In the little town of Tulla, County Clare, Ireland there is a love for traditional Irish music that encompasses the entire community. From the very young to the very old, the town turned out for Culture Night with instruments in hand. They gathered in the back room of Minogue’s Pub for a community jam session like I had never experienced before.
With no printed sheet music to follow, one person would start a tune and the rest would join in, never missing a note. There were fiddles, tin whistles, flutes, button accordions, concertinas, guitars, a piano, and many tapping feet. The session began at 8:30 p.m. and continued until 2 a.m. Almost everyone in town was there.
All the young people are steeped in the traditional music, taking lessons and learning their musical heritage from as young as four. The musicianship of these young people was a sight to see and also heartwarming to see how proud they are of their land.
The guest musician for the evening was Darren Breslin, the 2008 Button Accordion Champion. Darren held a captive audience as his fingers flew in a magical rhythm, stomping his foot in time with the music, and enchanting us with the haunting tunes of our Irish ancestors.
Check out Darren Breslin on youtube! He is awesome. And if you make a trip to Ireland, don’t miss the little town of Tulla.