Steve Cooney

Posted on

“Master Cooney restores the ancient link between lyre and lyric, between poetry and performance, the rhapsody and rascality.” – Seamus Heaney

Since moving to Ireland from Melbourne Australia, in 1981 Stephen Cooney has made a meteoric impact on traditional music in this country. Testament to this are the seminal groups and albums that Cooney has contributed to from Sharon Shannon’s first record to his current work with Luka Bloom. For the last 6 years Steve has contributed greatly to the Guitar Festival, hosting a series of workshops & performances. Last years performance saw Steve perform a never before seen show with two percussionists & his electric guitar which still hangs in the air as one of the special highlights of the fest to date with this years performance set to eclipse them all!

Workshop  Steve returns to give his now-legendary seminars at the guitar festival.  In response to incredible demand, we’ve allocated extra time for Steve to share his unparalleled knowledge of a wide range of music.  Last year’s workshop was one of the festival’s secret gems as Steve illustrated his unique and accessible way of notating music and creating harmony for backing melodies



Posted on

“ … glorious technicolour hues that transcend linguistic boundaries; world music for a new world.” Siobhán Long, Irish Times.

One of the most accomplished songwriters in the country today, award winning trad/folk poet John Spillane continues to redefine musical boundaries with his own unique style of playing and songwriting which he likes to call ’Sean Nos Blues’. In the last 15 years John has released 9 award winning albums, penned top ten hit singles, had his music covered by the likes of Christy Moore and also recorded a groundbreaking TV series ‘Ceolcuairt’ for TG4 which saw John visiting Senegal and playing with native Senegalese musicians such as Baba Maal & CHEIKH LO.

While as a songwriter John’s talent is often acknowledged his guitar playing too is of distinct merit and fuses trad and folk finger picking with elements of world music and the Blues. He is endorsed by Rodriguez Guitars one of only two endorsements they have issued in Ireland.

John brings his Meteor Award-winning skills and many years experience of teaching the craft of songwriting to bear on these perennially popular workshops. Starting by forging a space where all negativity and criticism is banished outright, John teaches techniques of imagery, rhyme and rhythm to help unlock the gems of musical poetry that we all have hidden inside us! Book ahead as these workshops usually fill up fast.