Zoë Conway is inspired by Donegal fiddle tradition

Wednesday December 12, 2018

ON Tuesday, January 22, 2019 the RCC will host a double delight of duos in husband and wife Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, as well as Seamus McGuire and John Lee for this year’s Letterkenny Trad Week (January 19 to 27).

The week-long festival features a great mixture of new talent on the rise, stalwarts of Irish and other Celtic traditional music, as well as a Grammy-nominated bluegrass band from the United States.

Together, Zoë (fiddle) and John (guitar) have been described as simply one of the best folk duos on the planet (BBC), and audiences in Ireland and beyond keep coming back for more.
The husband and wife duo have enjoyed one of their busiest years ever in 2018 and just recently returned from performing at Birmingham TradFest.

“It was a really nice festival and very easy going. We are surprised at the amount of people that had actually travelled from Ireland to attend the festival.”

The couple will be kicking off what promises to be an ever busier year with a performance at Letterkenny Trad Week. For now they are also busy organising their own annual event, Féila na Tána, which takes place in Carlingford, Co Louth from February 1 to 3.

“We’ve had some amazing musicians come to our festival to perform and teach during the day over the years and have another stellar lineup for the 2019 festival.

“We’re very lucky to have this music and everything we do, whether it’s touring or putting on this festival, is all about promoting traditional music,” said Zoë.

John and Zoë will continue to tour a lot in 2019 travelling to places all around Europe and America. She said: “We are getting so many amazing opportunities. It’s a very busy time for us and it’s an unusual job, but John and I really love the touring.”

Zoë and John released a new album with Scottish singer Julie Fowlis and her husband Éamon Doorley entitled Allt. Recorded live in the round featuring the four musicians, the album has been getting great reviews

Looking forward to performing as part of Letterkenny Trad Week, Zoë said she was always drawn to Donegal traditional music.

She said: “The fiddle music tradition in Donegal, in particular, has always been so strong and I’ve always always taken inspiration from it, even before going there with John.”

Zoë said when she first came to Donegal with her now husband John who has strong connections to the county, she was amazed at how many tunes she didn’t know.

“It just shows you what a huge repertoire of fiddle tunes there is in Donegal and I was just blown away by that. I know a lot more these days,” she laughed.

In celebration organisers are delighted offer a special ‘Early Bird’ package, an ideal stocking filler for any trad music fan this Christmas, which includes all six concerts for only €75. The Letterkenny Trad Week ‘Early Bird’ package will only be available until Friday, December 21.

All concerts begin at 8pm. For ticket bookings or further information go to the home page or call An Grianán Theatre Box Office on Tel +353 (0) 7491 20777.