Concertina Concerts Cormac Begley & Jack Talty

Jack Talty and Cormac Begley opening their concert in Het Turfschip

Jack Talty and Cormac Begley opening their concert in Het Turfschip

Last September, organised an unique concert series in The Netherlands. Cormac Begley and Jack Talty – the renowned concertina duo from Ireland – gave two intimate concerts at two different locations in the Netherlands.

Jack Talty and Cormac Begley carry a wealth of musical heritage from west Clare and west Kerry respectively. The masterful weaving of regional styles inherent in their duet playing, ranging over five octaves, has defined their inimitable and unmistakable duet sound. For this concert series, they brought a range of different types of concertinas – all used on their CD ‘Na Fir Bolg’ – and demonstrated their talent for the instruments.

Het Turfschip – Etten-Leur

The first concert, on September 10th, was held in Het Turfschip in Etten-Leur, down south in The Netherlands. The intimate setting of the venue added greatly to the enjoyment of the music. As the distance between the audience and the musicians was minimized, there was a great connection between musician and listener throughout the concert.

Cormac and Jack started the concert with the tunes ‘Joe Bane’s’ and ‘Gypsy Princess’, two barndances. With a strong and precise rhythm, the melodies came to life! The audience was treated to many different tune types from both the Kerry and Clare traditions and both musicians gave impressive solos, including lively polkas by Cormac and a very lovely slow air by Jack.

The audience was surprised when Caroline Vermeulen, an Irish step-dancer, made an appearance. She demonstrated that the music was originally meant for dancing, by dancing to the duo’s music in both soft-shoes and the traditional hard shoes.

Kasteel Dever – Lisse

Jack and Cormac and dancer Caroline performing in Kasteel Dever

Jack and Cormac and dancer Caroline performing in Kasteel Dever

The second concert was held in the lovely Kasteel Dever in Lisse. Just like last year’s concert with Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly, this small castle tower proved to be a lovely setting for an intimate concert of concertina music.

The audience included both newcomers to the Irish traditional music scene as well as Irish expats living in the Netherlands.

Kasteel Dever has an extremely warm feel, both visually and acoustically. It is safe to say that this was the first time that the 14th century walls got to experience this phenomenal repertoire of Irish traditional concertina music!

We at would like to thank the musicians and the audience for sharing this beautiful tradition of Irish music on these two days. Big thanks to Christoph Wiekart for the pictures of the concert in Kasteel Dever in the slideshow.  We would also like to acknowledge  Culture Ireland for their support of this event.Print