West Ocean String Quartet, Buttons & Bows and Coirm (Irl)

Saturday 9th January, 8pm

An Grianán Theatre

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event the Regional Cultural Centre and An Grianán Theatre are once again presenting Letterkenny Trad Week from January 9th to 15th 2016. It features a feast of folk and traditional music from Ireland and Scotland that should help chase away those post-Christmas/January blues.

The feature event this year is an evening of music with the great Letterkenny fiddle player Seamus McGuire and will feature special guests Buttons and Bows, the West Ocean String Quartet and Coirm. It promises to be a very special night!

Buttons and Bows


Album of The Year 2015 – The Chicago Irish American News and Live Ireland Awards

“When the McGuire brothers pick up their fiddles, the rest is pure bliss; close your eyes and this dreadful world seems bearable. Fiddle and box-playing of the highest order..”
– Cathal Mac Coille, reviewing Gracenotes by Buttons & Bows

This influential foursome – made up of Seamus, his brother Manus McGuire, Jackie Daly, and Garry O’Briain – began its days in the early 1980s with sessions in Kinvara, Co Galway, fuelled by a shared taste for musical adventure.

Though their roots are firmly planted in their beloved Irish traditional music, their travels have seen Buttons & Bows incorporate graceful Quebecois waltzes, lively Danish quadrilles and achingly beautiful Shetland airs.

Their long-awaited fourth album, “The Return of Spring”, was released to critical acclaim in Summer 2015. A remarkable collection of ancient gems and recently-composed material, the new album was described as “a treasure trove of trad and contemporary tunes” by Siobhán Long, The Irish Times, 10.7.15

The West Ocean String Quartet

Founded in 1999, the WOSQ features Seamus McGuire alongside regular Donegal visitor Neil Martin (cello), Niamh Crowley (violin) and Ken Rice (viola).

Their music, most of it written and arranged by Neil Martin, lies somewhere between the worlds of classical and traditional music. Donegal has always been very close to the music of the Quartet – the song cycle for Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill and the Quartet, Oileán na Marbh, and the suite for quartet and guitar Droichead na nDeor being two examples.

Collaborations on stage and in the studio include, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Liam O’Flynn, Matt Molloy, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill and Brian Kennedy.

Their fourth and latest CD ‘An Indigo Sky’ (2013) won The Irish Times Trad CD of the Year 2013. Sell-out performances include Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and they were part of the star-studded bill at this year’s historic Ceiliúradh for President Michael D Higgins at the Royal Albert Hall London.

For this concert theWOSQ will pay homage to two giant Irish literary figures.

Neil Martin, the Belfast cellist and composer, arranged Thomas Moore’s Oft in the Stilly Night for his friend, the playwright Brian Friel. This was one of Brian Friel’s favourite pieces of music, and was sung at his graveside in Glenties in October 2015.

Neil also arranged the beautiful Irish air, Sean O’Duibhir a’ Ghleanna, for the West Ocean String Quartet. It was one of the pieces performed by Neil at Seamus Heaney’s funeral in September 2013.

The quartet will also perform Neil Martin’s arrangement of Thomas Moore’s The Minstrel Boy, the piece performed by the quartet at The Royal Albert Hall, London during the Ceiliúradh concert which celebrated the historic visit of President Michael D Higgins to the United Kingdom in April 2014.


Last year the young musicians of Coirm premiered a new composition by Seamus McGuire, The Curlew’s Call. We are delighted to have them back again this year. Coirm is the performance group from the Ceol na Coille – School of Irish Traditional Music.

Trad Week 2016

Sat 9 January at 8pm
An Evening with Seamus McGuire
An Grianán Theatre
Tickets €18/ €14, Family of four €50