Roscommon International Reunion 2012 is a celebration of Roscommon people around the globe. As part of these celebrations the Percy French Quartet will perform at Roscommon Arts Centre on Friday 10th August, 8pm. Tickets for this performance are €12 and available through Roscommon Arts Centre's box office 090 6625824 or online www.roscommonartscentre.ie. The associations have been great ambassadors for County Roscommon and the International Reunion brings them all together for a week of celebration, enjoyment and remembrance. The Roscommon Associations create a sense of belonging and identity for people away from their home county and their work is valued.
Percy French, writer, artist and performer was born at Cloonyquin House, near Elphin, County Roscommon, the son of a Protestant landlord. He wrote his first successful song while studying Civil Engineering at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 1877. The song Abdul Abulbul Amir was sold for £5 to an unscrupulous publisher. Percy became renowned for composing and singing comic songs and gained considerable distinction with such songs as Phil the Fluther's Ball, Slattery's Mounted Foot, The Mountains of Mourne, and Are You Right there Mic. After his first wife Ettie died in childbirth, Percy French married his second wife Helen (Lennie) Sheldon of Burmington House, England in 1894. Percy took ill while performing in Glasgow and died some days later (from pneumonia) in Formby near Liverpool at the home of his cousin on 24th January 1920, aged 65. This evening of music by the Percy French Quartet celebrates one of Roscommon's celebrated musical sons & will be an unmissable night.
With a refreshingly uncluttered approach to playing, the Raw Bar Collective present a vibrant and excitingly earthy style of Irish traditional music. This ensemble of talletned musicians will play in Strokestown Park House as part of Roscommon Arts Centre's offsite Reel Thing sa cistin summer sessions on Thursday 16th August, 8pm. The Raw Bar Collective is a fluid gathering of Irish musicians, each of them an acknowledged standard bearer within the tradition. They are anchored by Conal Ó Gráda (flute), Benny McCarthy (accordion) & Dave Sheridan (fiddle), all long recognised as among the top instrumentalists in Ireland. For their debut recording 'millhouse measures' they are joined by guests Nell Ní Chróinín (sean nós singer, commonly acknowledged as the most exciting traditional singing talent of her generation) and Colm Murphy (bodhrán, widely recognised as one of the top Traditional music percussionists of all time).
The Raw Bar Collective focus on connecting with the listener. Their music is presented with warmth, wit, passion and respect. A live recording, 'millhouse measures' reflects these values and crackles with the energy generated by such a genuine connection with the listener. Their live shows do likewise. Tickets are €14/€12 and can be purchase directly through Roscommon Arts Centre's box office at 090 66 25824 or online at www.roscommonartscentre.ie.