Musical highlights from this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival


Kilkenny Arts Festival will welcome some of its favorite artists back to the Marble City this August.

Bassekou Kouyate will perform at Set Theater on August 10th. It was not used as a lead instrument, but ngoni master Bassekou Kouyate subverted that tradition.

His award-winning debut album Segu Blue revolutionized the way the instrument was played, and since then Kouyate has gone from strength to strength, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums and collaborating with everyone from Youssou N’Dour to Damon Albarn. He has twice been named Best Artist at the Songlines Music Awards. At this show, Kouyate was joined by his wife, Amy Sacko, a well-known Griot singer, and his band Ngoni ba. Comprised of a group of outstanding musicians on engonis and percussion, the orchestra embodies Kuyate’s fresh approach to tradition, effortlessly fusing traditional Marí sounds with Cuban rhythm, rock and blues.

Another highlight is This Is The Kit – a musical project by Kate Stables, who is praised for her pure voice and songwriting skills.

This is Kit will perform at St Canice’s Cathedral on August 14 as part of this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival. For fifteen years, Stables has been honing her original approach to alternative folk, releasing a series of acclaimed album and gave an ecstatic live review show.

Another festival favorite is Lisa O’Neill who will perform at St Canice’s Cathedral on Friday 16th August at 7.30pm.
Lisa O’Neal’s latest album, All of This Is Chance , was greeted with enthusiasm upon its release last year, and fans of O’Neal’s work know that none of this was an accident.

Since the release of his debut album in 2009, O’Neal has earned a loyal following for his evocative storytelling and raw, haunting voice. Whether reinventing folk standards or performing his own compositions, O’Neal grabs a song by its neck and makes it his own. Her skills are getting better and better and her performance in the stunning St. Canice Cathedral is certainly not to be missed.

One of Ireland’s most acclaimed artists, legendary singer and songwriter Mick Flannery, will perform at Set Theater on 16 August. His technique and unique blend of folk, rock and blues rival the great American singer.

Last year, his eighth studio album Goodtime Charlie went straight to No. 1 on the independent charts.

For the full line-up and event programme, visit kilkennyarts.ie

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