What's On

Thursday 27 April, 8pm, €27.50/€25.50 conc.

The King Is Back

Internationally renowned as one of the Best Elvis Tributes in the world, Ben Portsmouth will bring his unique style and charisma to Ennis and will show why he is regarded as the best in the business.

Ben, a multi-talented musician, singer and songwriter had Elvis's DNA in his blood from an early age. His father was an avid Elvis fan and Ben grew up on a diet of Elvis songs. Having honed his musical talent Ben started his journey as an Elvis Tribute Artist in 2005 when he formed the "Taking care of Elvis" band. Audiences quickly realized that this was someone with a special talent.

He looked like Elvis, sang like Elvis and had an on stage charisma that had audiences believing at times they were watching the King himself. This talent saw Ben rapidly rise through the ranks of Elvis Tribute Artists.  In August 2012, Ben made history when he won the Elvis Presley Enterprises “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest’ which took place in Memphis, crowning Ben as the “Worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist”, the only artist from outside the USA to ever win this prestigious title. In February 2013 Ben headlined on the David Letterman show and has toured the globe with his band.

Saturday 29 April, 8pm, €32

Mary Black

Mary Black is delighted to be back touring in Ireland in 2017.

This tour is all the more special since she completed her final (Last Call) tour abroad, which brought her to The USA, Japan, Belgium, Holland, Germany, the UK, with the final leg in Australia in March 2016.  With so many platinum albums to her name there will be no shortage of great songs and some surprises too.  Mary has chosen some of her favourite venues for this tour and is bringing her world famous band of musicians: Bill Shanley (guitar), Pat Crowley (piano and accordion) , Nick Scott (double bass) and Richie Buckley (saxaphone)’

…a versatile vocalist who brings energizing qualities of pop and jazz to her foundation in traditional music.”—Los Angeles Times

…one of the best interpretative singers around.”—San Francisco Chronicle

…simply spellbinding.”—Boston Globe

Thursday 4 May, 8pm, €12.50/ €10 Conc/€40 Family (2 Adults & 2 Children)

Vardens’ Ennis Guitar School Annual Concert

Vardens’ Ennis Guitar School is proud to present their annual concert, showcasing their students of all ages playing guitar, piano/keyboards and singing. In styles such as pop, rock, blues, and many more, this is sure to be an entertaining evening that you won’t want to miss.

Wednesday 10 May, 4.10pm – 5.40pm, €7

Darol Anger Workshop

Presented by Music Network & Music Generation Clare

Darol Anger's Fiddle-ology Workshop is for intermediate to advanced bowed string players of any age. Intermediate to advanced players might derive the most benefit, but mature beginners are respected and will find much useful information.  All participants are expected to play a bit (though not by themselves!), and tape recorders are welcome.

Using call and response, direct example and printed handouts, Darol will help string players to explore the principles of Contemporary American fiddling, including bowing and phrasing techniques, and backup playing. and provide musical tools for improvising in Bluegrass, Newgrass, Pan-grass, Jazz, Blues, and Rock.  Depending on participants’ questions, Darol can discuss and address specific musical challenges and problems pertaining to string playing in an ensemble, as a backup instrument, or in a live environment.
The workshop might include, if requested, a step-by-step method of playing the rhythm “chop” on fiddle, using the self-invented techniques he used with Turtle Island String Quartet, David Grisman, Republic Of Strings, and other groups, and participants will probably learn an easy tune by ear.

This workshop may also include ways to approach unfamiliar and difficult keys, and methods for improving intonation. It may include discussion of blues changes and an expanded concept of the blues scale, the basis of modern roots and pop music...all with his characteristic quirky humour and good fellowship.

Wednesday 10 May, 4.30pm – 5.30pm, €7

Emy Phelps Workshop

Presented by Music Network & Music Generation Clare

Emy Phelps leads a discussion and demonstration of song-writing strategies and ideas. Special attention will be paid to musical structure: how melody, harmony, arrangement and groove can support and amplify the story of the song. Questions and song contributions from the participants will be invited & investigated.

Wednesday 10 May, 8pm, €18/€16 conc./€9 Under 18s

Darol Anger and Republic of Strings (U.S.A.)

presented by Music Network

  • Darol Anger, 5 string fiddle
  • Tristan Clarridge, cello, fiddle
  • Emy Phelps, guitar, voice
  • John Mailander, octave mandolin, fiddle

With his unique genre-bending blend of bluegrass, jazz, folk and classical styles, Grammy-nominated fiddler Darol Anger is a master of the unexpected, darting from Swedish polkas to Brazilian choro before segueing seamlessly into a soul classic – all delivered with the rollicking abandon of a hootenanny.  Anger developed his signature sound working alongside great improvisers such as Stéphane Grappelli, Martin Hayes, Jerry Douglas and Béla Fleck, and over the past 40 years has produced an arrayof critically-acclaimed albums, including 17 with the legendary Turtle Island String Quartet alone.

For this journey into uncharted musical waters, he is aided and abetted by a trio of nimble-fingered pioneers. Long-time collaborator and 5-time Grand National Fiddle Champion Tristan Clarridge is co-founder of the chamber-grass group The Bee Eaters. Acclaimed multi-instrumentalist John Mailander has performed with such renowned artists as the Alison Brown Quartet, Victor Wooten and Steve Martin, while the riveting vocal sound of Emy Phelps has graced the albums of a long line of folk stalwarts including Patrick Brayer, Chris Darrow, Norma Tanega and Brian Ransom's Ceramic Ensemble.

Darol Anger is to fiddle what Béla Fleck is to banjo” –  Minneapolis Star Tribune
A cutting edge string quartet… wildly virtuosic” – Los Angeles Times
On the front edge of progressive acoustic music” – Fiddler Magazine [on Darol Anger]
Ground-breaking” –  San Francisco Chronicle [on Republic of Strings]

To kick off our wonderful spring/summer season, we’re offering early bird booking on selected events - this is one of those!

If you book that event on or before close of business on Sunday 12th March, get a 10% discount on your ticket…but don't forget that Early Bird tickets are limited to the first 50 tickets for each of these events, so when they’re gone, they’re gone.

This event comes under the Music Generation Clare Leath/Leath Go See! Scheme which supports the young person and the music sector by encouraging attendance at music events.  Music Generation Clare is working with venues and festivals throughout the County, to provide tickets discounted by 50% to enable young people under the age of 18 to attend live music performances, (bookings must be accompanied by one adult). 

Whenever you see this logo, Leath/Leath Go See! tickets are available, so don’t miss out.

Friday 12 May, 7.30pm, €10

Music Generation Clare Showcase

An uplifting multi-genre musical outing featuring young participants of Music Generation Clare programmes and partnerships from across County Clare.

Music Generation Clare is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high quality performance music education in their locality.

Wednesday 24 May at the Temple Gate Hotel, 8pm, €10


presented by Fleadh Nua

Rianta is Ireland’s new and exciting four piece band that is setting pulses racing with their innovative melodies and heart-warming songs. Featuring Tara Breen, Conor Moriarty, Stephen Rooney and Eamon Rooney, this band’s music reflects the energy and emotion of a group of very talented and polished performers, all of whom have achieved success at the highest level.

Thursday 25 May, 8pm, €20/€18 Conc./€10 Under 18's

The Songs Our Fathers Loved - Rebirth of a Nation

presented by Shaskeen and The Wingers

Shaskeen and The Wingers invite you to participate in a nostalgic homage to the early recording pioneers of Irish music and song.

There have been many landmark radio programmes over the decades but one, which provides the inspiration for this performance was the Walton’s programme presided over by Leo Maguire. The programme featured artists from Walton’s own label, Glenside Records, and included Joe Lynch, Charlie Magee, Mary McConigle and Delia Murphy together with many others.

Leo Maguire’s persistent message to the listeners was: “A weekly reminder of the grace and the beauty that lies in our heritage of Irish song, the songs our Fathers loved”.

This event comes under the Music Generation Clare Leath/Leath Go See! Scheme which supports the young person and the music sector by encouraging attendance at music events.  Music Generation Clare is working with venues and festivals throughout the County, to provide tickets discounted by 50% to enable young people under the age of 18 to attend live music performances, (bookings must be accompanied by one adult).

Whenever you see this logo, Leath/Leath Go See! tickets are available, so don’t miss out.

Friday 26 May, 8pm, €10/€5 Undere 18's

Aos Óg Concert

presented by Fleadh Nua

The future of our traditional music, singing and dance is always in the hands of the “Aos Óg”, the young generation. The Aos Óg Concert has always been a key event in the Fleadh Nua, which takes place in Ennis each year.

This year, the concert will feature some of the best young traditional musicians, singers and dancers from Co. Clare and beyond.

This event comes under the Music Generation Clare Leath/Leath Go See! Scheme which supports the young person and the music sector by encouraging attendance at music events.  Music Generation Clare is working with venues and festivals throughout the County, to provide tickets discounted by 50% to enable young people under the age of 18 to attend live music performances, (bookings must be accompanied by one adult).

Whenever you see this logo, Leath/Leath Go See! tickets are available, so don’t miss out.

Saturday 27 May, 8pm, €20

Bofin to Burren

presented by Fleadh Nua

Bofin to Burren is a coming together  of some of Ireland’s best known traditional musicians. Fronted by Inisbofin’s Dessie O’Halloran, of Sharon Shannon fame, it also includes Céilí House’s Kieran Hanrahan on banjo and ‘At the Racket’s’ Seamus O’Donnell on saxophone, flute and vocals.

Returning to glór after their riveting opening concert for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016, Bofin to Burren will be joined by some very special guests, including the great West Kerry musician and singer, Séamus Begley and fiddle player Oisín MacDiarmada.

Sunday 28 May, 8pm, €15

Ceol an Chroí / Music of the Heart

presented by Fleadh Nua

This concert will draw together five of the greatest performers of traditional music to perform in the intimate atmosphere of glór.

Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly have established enviable, international reputations and their playing together, on CD and in live performances displays great virtuosity and interpretation of a vibrant musical tradition.

Singer and musician Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will be joined by celebrated fiddle player Dónal O’Connor and the song writer and musician, Gerry O’Beirne.

Wednesday 21 June, 6.30pm - 9pm, €40

Midsummer Gin & Jazz

at the Old Ground Hotel

Join us for a Midsummer Night Soirée in the Gardens of the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis with music by The Café Orchestra.

Enjoy a Dingle Gin Cocktail on arrival, exquisite finger food & canapés, take part in an Art Auction where you can take away work from well known artists and there will also be a chance to win one of our glamorous raffle prizes.

The perfect night out with friends, colleagues and family - ideal for that outing with your book club or other social group with the feel good factor of knowing that you're supporting glór’s many programming activities, including programmes for our younger audiences, Clare Arts events and our new programme of Artist Development Initiatives.

Wednesday 21 June, 8pm, €25/€22 conc.

The Billy Joel Songbook performed by Elio Pace and his band

Following on from his highly-acclaimed reunion concerts in the USA with Billy Joel’s original touring band, Elio Pace delivers this sensational tour celebrating the phenomenal music of Billy Joel. Featuring the massive hits, Uptown Girl, Just The Way You Are and My Life as well as fan favourites such as Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, Goodnight Saigon and Piano Man.

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to experience The Billy Joel Songbook in this electrifying concert performed by the dynamic singer/songwriter and piano-player, Elio Pace and his magnificent 6-piece band.

"Elio rocks!" Brian May

"Elio is tremendous... I'm a big fan. Music made the old fashioned way... played" Huey Lewis

"Elio Pace is fierce! An accomplished musician and performer, his talent can be equalled only by his infectious enthusiasm" Lulu

"Elio is a fantastic musician and a great artist in his own right, and I really look forward to working with him again in the future” Chris De Burgh

Wednesday 16 August at the Fleadh Dome, 8pm, €25

The Kilfenora Céilí Band

as part of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017

Expect an exciting and energetic performance from one of the world’s most renowned trad bands –The Kilfenora Céilí Band.

This expertly produced show of high-spirited traditional music, energetic & athletic dancing choreographed by Michael Donnellan, melodious song with Edel Vaughan and witty storey-telling together with special guests, will get your hearts racing and your feet tapping in a way you never expected!

This traditional super group take their rich musical heritage into the future with a show that’s not only engaging and uplifting but utterly enjoyable.

Fantastic, feel-good, happy, lively music” Sharon Shannon

Friday 18 August at the Fleadh Dome, 8pm, €25


as part of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017

Commissioned by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, featuring The Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland and some of Ireland's best musicians, singers and dancers, ‘Legacy’ traces the roots of the tradition where generations of Irish men and women nurtured our music and song, language and stories to leave us with the vibrant, living legacy of our Irish traditional arts today.

’Legacy’, featuring the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland and special guests, will take you on a journey through the musical and cultural landscape of Ireland honouring some of the great men and women who have helped shape and define our tradition down through the generations. Inspired by some of the our greatest tunes and songs, Legacy will also feature newly composed music by Tom Doorley and will be scripted and directed by Ray Conway.

The Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland is made up of over sixty of the finest young traditional and classical musicians from 20 different counties in Ireland and from the U.K.  The orchestra was first formed by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in the late 1980s and has always attracted the most gifted young Irish musicians and singers.

Thursday 17 August at the Fleadh Dome, 8pm, €25

From Clare to Here - Lunása with special guests Ralph McTell, and the Máirtín O’Connor trio

as part of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017

Lúnasa 20th Anniversary celebration with special guests Ralph McTell, and the Máirtín O'Connor Trio.

Instrumental supergroup Lúnasa brings state-of-the-art infectious Irish music , the Máirtín O'Connor Trio will have your feet lepping while gifted singer-songwriter Ralph McTell will take us on a magical music journey – From Clare to Here comes home!

Saturday 19 August at the Fleadh Dome, 12pm, €8

The Speks (for ages 2+)

as part of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017

“The Speks...they're really great!” Derek Mooney, RTÉ Radio 1

The Speks present a lively show of nursery rhymes and sing-along songs set to acoustic Irish music which will have adults and kids jumping in their seats! Their hand-clapping, toe-tapping, hearty-laughing show is all about life on Glasses Island – a magical island off the coast of Co. Clare where everybody wears glasses!

The Speks have won a Parents’ Choice music award in the US where their music has been described as “Riverdance for kids” and they encourage everyone to sing, scream, clap and dance along during their performances. This will be a great, fun event for kids aged 2 to 92!

“If your little ones love fantastic, magical songs...then The Speks are the boys for you!” Tom Dunne, Newstalk

Saturday 19 August at the Fleadh Dome, 8pm, €27.50

Sharon Shannon and her Sacred Earth Band

as part of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017

Sharon Shannon is delighted to be invited to perform at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2017, particularly as it is being held in Ennis, Co. Clare the county where she was born and grew up.

Sharon is also very pleased to be bringing her Sacred Earth Band, performing material from new album also called Sacred Earth as well as music taken from her back catalogue.

Saturday 7 October, 7.30pm, €25

Johnny Cash Roadshow

The only show to be endorsed by the Cash family, and fronted by award winning singer/songwriter Clive John, recreates with astounding accuracy and truly captures the essence of what it was like to be at a real Cash show! Also featuring ‘June Carter’ along with the ‘Roadshow Horns’ all aspects of Cash’s life are covered with impeccable taste.

The show takes the audience from the 1950’s right up to 2002 and all the stops in between. All the greatest hits are included, along with unmissable songs from every one of the five decade’s that the Man in Black’s career spanned. All this accompanied by evocative screen images and shots from Johnny Cash’s life.

Clive’s resemblance is uncanny’ Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash

Clive captures my Grandfather JUST as he was’
‘absolutely authentic to the point where it felt as if it wasn't a tribute

Caitlin Crowell, granddaughter of Mr. Johnny Cash and Mrs. June Carter Cash