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Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival 2018

Ed

Music lovers are in for a veritable feast throughout the ten days of the Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival. International acts and local artists will converge on our port city in a program put together by Fremantle’s own music legend, the double Grammy award-winning Lucky Oceans, and fellow musician Donough O’Donovan.

Headliners Martin Hayes and Declan O’Rourke both accepted invitations to perform because of the historical importance of the event - celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the last convict ship to Australia, the Hougoumont, carrying 62 Irish Fenians.

Internationally renowned Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, one of the finest guitarists in traditional Irish music, are considered one of Irish music's most acclaimed duos of all time. Their adventurous, soulful interpretations of traditional tunes fittingly open the Festival at the John Curtin Auditorium on Friday 5 January. It’s a rare opportunity to hear traditional Irish music performed by masters of the genre. Aria award winner, songbird and folkloric explorer Kavisha Mazella returns home to support Hayes and Cahill in concert.

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Irish folk sensation Declan O’Rourke, will play songs from across his career in his two concert performances, including a selection from his latest album, ‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’. He will pen a song in commemoration of the of the arrival of the military Fenians in 1868.

There are plenty of quotes about Martin and Dennis for example:  "Martin Hayes is one of the best fiddlers on the planet. Dennis Cahill is a subtle guitar master. Put aside your notion of Irish music...and just listen." NPR.

Declan is supported in his concert at the WA maritime Museum on 11 January by Fiona Rea whose songs are influenced by her Irish heritage and a lifelong love of music and its power to reach people. Rob Zielinski, supports Declan on 13 January at the John Curtin College of the Arts Theatre. Rob is a Perth based traditional Irish musician who will feature some lively jigs, reels, hornpipes, strathspeys and haunting slow airs.

Singer Aminah Hughes returns home from Ireland to share with us a collection of enchanting songs, both new and old, written during her time there along with some of her favourite songs from the Emerald Isle.  Award winning poet and storyteller Jaya Penelope- a descendant of Fenian, James Kearney, transported to Fremantle in 1867 on board the Hougoumont joins Aminah in performance on 7 January at Kidogo Arthouse.

The next day ‘The Last Convict Ship’, a selection of stories and songs by one of Perth’s leading experts on Australian Fenian history, renowned Irish musician Brendan Woods will be performed at the Hougoumont Hotel in Bannister Street.

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The Lucky Oceans and his Gaelic Gumbo Band will explore new creations mixing Irish and Louisiana sounds. Be the first to hear the world premiere of a band and repertoire made exclusively for the festival at Kidogo Arthouse on 12 January. Kidogo’s Kelp Bar will be running throughout the festival and will be home to spontaneous musical performances featuring Festival acts and local musicians.

The closing event and street party ‘The Feast of The Wild Goose’ features entertainment by the Freo’s own Rogues, playing their very own brand of Pogues magic to celebrate the end of an incredible ten days of Irish music.

Festival Program www.feniansfestival.com.au  

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