interest in writing new music.

She has performed with countless traditional musicians including Paddy Glackin, Mícheál Ó Domhnaill and Sligo musician Peter Horan as well as travelling widely performing traditional music, her own compositions and forming collaborations with musicians from other musical traditions most notably with Breton flautist Jean-Michel Veillon. Other selected collaborations have included recordings and concerts with the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, Italian baroque ensemble il Giardino Armonico, jazz musicians Francesco Turrisi & Nick Roth, Bulgarian Kaval player Theodosii Spassov and more recently with Rhiannon Giddens.

Niwel Tsumbu has established himself as one of the most engaging and innovative musician in constant demand by his contemporaries. With three albums under his belt, countless national and international concerts performed thus far he has developed an enviable reputation as a masterfully elegant and fluent guitarist, vocalist, musician, collaborator and composer. He has performed with the finest Irish and international musicians such as Sinead O’Conor, Liam O’Maonlai, Buena Vista Social Club and many more.

Presented by NCH
Supported by Davy as Innovation Partner


Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media ​​​​