The uileann pipes are a regular feature at Loinneog Lúnasa, with last year’s ‘Tionól’ attracting pipers from all over the country and we expect this gathering to continue this year.
On Saturday the 9th August Master piper Gay McKeon (CEO of Na Píobairí Uilleann, Dublin) will deliver a workshop in Uilleann Pipes at, and later will accompany local Sean Nós play in a special concert.
Throughout the same day there will be an opportunity to ‘Try the Pipes’ with local Uilleann pipe teacher Conor Day and overseas Cuban piping student Alexander Suarez Mendez at An Crannog. Conor and Alexander will be available from 10 till 1pm for anyone who would like to “Try the Pipes”. The Uilleann pipes are renowned for being difficult to learn, so this is a rare opportunity and everyone is welcome.
Alexander Suarez Mendez is part of the Buena Vista Pipers Club in Havana – In 2011 Gay Mc Keon was invited to play at Celtfest, Gay had brought along sets of pipes for people to try, “there were queues of people waiting to try and it took off from there”. Alexander is currently in Ireland following a fundraising campaign by Irish pipers to bring this piping student to Ireland to learn more about the pipes, including making them, so he can bring these skills back to Cuba and continue to teach.
Gay tells us “He’s innately musical and people will be thrilled to hear him play. Even the way he interprets slow airs, which is a difficult thing for anyone even if you are immersed in the tradition. It is astonishing.”
So those of you who are interested in the Uileann Pipes are in for a special treat at Loinneog Lúnasa this year and we anticipate some unforgettable sessions in the local bars and hotels.