Travel & Tourist Guide to The Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne) - Ireland


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Traditional Irish Music, Singers, & Live Music Venues

The Dingle Trad Sessions

Traditional music is alive and well in Dingle, with numerous sessions taking place throughout the year. On most evenings during the summer at least half a dozen Traditional sessions take place in venues throughout the town. Traditional irish music was originally intended for dancing and on Monday nights in John Benny's comfortable pub opposite the tourist office, you can still find a Traditional seisiún accompanying local dancers performing the lastest sets. Close by, the Marina Inn has a Traditional Sunday session from 6.00pm to 9.00pm where anyone with an instrument is welcome to join in or sing a song. Murphy's Pub and Paudie's Bar in the same street host regular sessions from Ballads and Traditional music to local and visiting entertainers and performers. Other venues include O'Flaherty's Traditional pub, The Small Bridge (in Main Street) and McCarthy's amongst others. Best is to stroll the streets of Dingle around 9.30pm any evening until you find the session for you. Visitors to Ireland often wonder how so many musicians can play together without a written note in sight! And then that other important question: "How do they know when to stop?" Well, Irish music is not all about improvisation. There is a wide range of tunes that many players of Traditional music will have in common and the structure of tunes is also an acquired knowledge. Most Traditional tunes have two parts, some of course have more. But each part is usually played twice up to the end of the tune and then straight back to the start to begin again. A tune may be played 2-4 times like this before one member of the group, usually the one who started the tune, and with a knowing nod or glance towards the other musicians, will dive straight into the next tune, maybe in a different key.

There are a few standard sets of tunes all right, but the real spontaneity of the music is that you never quite know which tune is coming next! There are many Traditional musicians in Dingle and without naming any names we are fortunate to have 4 or 5 resident players of the Uillean pipes (uillean = irish for elbow) the Traditional pipes of Ireland together with accordeon players, Traditional flautists, tin whistle players and players of low whistles, fiddlers, 2 players of the harp, players of mandolin, bazouki and guitar and of course the bodhrán (that's "bough-ron" the irish drum played with a stick). Not to mention Dingle's many Traditional and spontaneous singers. And if after enjoying a session or two in Dingle you and/or your children would like to have a go yourself you would be surprised how much you can learn, even in an hour, at the Dingle Music School in Dykegate Lane, now situated within the wonderful Wren's Nest Coffee House and Garden, where you are always welcome to call in to arrange your lesson, and sample the coffee! .

For more information see or phone John Ryan on 086 319 0438 (mobile) for details of bodhrán and tin whistle lessons and workshops etc. by John Ryan (Dingle Music School)

Damien Mullane

A multi award winning box player hailing originally from London but based in West Kerry for the last number of years. Damien has won the All-Ireland senior title twice and is currently a member of Frankie Gavin's band hibernian Rhapsody.

Eilis Kennedy

Eilis Kennedy comes from West Kerry and has a repertoire of the most beautiful songs of this area and beyond. She has been singing all her life and her Wednesday night session in John Benny's pub is a cult favourite. She has two critically acclaimed albums, Time To Sail and One Sweet Kiss. She is currently in a band called Lumiere with local singer Pauline Scanlon. Their debut album will be released on SONY/BMG this summer.

Dessie Kelliher

Dessie Kelliher is quite simply one of the best Banjo players you'll hear in this country. He has one solo album called banjoed which is an essential for everyIirish Music enthusiast. As well as the Banjo, Dessie also plays mandolin and guitar... incredibly well!

Donogh Hennessy

Donogh is one of the better-known guitarists in contemporary Irish traditional music. He was a founder member of the Irish super group "Lúnasa", for 8 years. His last album was nominated for Folk album of the year 2004 in the BBC Radio 2 Awards. He's currently performing, recording and/or producing with an array of Irelands finest exponents including John Spillane, Pauline Scanlon, Gerry O' Connor, Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin etc, as well as The Mackenzie Project from Cape Breton, Canada

Pauline Scanlon

Pauline is a local girl, she has been singing professionally for the last 10 years. She was a member of the Sharon Shannon band for 4 years and was nominated for a meteor award for her Debut album Red Colour Sun. She has toured and played all over the world in places as varied as Glastonbury, Womad,The Sydney Opera House and The Electric Picnic. She recorded her second album Hush in Nashville and is currently in a band called Lumiere with local singer Pauline Scanlon. Their debut album will be released on SONY/BMG this summer.

Con durham

Con Durham is in possesion of a beautiful old style of traditional piping. He has been playing the sessions in Dingle for years and always brings a wealth of tunes and tradition with him to each one. Originally from Dublin, Con has been living in West Kerry for years and we're lucky to have him.

Mark Crickard

Origianlly from carrickfergus, Mark Crickard has been a mainstay on the session scene in Dingle for Many years now. He comes from a musical family, his brother Philip is also a fine fiddle player. Mark made his debut recording with Donogh Hennessy many moons ago and also has a fine album with guitarist Jon sanders entitled Salsa Summer.

Tommy O'Sullivan

Tommy O' Sullivan is a multi-talented local musician. As well as being a fine singer, Tommy is also one of Ireland's most noted accompaniests. Tommy plays with many of our best known Traditional luminaries, amongst them areSliabh Notes and Paddy Keenan. He has two solo albums, Song Ablaze and Legacy, both of which received rave reviews.

Jon Sanders

Originally from Kent, Jon Sanders is Based jointly in Dingle, Ireland and Auckland, New Zealand, he has co-produced with some of the best irish traditional musicians and singers including accordianist/singer Seamus Begley, singer Mary Black, guitarist and accordiainst Tim Edey,uillean piper Eoin Duignan, singer Geraldine McGowan, violinist Toni Geiling, Lord of the Dance accordianist Liam O'Connor, singer Eilish Kennedy

Eoin Duignan

Eoin Duignan is a piper, whistle player and one of the leading lights of the session scene in Dingle. He is a noted composer and also runs the summer concert series in St James' Church on Main st. His sound and tunes are intantly recognisable and can be heard lilting from the droichead beag all year round.

Aoife Granville

Fiddle and flute virtuoso Aoife Granville is a Dingle Native and a linchpin of the Music scene locally. She is a fine singer, a gifted teacher and a preserver of local traditions such as the fife and drum band and Wren'sday celebrations. She has one remarable album called "Sráid Eoin Shuffle". Her contribution to the musical and cultural vibrancy of the area is of great importance.

Deirdre Granville

A talented harpist, hailing from Dingle, Co. Kerry Deirdre is an accomplished harpist, flautist, and violinist. A first class honours Music graduate (UCC), Deirdre has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, America and Australia and now teaches in Cork. She was a founding member of the Triantán harp ensemble and continues to perform and tour with a variety of ensembles.

Seamus Begley

Seamus plays with an energy that is alarming, belting out jigs, slides and polkas with rapid sprays of ornamentation before making a sudden key change into a bitter-sweet air, sung or played on the accordion. In short, he is the finest exponent of West Kerry dance music.

Peter Miller

I've played in Dingle a few times, It's me on the guitar there! It's my favorite little town. nothing beats playing a few shows in Dingle then on a lazy day off, a nice leisurely drive around the peninsula. Or a nice surf if the winds are right. The musicians in Dingle are some of the friendliest I've met... It's a pleasure to have been able to play there. I hope to return soon!

Ceili House

The Ceili House has been supplying top quality Irish clothing and music from its store in Dingle since 1999. For the last five years it has been at the centre of the Irish Exhibition at the Big E in Springfield, Mass., USA and has created a customer base among it visitors. Many of whom come back loyally every year to shop at the Ceili House USA, with Rugby Shirts and Hoodies big favourites.

Dingle Record Shop

The Dingle Record Shop offers a varied selection of traditional Irish music with special emphasis on local musicians who live around the Dingle Peninsula. We also sell and stock rare, hard to buy, CDs of traditional artists as well as modern popular and contemporary music to accommodate a wide cross section of customers. more ...

Scoil Cheoil An Earraigh

Welcome to the website for Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh, a traditional music school held in Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula (Co. Kerry, Ireland) during February each year. more ...

An Droichead Beag - Traditional Music

An Droichead Beag is proud to present some of the finest musicians in the country - Philip King, (harmonica).Richie Buckley (Saxaphone Player), plays with Van Morrison. Mick Henley, (singer and guitarist),Well known Irish artists; Scullion. James Begley, (Accordian), Steve Cooney, (Guitar and Didgereedoo), Mairead Nesbitt, (Fiddle) more ...

John Benny's - music sessions

John Benny and Éilís have brought their unique and friendly approach to Irish Traditional Music to John Benny's Pub. Among the great musicians and music that perform at our informal sessions, are singers such as Éilís, whose haunting, melodic voice is a direct connection to the traditional culture of a time past. At John Benny's, we infuse our sessions with music and song native to our peninsula. more ...

Benny O'Carroll's

Benny O'Carroll's Ireland represents the best Traditional Irish Music being played in Ireland today.
I am presently putting final touches to my Irish nights of blistering Irish Music in Tralee,Killarney & Dingle for 2008 which will begin at the end of april through to Mid October. more ...

dingle map ireland

The Dingle Record Shop is located opposite Saint Mary's Church, Green Street, in Dingle Town Centre. Here, you will find what is probably one of the smallest Music shops in the world, inviting you to step in and have a look around. Music is in abundance, and Traditional Irish takes centre stage with special promotion given to local musicians, as many of their cd's do not have general distribution. I am proud to be an outlet for them.


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Dingle Peninsula Ireland Holiday & Accommodation Guide
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