Trad lovers count down to the 2018 Jimmy McHugh Memorial Concert

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The late Jimmy McHugh, a legendary figure in Irish music

Fans of traditional Irish music in Scotland are eagerly anticipating the 2018 Jimmy McHugh Memorial Concert.

Widely hailed as the best collection of Irish musicians outside the island of Ireland, the annual celebration of Irish music in Glasgow – in honour of legendary musician Jimmy McHugh, who died in 1999 – sees the finest exponents of Irish traditional music combine for the day, and this year will be no different.

The late Jimmy McHugh, a legendary figure in Irish music

Among those who will travel to Glasgow are acclaimed musicians such as Kathleen Boyle (piano, Donegal), Paul Bradley (fiddle, Armagh), Cliodhna Costello (banjo, Tipperary), Rosie Stewart (singer, Fermanagh), Mick Mulvey (flute, Leitrim) and Francie Sheridan (accordion, Tyrone) – with many more recognisable faces adding to the celebration.

Having done so much to form the Irish musical culture of his adopted city, Jimmy’s legacy lives on not just in the concert but also in the Irish Minstrels CCÉ group,which he founded along with the Four Provinces Céili Band. Having also played Gaelic football in Scotland, his impact went beyond his first passion of music, but it was in that world that his talents bore most fruit.

His 1957 All-Ireland Fiddle title showed that despite leaving his home, he had not just brought his culture with him but used it to turn Glasgow into an important centre for Irish music. In addition to ushering in a new era for Irish music in Scotland, he also did much work in forming relationships with the leading figures in Scotland’s own traditional music scene, with many of the partnerships enjoyed by those who followed in his footsteps stemming from his own passion for sharing Irish culture and learning about other musical styles.

With his wife Ann emerging as one of the driving forces in the Irish dance community in Scotland, Jimmy also used his musical talent to support that other branch of Irish culture in Scotland.

Along with a Monday night music session in Sharkey’s Bar – still running since he established it – the annual concert is the most prominent reminder of Jimmy McHugh’s legacy, and a sign of the esteem in which he is till held by those who knew him and who heard and loved his music.

Read more about this year’s concert online and in the January edition of The Irish Voice.

The concert will be held in the Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow on January 13 at 7.30pm

For more details, see the concert website.

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