The Oireachtas na Gaeilge started in 1897 and is Ireland’s premier Irish cultural festival. It’s famous for competitions in traditional sean-nos singing, sean-nos dance, humorous songs, storytelling and music and the contestants range from young children to seniors. There are also awards for books and broadcasting, panel discussions, book launches, a vendor fair – all happening in the Irish language. You’ll get a taste of that in our Gaeltacht.
Fear an Ti Ray Mac Manais (please link to https://portraidi.ie/en/ray-mac-manais/) is a teacher, writer and musician; he frequently performs with Joe O Donaill. Together they have won countless competitions in the Luibin - the traditional Gaelic satirical two-hander which is sung in verse – and the Agallamh Beirte - a poetic battle of wits in which the fluency of the language and the rhythm and rhyming structures are paramount. Ray is a past president of the Oireachtas na Gaeilge. Joe can be seen on TG4 each year emceeing the Oireachtas dance competitions. Don’t miss their bilingual Irish/English luibin together with Gearoid O MOrdha (flute).
Sean-nos singer Mairin Ui Cheide is a champion of sean-nós singing, having won the Corn Ui Riada competition at the Oireachtas na Samhna.
Sean-nos dancer Alicia Guinn hails from Seattle and is an acclaimed dance instructor.
Fiddler Ed Paloucek has been a part of southeastern Wisconsin's vibrant music scene since the early 1990s. Classically trained, Ed credits his affinity to Irish music to the influence of accomplished musicians both here and abroad as well as legendary greats of the early recording era. He anchors a weekly session at The Pub, in Oconomowoc and plays with Atlantic Wave.
Guitarist Sue Spencer hails from Duluth and comes by her Irish roots through Newfoundland. Her driving guitar style and signature smile will lift your spirits. She also performs in Eira, Willowgreen and McInnis' Kitchen.