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Line Up for the National Concert Hall’s ‘Tradition Now’ Multi-Room Festival Confirmed

26 Feb 2024

Line Up for the National Concert Hall’s ‘Tradition Now’ Multi-Room Festival Confirmed with Performances by John Francis Flynn, Bláth Na hÓige, Ruth Clinton, Niamh Bury, Thomas McCarthy, Edwina Guckian and more

‘Tradition Now’ Festival to feature: John Francis Flynn, Bláth na hÓige, Ruth Clinton, Niamh Bury, Thomas McCarthy, Edwina Guckian and more National Concert Hall – multi-room concerts and informal sessions Friday 3 and Saturday 4 May 2024 Tickets: Friday Concerts €27 | Saturday Concerts €30 | Limited Weekend Ticket for All Concerts €50 On Sale Wed 28 February 10am - NCH Box Office 01 4170000 /

Media Release Monday 26 February 10am  

Today the National Concert Hall is pleased to announce the 13th instalment of its Tradition Now Festival, presented in association with The Arts Council. An immensely popular multi-room bi-annual event celebrating the continual evolution of traditional music whilst honouring its roots, this summer’s Tradition Now Festival features main stage performances by 2024 RTE Folk Award nominees Bláth na hÓige featuring some of Irish best sean-nós singers, together with singer Ruth Clinton who presents songs in the traditional or folk idiom from her new book This Fearless Maid II on Friday 3rd May on the main stage. The evening will see additional concerts taking place in more intimate spaces throughout the NCH featuring artists: English progressive songwriter Jim Ghedi, Passing on the Songs with folk singer and collector Thomas McCarthy and sean-nós dancer Edwina Guckian.

On Saturday 4th celebrated folk singer John Francis Flynn takes to the main stage with additional concerts in smaller venues throughout NCH by artists to include one of the most exciting new voices on the Irish folk scene: Niamh Bury; multi-instrumentalist and singer who has carved out a place as a unique voice in American music Cahalen Morrison, and Dublin based singer and fiddle player Helen Diamond.  Both evenings will be complimented by the NCH’s John Field Room Sessions, creating a relaxed informal atmosphere to enjoy.

Garnering a growing audience since its inception, Tradition Now has developed into an established series showcasing innovation and diversity in traditional music in all its forms while celebrating and championing its roots, heritage and traditions.  

Robert Read, CEO National Concert Hall: “Supporting innovation and exploration in traditional music and the arts plays an important part in our collective shared understanding of Irish identity, heritage and legacy through music, dance and storytelling. We are pleased to partner with The Arts Council in bringing together a diverse and talented line-up for this iteration of Tradition Now which showcases and celebrates the breath of talent in the traditional music of today while looking to the future”.

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council of Ireland: “The traditional music, song and dance of Ireland continues its exciting journey of exploration, collaboration and innovation, while remaining true to its grassroots origins. The traditional arts is a living tradition, with unique regional styles and accents – it has influenced other traditions and has been itself influenced over time. We are delighted that this partnership with the NCH continues to bring rich & diverse traditional music to new audiences.”   


Dublin-based folk singer and multi-instrumentalist John Francis Flynn’s latest album Look Over The Wall, See The Sky has just been nominated for the RTÉ Folk Award Album of the Year. His debut album I Would Not Live Always won great critical acclaim, including being The Guardian and MOJO magazine’s Folk Album Of The Year. He won Best Singer and Best Emerging Artist at the 2021 RTÉ Folk Awards. While supporting Lankum on their 2019 UK tour he caught the eye of Geoff Travis and Jeannette Lee who signed him to Rough Trade imprint label, River Lea. He is also a member of celebrated traditional group Skipper’s Alley.   

Bláth na hÓige is an exciting new song collaboration featuring some of Ireland’s best young singers. Under the musical direction of Síle Denvir and Colm Mac an Iomaire, the Bláth na hÓige ensemble showcases the multi-faceted talents of Caoimhe and Séamus Ó Flatharta, Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich, Cathal Ó Curráin, Megan Nic Ruairí, Piaras Ó Lorcáin and Máire and Étáin Ní Churraoin.  They are nominated for Best Folk Album and Best Folk Group in the 2024 RTE Folk Awards.  

Ruth Clinton is an artist and musician. She is a member of traditional singing group Landless, co-founder of the Sacred Harp Singers in Dublin and also works as a collaborative duo with artist Niamh Moriarty. For Tradition Now, Ruth and Cormac MacDiarmada (Lankum, Poor Creature), Sinead Lynch (Landless) and Consuelo Breschi (Varo, Landless) will present songs from her new book, This Fearless Maid II. Following on from the first volume, published in 2016, this collection presents songs in a traditional or folk idiom, which challenge patriarchal power and feature women in active roles.  

Tradition Now sees Studio performances by Thomas McCarthy and Edwina Guckian on Friday 3 May and Niamh Bury and Cahalen Morrison on Saturday 4 May. Thomas’ concert, titled Passing on the Songs sees the renowned Traveller singer explore the tradition of passing music and song onto the next generations and Edwina will bring her revered dancing - which has seen her share the stage with Altan, De Danann, Dervish and more - to the Studio. The following night, Dublin musician Niamh Bury brings songs from her highly-anticipated new album Yellow Roses to the NCH after a sure-to-be stellar set from Northern New Mexico’s finest export Cahalen Morrison, who is equally at home on guitar, banjo, mandolin, singing three-part harmony or unaccompanied.  

Meanwhile the Kevin Barry Recital Room plays host to Jim Ghedi on Friday and Helen Diamond on Saturday. Jim hails from Sheffield and although clearly well versed in the history of folk music, he stands out as a potential torch bearer for a new generation of respectful yet experimental performers. Helen is a singer and fiddle player from Dublin, her playing is influenced most strongly by the music of South-West Donegal, but also takes inspiration from old-time American music.  

The John Field Room plays host to the beloved John Field Room Sessions over the two nights.  

Tradition Now will continue in the Autumn 2024 at the National Concert Hall. Details to be announced later in the year. 


Friday 3 May
Main Stage:  7.30pm – 8.30pm Ruth Clinton | 9pm -10pm Bláth na hÓige
The Studio: 7pm Edwina Guckian | 9.30pm Thomas McCarthy - Passing the Songs
Kevin Barry Recital Room: 9.15pm Jim Ghedi

Saturday 4 May   

Main Stage: 7.30pm -8.45pm John Francis Flynn
The Studio: 7pm Cahalen Morrison | 9.30pm Niamh Bury
Kevin Barry Recital Room: 9.15pm Helen Diamond

Ticket Information:  

Friday 3rd May – Day Ticket €27 | Saturday 4th May – Day Ticket €30
Limited Weekend Ticket Available (for 3rd & 4th May) €50 - entitles the ticket holder entry to all Tradition Now concerts.
10% Discount for Friends of NCH and Groups of 10 or more.  


Media Queries: Sinead Doyle, Marketing & PR Manager or Roisin Dwyer, PR & Publications Executive, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. (S. Doyle Tel: 087 1775334 / R. Dwyer 085 7129628)          


About the National Concert Hall

The National Concert Hall (NCH) is Ireland’s national cultural institution for music, proudly serving the Irish public since it opened in 1981 through live music performances and significant educational and cultural programmes. Based in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, next door to the picturesque Iveagh Gardens, the NCH is proud home to our National Symphony Orchestra, as well as providing residence for a range of other music organisations including Chamber Choir Ireland, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Music Network, Crash Ensemble and Music Generation. It is currently planning for a major redevelopment of all facilities as part of the National Development Plan and Project Ireland 2040.