Trad music from all over on tap at Worcester Centre on July 7

Traditional music from Ireland, as well as France, Canada, and a few other places, will be the order of the evening on July 7 when Donegal accordionist Dermot Byrne and French harpist Floriane Blancke perform at Worcester’s Hibernian Cultural Centre.

Opening the concert, which begins at 8 p.m., will be Skylark, a quartet of teen-aged fiddlers from the Greater Boston area.
Byrne, familiar to many Irish music fans through his work with the band Altan, and Parisian native Blancke are known for their spare, “bare-bones” arrangements and a repertoire that includes not only hornpipes, jigs, and reels but musettes, waltzes, and slow airs. Blancke also contributes pristine vocals to her renditions of songs from traditional and contemporary sources.
Reviewing the duo’s first CD, Irish Times writer Siobhan Long said, “Byrne and Blancke manage to cleanse palates long jaded by the overdrive of ensembles on full throttle.”
Skylark is comprised of Fiona Henry, Gabriella Barham, Ciara McGillivray, and Natalya Kay Trudeau, all of whom have studied under noted Boston-area fiddler and teacher Laurel Martin. Two in the quartet are coming off successful outings in the 2012 Mid Atlantic Fleadh competition: Trudeau, second in Solo Fiddle (15-18 year-olds), and Henry, second in Concertina (12-15 year-olds).
A traditional Irish music session will follow the concert, and all musicians, singers, dancers, and listeners are invited.
The Worcester Hibernian Cultural Centre is located at 19 Temple Street. Tickets for the event are $20 at the door, $15 in advance; for reservations, send e-mail to More information is available at
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Byrne and Blancke also will be featured as part of the continuing “Burren Backroom Series” held at The Burren pub in Somerville’s Davis Square. They will perform on July 25 along with Donegal fiddler Brid Harper, a former senior All-Ireland champion and Fiddler of Dooney winner. Opening for them will be the duo of Padraig Rynne, a concertina player in the classic County Clare tradition, and guitarist Ryan McGiver, who also is a noted singer of Irish and American traditional songs.
And on August 1, the “Backroom” series will welcome Lúnasa, one of the most celebrated bands to emerge from Ireland in the past two decades. The group has toured extensively around the world and released eight acclaimed albums.
For information, see