FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mike Mullins
Tionól celebrates 22 years of bringing the best traditional Irish music to St. Louis
ST. LOUIS, April 12-14 – Some of the world’s top traditional Irish musicians will be gathering in St. Louis over the weekend of April 12-14 for the 22nd annual St. Louis Tionól, a three-day musical celebration that includes educational workshops and concerts at the Focal Point in Maplewood and the Sheldon Concert Hall.
Pronounced “chun-awl,” tionól is the Irish word for a gathering and it describes the coming together from all over North America and Ireland of musicians intent on sharing their interest in the traditional music of the Celtic regions—music that came to North America with the first settlers and has grown into native genres such as old-time and bluegrass. As people have become interested in their roots and had their hearts and minds captured by productions such as Riverdance and various singing groups, they’ve sought out the sources of that music and song in order to make it their own.
By bringing together world class performers and teachers and hosting workshops, concerts and jam sessions, Tionól provides a much needed link and pathway to pass along a tradition that many want to claim. With a total attendance of more than 3,000 since its inception, the St. Louis Tionól has become the event in the Midwest for lovers of traditional Irish music.
The highlight of the St. Louis Tionól will be a concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall showcasing our teachers who hail from Ireland and across North America.
The Saturday (April 13) concert begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available through Metrotix (metrotix.com, 314-534-1111) or at the door. Children 12 and under are free.
Workshops will be held Saturday (April 13) at St. Louis University High School. The day-long workshops are an excellent opportunity for those who have always wanted to learn the penny whistle (tin whistle) or bodhrán (Irish drum). No experience is needed and you don’t need to be able to read music. The workshops also provide an outstanding opportunity for more experienced musicians to improve their technique and learn new tunes from the masters.
This year’s roster of teachers includes James Kelly and Colin Farrell, two of the more renowned fiddle players on the traditional scene. They will be joined by composer Michael Rooney, one of the foremost Irish harp players and the recipient of TG4 Composer of the Year in 2017. Joining Michael is his wife June McCormack, a well-known flute player in the iconic Sligo style.
The St. Louis Tionól also is delighted to have Joanie Madden, the Grammy Award-winning whistle and flute player from Cherish the Ladies, come in for the weekend. She will be joined by two of the Tionól’s favorite raconteurs, John Skelton and Mairtín de Cogain, who will keep things lively.
A central part of the weekend will be the iconic “sound of Ireland”, the uilleann (pronounced ‘illin”) bagpipes which have recently been placed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Guest pipers will include Mick O’Brien, Benedict Koehler, Caoihmín O Feargail, and Kieran O’Hare. Brenda Castles will be coming in to teach concertina. Tommy Martin, a St. Louis pipemaker and long-time piper with Celtic Women, will be teaching reedmaking, essential for playing the uilleann pipes. And of course, there will be classes in Bodhrán with Chris Weddle and Jim Wenham and guitar with Keith Reins. The Tionól includes several other workshops, all of which can be seen on tionol.org.
More information, including a schedule of all events, online workshop registration, and concert tickets can be found at tionol.org. To register by phone, call 636-926-9192.
For additional information, or to schedule an interview with Tionól musicians, please contact Mike Mullins at [email protected] or 314-578-1333.