Masters of Tradition will take place online this year and its mission remains the same – to journey to the heart of Irish music and provide a platform where subtle elements of the music can be heard.

From 29th September to 17th November, concerts (complete list below) will be streamed each Wednesday evening by the US platform These concerts will have been pre-recorded in Bantry House, Future Forests in Kealkil, and Abbestrewry Church in Skibbereen. These concerts can also be viewed on-demand after the initial streaming.

As ever, the Festival is headlined by its Artistic Director, Martin Hayes, the fiddler from East Clare, whose distinctive touch and extravagant virtuosity has brought the tradition to new levels.

Over the eight days of the festival there will also be performances and collaborations from guitarists Steve Cooney, John Walsh and Phil Robson; singer Christine Tobin; multi instrumentalists Francesco Turrisi and Brian Donnellan; pianist and composer Cormac McCarthy; poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa; accordionist Derek Hickey; uilleann piper David Power; and violinist Marja Gaynor. The Goodman Trio (uilleann piper Mick O’Brien, flautist Emer Mayock and fiddler Aoife Ní Bhriain) present the music collected by Canon James Goodman in the mid-nineteenth century. Immram, a setting of the suite of poems of the same name written by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, will feature Neil Ó Lochlainn (double bass, flute), sean-nós singer Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, fiddler Lucia Mac Partlin and harpist Eilís Lavelle. The festival programme also includes a very special conversation between Martin Hayes and Bruce Molsky, the American fiddler, banjo player, guitarist and singer who performs music of the Appalachian region.

“It’s a very good programme,” says Artistic Director Martin Hayes. “We have old traditional music from the Goodman Collection, part of the South Kerry, West Cork music tradition pre-Famine. We have the poetry of Yeats, the poetry of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, ancient harp music played by Steve Cooney and uilleann piping with David Power. We have been filming in Bantry House and all-around West Cork, doing our best to bring you the feeling and experience of what you might have had when visiting here. We want to keep that alive and reach you with it as best we can, hoping we can all be in person together next year.”

Schedule of Concerts
Martin Hayes & Bruce Molsky: Sept 29, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Oct. 1 at 11:59pm ET. Price: €10 / $12, Martin Hayes, the Co. Clare fiddle player and Artistic Director of Masters of Tradition talks to one of the most revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music, Bruce Molsky.

Steve Cooney, Martin Hayes, & David Power: Oct 6, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Oct. 8, 11:59pm ET. Price: €10 / $12, The magnificent stately home Bantry House is the venue for this performance by Masters of Tradition’s Artistic Director Martin Hayes alongside Festival favorites Steve Cooney and David Power.

Christine Tobin, Phil Robson, & Francesco Turrisi: Oct. 13, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Oct. 15, 11:59pm ET. Price: €10 / $12, The magnificent stately home Bantry House, overlooking Bantry Bay, is the setting for this performance of poetry by William Butler Yeats by Irish singer Christine Tobin, UK-born guitarist Phil Robson and Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. In this work Christine has created a sound world that uses a rich palette of harmony and color and draws on influences from jazz, folk and twentieth century classical, from Miles to Messiaen. The poems are chosen from Yeats’s early work through to his final collection.

Marja Gaynor, David Power, & John Walsh: Oct. 20, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Oct. 22, 11:59pm ET. Price: €10 / $12, John Walsh, Ireland’s leading Flamenco guitarist, joins uilleann piper David Power and Marja Gaynor on baroque violin for a unique collaboration in the spectacular setting of Future Forests in deepest West Cork. The program features their own arrangements of traditional Irish tunes, contemporary music as well as music from the Baroque period and the 19th century.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Derek Hickey, & Steve Cooney: Oct 27, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Oct. 29, Price: €10 / $12, One of Ireland’s most respected poets Doireann Ní Ghríofa makes her first appearance at Masters of Tradition alongside guitarist Steve Cooney and accordion player Derek Hickey in a performance captured in the elegant library of Bantry House, overlooking Bantry Bay.

Goodman Trio: Nov. 3, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Nov. 5, 11:59pm ET. Price: €10 / $12
Father and daughter duo Mick O’Brien and Aoife Ní Bhriain join Emer Mayock to perform music from a very special collection of music which originated in the southwest of Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century. Collected by Canon James Goodman (1828-96), this music was sung and played in the years before traditional culture in that region was devastated by the Great Famine of the 1840s. The Rector of Abbeystrewry, Canon Goodman undertook the building of a new church in Skibbereen in 1890 and it is in this church that the Goodman Trio perform the concert.

Immram: Nov. 10, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Nov. 12, 11:59pm ET. Price: €10 / $12
Immram - a setting of the suite of poems written by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill – will be performed in the beautiful dining room of Bantry House, the stately home which overlooks famous Bantry Bay. The music combines influences from the sean nós tradition, jazz, contemporary classical music and features some of the most exciting and experienced musicians in Irish music today.

Martin Hayes, Cormac McCarthy, & Brian Donnellan: Nov. 17, 2021 at 8pm IST, 8pm ET, & on demand through Nov. 19, 11:59pm ET. Price: €10 / $12 Masters of Tradition’s Artistic Director and one of the world’s leading fiddle players Martin Hayes returns to the intimate setting of Bantry House – the home of the annual Masters of Tradition – for an eagerly-anticipated performance with pianist Cormac McCarthy and concertina player Brian Donnellan.

For more information and to book, go to

VIDEO: Masters of Tradition 2021 - Martin Hayes introduces this year's festival
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Masters of Tradition is generously supported by the Arts Council and Cork County Council.