Workshop/Masterclass - Trad Trailblazers Dermot Byrne, Brian Finnegan, Kathleen MacInnes & Mike Vass

11 August 2015

Workshop/Masterclass with Trad Trailblazers Dermot Byrne, Brian Finnegan, Kathleen MacInnes and Mike Vass

Presented by Waltons New School of Music & Music Network
Supported by The Arts Council

Where: Waltons New School of Music, 69 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
When: Wednesday, 9 September, 6 – 7.30 pm
Fees: €14 (under-18s) €20 (over-18s, including the group’s Sugar Club performance on 8 September – see below)


Dermot Byrne, Brian Finnegan, Kathleen MacInnes and Mike Vass – four Irish and Scottish trad trailblazers coming together for the first time in a specially-curated Music Network line-up – are touring Ireland in September, and Waltons New School of Music and Music Network will present a unique workshop/masterclass with these extraordinary musicians on Wednesday, 9 September!

For the first hour participants will work with the musicians in separate groups, and for the last 30 minutes the musicians will come together to perform and answer questions.

For participants aged 18 and over, admission to this masterclass/workshop also includes a ticket (normally €20) to the group’s performance at The Sugar Club the evening before (Tuesday, 8 September).

Musicians and singers interested in participating should have at least two years’ playing or singing experience. To take part, please download a One-Off Workshop & Masterclass Booking Form here, indicate the group you would like to attend (see below) under ‘special interest’ and bring or send your form to the school, along with the fee.

Early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, as the number of participants is strictly limited.


Dermot Byrne – Building Repertoire
This group – for button accordion, concertina and piano accordion players – will focus on learning interesting and unusual new repertoire, and Dermot advises participants to bring along recording devices so they can take home tunes to learn.  He will also take time to answer their questions and queries regarding playing technique, etc. 

Brian Finnegan & Mike Vass – Making It Your Own
This group – open to all instruments – will begin with a fast track session of learning a tune that the class will then play until it is familiar. We will then explore together the many ways of colouring melody, working a little on variation, harmony and improvisation, as well as how to arrange a tune and have fun stretching the instrument and the player into an exciting new musical space!  We will also work on listening to and learning to trust other players in a group dynamic.

Kathleen MacInnes – Hebridean Gaelic Songs
Kathleen will teach participants in this group a variety of Gaelic songs from the Hebrides, including puirt à beul (mouth music), òran luaidh (waulking songs, traditionally sung while ‘waulking’ or beating newly woven tweed cloth rhythmically against a table or similar surface to soften it), vocal dance music and songs related to particular themes such as love or the sea.


The Group
If you haven’t caught award-winning singer Kathleen MacInnes live before, you’re in for a real treat. On stage the Hebridean songbird is a natural, sharing a joke one minute then breaking hearts the next with a soulful, earthy voice that lingers with the listener long after the last note has been sung. A regular performer at the prestigious Celtic Connections festival, in 2010 Kathleen’s singing reached audiences worldwide after being featured in Ridley Scott’s film Robin Hood. Her musical co-conspirators combine creativity and virtuosity in equal measure. Best known for his work with Altan, legendary box player Dermot Byrne has collaborated with everyone from The Chieftains and Sharon Shannon to The Stunning and Stephane Grappelli. Founder member of ground-breaking acts Flook and Kan, flute and whistle player Brian Finnegan has also performed with such stellar artists as Cara Dillon, Kate Rusby and Russian group Aquarium, while Scottish guitar and fiddle maestro Mike Vass, a recipient of the prestigious ‘Composer of the Year’ at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, has toured extensively with leading Scots song band Malinky.

Kathleen MacInnes • voice
Dermot Byrne • accordion 
Brian Finnegan • flute/whistle
Mike Vass • guitar/fiddle

More Information here