Manx Blues Guitarist Davy Knowles to Perform at Yn Chruinnaght

Jamie Smith’s Mabon

This year’s inter-Celtic Manx festival, Yn Chruinnaght, promises a bumper bundle of events during mid July, but to get you in the mood there’ll be a selection of Manx, Irish and Menorcan dance displays in the Mooragh Park and the annual Ian O’Leary Lecture in Ramsey as part of the celebrations for Manx National Week.

Largely based in Peel, the festival provides a great opportunity to hear some talented musicians from both at home and abroad and learn something new, with a number of events free of charge.

Some of the main participants include turbo charged Welsh favourites Jamie Smith’s Mabon, eye-catching international trio The Friel Sisters (Scottish born but purveyors of Irish music) and Breton siblings Eliaz and Meriadeg (aka Ar Vreuder Lorho-Pasco) who specialise as a powerful Biniou-Bombarde partnership; together with Cornish ceili instrumentalists The Brim on a return visit to the Island and talented musicians Frankie and James from the north of England.

The Friel Sisters

But performing for the first time at the festival will be Manx born Blues guitarist, Davy Knowles. An ambassador for this year’s Island of Culture, he’s currently working on his documentary Island Bound, which focuses on connecting the musician with the roots of Manx traditional music.

Many local musicians, singers and dancers will also be featured at various events during the festival, along with workshops, busking by musical youth group Bree and concerts at a cross-section of venues in both Peel and Douglas.
Davy Knowles

New for this year will be Scottish craft worker Ruth Black from Inverness, who will be exhibiting and leading workshops in the art of Celtic knot work embroidery during the final weekend. This will be complemented by an artisan craft fair at the Corrin Hall, focusing on local craft people and food producers. Celtic knot work and tweed gifts produced by Ruth Black will also be available.

The festival will also be acknowledging the 150th anniversary of the birth of world-renowned Manx designer and artist Archibald Knox, with several events designed to link in with the current exhibition Celtic Style at the House of Manannan, and a specially commissioned logo designed in the Knox style by Peel based artist Nicola Dixon.

This year’s Ian O’Leary Lecture will be presented by Yvonne Cresswell of Manx National Heritage on the theme of Archibald Knox and The Deer’s Cry.
New Logo by Nicola Dixon

The festival will close with a collaborative display of music and dance outside the House of Manannan and the official launch of The Mollag Band’s new album Afloat.

Yn Chruinnaght is supported by Culture Vannin, the Isle of Man Arts Council, Manx Telecom and the Manx Lottery Trust.

Further information and details of where to buy tickets for events is available from the festival’s website.

Valerie Caine
© July 2014

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)