The Village Arts Centre

The The Village Arts Centre is a non-profit organisation keeping you up to date with the best of drama, comedy and music in their many guises. As like all such facilities hosting live entertainment, we depend very much on you, the public, to help fill our seats. It is also worth remembering that many of those who take to the stage here, depend on your support for their living.

July 19 | Frankie Gavin & Friends

Despite the fact that Frankie Gavin is currently taking a break from live gigging to work on the Grace Kelly Irish Symphonic Suite which he is composing in collaboration with Carl Hession and which will premiere in Monaco on March 17 next year with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, he has nevertheless, taken up an invitation to play a very intimate gig at The Village Arts Centre, Kilworth on Friday, July 19.

A native of Corrandulla, County Galway and from a musical family, Frankie played tin whistle from the age of four and later, progressed to the flute. Few would believe that although he received some formal training in music, his musical ability on the fiddle is mainly self-taught.

In 1974, he founded the group De Dannan with Alec Finn and they enjoyed immense success in the intervening years with some household names fronting the group on vocals, people such as Dolores Keane, Maura O’Connell and Eleanor Shanley to name but some.

Frankie Gavin has played and recorded with Andy Irvine, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Stéphane Grappelli and Frankie Goes to Hollywood and in 2010 became reputedly the fastest fiddle-player in the world, with an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

There can be no doubt  that  2018  was a momentous year for Frankie, winning Traditional Musician of the Year 2018 at the Gradam Ceoil Awards was the icing on the cake.

Come and see Frankie Gavin and Friends at The Village Arts Centre on Friday, July 19. Tickets (€20) now on sale from The Avondhu offices in Fermoy (025-32227) and Mitchelstown (025-24451), at Cotter’s Bar, Kilworth (025-84365) or by calling 087-6492514.

July 15 | Alecia Nugent

Bluegrass returns to The Village Arts Centre on Monday, July 15, this time with Alecia Nugent and her band from Louisiana, USA.

In the five short years since Alecia Nugent’s debut CD, she has gone from being the toast of Hickory Grove, Louisiana to one of the most celebrated Bluegrass & Country singers across America’s heartland.

Alecia was schooled in the sounds of The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and other bluegrass masters. On her own, she developed a taste for country-music greats such as George Jones, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.

The band features James Kee from Chattanooga, now  living in Nashville on mandolin and vocals. A great singer and mandolin player, James is best remembered by Kilworth patrons as the lead singer with the Hamilton County Ramblers, who appeared at the Arts Centre a few years ago.

Gina Britt on banjo and vocals is originally from North Carolina, but nowresides in Nashville. She is a highly acclaimed  banjo player, havingplayed with many of the top bands in Bluegrass, including the Grammy nominated all-woman Bluegrass powerhouse ‘Sister Sadie’.

Jed Clarke from Arkansas is a flatpicking guitar fanatic, highly influnced by master flatpicker, Tony Rice.

Beth Lawerence (bass and vocals) from Wisconsin and now residing in Nashville, brings her strong bass playing and excellent harmony to the Alecia Nugent Bluegrass Band.

This date (Monday, July 15) with the Alecia Nugent Bluegrass Band is a must for Bluegrass and Country fans alike.

Tickets €15 from usual outlets or call 087-7921771 or 087-6492514.

May 13 | Kristy Cox and her Band

Chart-toppin’ Nashville-based Kristy Cox, Australia’s biggest bluegrass & country music export, is on quite the roll, and she’s rolling right into Kilworth.

Capturing attention with her powerful singing style, youthful energy-infused bluegrass, and song writing acumen, she continues to enjoy radio & television success in both the US and in her native Australia where she’s a multi award-winning Australian Country Music Awards Golden Guitar recipient – most recently she picked up the 2019 Golden Guitar for Bluegrass Album of the Year for early 2018’s Ricochet.

Kristy has appeared at major festivals across Australia, Europe and the US, including an official showcase at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Convention in 2015; she was shortlisted by the IBMA 4 years running for New Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.

For her current & first release after signing with the Virginia-based bluegrass-only Mountain Fever label, early 2018’s Ricochet, Kristy teamed up with renowned songwriter Jerry Salley. 

Proving to be quite the formidable pairing in writing and recording great bluegrass and acoustic country music, the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Charts for Bluegrass Album and was shortlisted for the GRAMMY award for Best Bluegrass Album. 

‘Ricochet’, the first single release and title track off the album, took Kristy to the top of the Bluegrass Today Radio charts for two successive weeks; she hit #1 on the chart again with the subsequent Ricochet single release ‘I Can Almost Smell The Smoke’ while ‘South To North Carolina’, the third & current release off the album, was Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction #1 played record for January 2019.

“Kristy Cox is making a repeat visit to my favourites list. This Australian transplant captured lightning in a bottle when she teamed up with producer and writer Jerry Salley a couple of years ago, and the combination is still magical. On Ricochet, Cox steps it up a notch or two as a vocalist, making her one of the best in the business. Lots of strong songs here, but my favourite is a heart-breaking duet with Brandon Rickman on ‘A Bed This Cold’, which Rickman wrote with Salley.

– David Morris, Bluegrass Today, selecting Ricochet as one of his favourite album releases of 2018

“… one of the best in the business” according to Bluegrass Today, Kristy is excited to be making her very first visit to Ireland with her band, and we’re proud to present her third performance of the 9-gig tour in the intimate setting of The Village Arts Centre in Kilworth. Accompanied by her husband Travis, Australia’s premier honkytonk singer, this is youthful energy-infused bluegrass with maybe a bit of country thrown in for good measure.

Save the date, spread the word & we’ll see you in Kilworth on Monday, May 13.

May 9 | Hairy Plastics

Here in Ireland from Britany for a few weeks is a trio of musicians that go under the name of ‘Hairy Plastics’ and they are delighted to announce a gig in The Village Arts Centre, Kilworth on Thursday, May 9 at 8pm.

The guys are Dylan Gully (clarinet), Florian Baron (Oud, acoustic guitar and vocals) and Nathan Arnaud (percussion).

They come to us through promoter Phil Bergin who speaks very highly of the group.

Certainly something different to look forward to. You can check out

Tickets are just €12 and are avaialble now from the usual outlets – call 025-32227 or 087-6492514.

April 29th | Greg Blake & The Scroggdogs

A night of bluegrass music in Kilworth is always exciting but the next show on Monday, April 29 promises to be really special.

The show will feature the great Greg Blake and the Scroggdogs. Greg will play solo in the first part of the show and will then be joined by Scott Gates for a few duets.

When Greg Blake sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of West Virginia mountain singers, a voice invested with a rich twang and rumbling drawl and the kind of eerily powerful high tenor cry that first inspired the ‘high, lonesome sound.’

While growing up in his Appalachian home, Greg was exposed to a constant menu of all the country greats on the TV and the radio and, as he played with GI Joes, Tonka Trucks and HotWheels, singing along seemed the natural thing to do. Promoter John Nyhan describes Greg Blake as ‘probably the best bluegrass/country singer and guitarist you will ever witness’.

It must be pointed out of course that Greg Blake and Jeff Scroggins are still playing with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado.

The reason for this double act is that Jeff Scroggins is in England the week before teaching banjo at a bluegrass music camp and as Jeff Scroggins and Colorado are touring Europe, they thought it would be a good time to tour Ireland.

The Scroggdogs line-up includes Jeff Scroggins on banjo (twice USA National banjo champion), Scott Gates (mandolin/Vocals), Yousef Tucker (guitar/vocals), Jan Purat (fiddle/vocals) and Zach Sharpe (bass).

You are advised to book in good time. Tickets €20 are now on sale from usual outlets – The Avondhu offices at Fermoy (025-32227) and Mitchelstown (025-24451), Cotter’s Bar, Kilworth (025-43615) or call 087-6492514 or 087-7921771.

CANCELLED | April 26 | Dave Lawlor

Linden Productions and The Village Arts Centre regret to announce that Friday night’s show in Kilworth – ‘A Salute to the Crooners’ – has had to be cancelled at short notice.

We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment caused.

A new date is being sought but it is expected to be in late Autumn. Watch this space for further details.

In ‘A Salute to the Crooners’, Dave Lawlor pays tribute to the songs of some of America’s greatest singers such as Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Matt Monro, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Engelbert Humperdinck, Perry Como and Dean Martin. 

Dave Lawlor, star of the highly acclaimed ‘Reeling in the Showband Years’ was chosen by Linden Productions to front this visually stunning show. Only an entertainer of Lawlor’s exceptional calibre could pay homage – accurately, respectfully, and with the appropriate humility – to so many musical icons in one show. 

April 1 | High Plains Tradition

30 years after being founded and following several member changes, High Plains Tradition has become a highly sought after Bluegrass band at festivals and concerts alike. 

Their travels have taken them to play festivals and events in Canada as well as 4 tours in Ireland. During each of those four Irish visits, they have played The Village Arts Centre and are thrilled to be coming back for another great night on Monday, April 1.

The High Plains band is rooted in the ‘traditional’ bluegrass with a flair all of their own. The band has 5 members who all can sing and it is that which keeps the fans come back again and again.

Their Gospel Show has been known to bring not only band members to tears but also the fans in attendance. They are known to be quite a bunch of cut-ups on stage and fans have been heard saying “You just don’t know what’s going to happen on stage with them boys. They are just so entertaining.” 

The band is made up of songwriter and mandolin player Doug Elrick; Steve Gilmore (guitar), Mark Leslie (banjo), Kenny Bapst (bass) and the man with the unique tenor voice, Bobby Cickerey on fiddle.

Tickets are just €15 and are now on sale in The Avondhu offices in Fermoy (025-32227) and Mitchelstown (025-24451), Cotter’s Bar, Kilworth (025-43615) or call 087-6492514.

March 23 | Niwel Tsumbu with Éamonn Cagney

According to Mel Mercier (Director, Irish world Academy of Music and Dance), Niwel Tsumbu and Éamonn Cagney’s duo is one of the most authentic, organic and exciting cross cultural musical encounters to emerge in the Irish music scene.

The duo invite you to share an evening with a difference with them when they come to The Village Arts Centre, Kilworth on Saturday, March 23 as the celebrate their latest single and video ‘Mwana Moyi’ (‘Child of the Sun’).

Built on 15 years of constant collaboration, Niwel Tsumbu and Éamonn Cagney are known for their incredible musical chemistry and exciting, joyous performances. Besides their duo music, they have worked in traditional Irish, Jazz, world, contemporary, electronic, opera, soundtracks, dance and countless other musical forms.

While watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos some years ago, Niwel was blown away by his quote: “We are made of Star stuff”. It was the most enlightening and poetic quote he had ever heard. It forever changed his perception of life and inspired the lyrics to “Mwana Moyi”, the duo’s latest single and video.
The song, sung in Niwel’s native language of Lingala, talks about how connected we are with one another and with everything around us in a truly cosmic way.

“This duo has a cataclysm of moods and moves to share, unveiling a cavernous stash of redemptive music, and promise of much more to come”  – Irish Times

See it here on Niwel’s Facebook page, where it has racked up more than 21,000 views:

Or here on Youtube for extra HD quality:

Or live footage from 2018:

So, make a date – Saturday, March 23 – 8pm sharp -The Village Arts Centre, Kilworth. Tickets €12.50 from the usual Arts Centre outlets or call 025-32227 or 087-6492514.

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