Black Stone Caps Piva Ti Hai

My word, what a week!

I’m just waiting for the train to Holyhead and sitting in the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse which not only does great drinks and pastries, but is within spitting distance of Shrewsbury railway station AND they host gigs – John Doyle is here on 11th Sep and Dick Gaughan on 11th November! In between there is the first Django Reinhardt Festival of Shrewsbury 2nd – 4th Oct and Chris Quinn is hosting acoustic guitar courses here.
Call the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse for details 01743 242610 or email


So Shrewsbury Festival was something else. . . if you missed it, all the main stage gigs were filmed and live streamed and you can still see them for the next 7 days on the website.


Highlights for me included Coope, Boyes and Simpson, Folk Nations, La Bottine Souriante and of course the gig I was involved in.

I am so proud to be part of Hannah James’ ‘Good Vibrations’ project and I’m looking forward to watching it when I get home! I forgot to mention that the chorus I read out and the song we sang near the end of the show was a snippet of a great new song by Mark Hickman from the Isle of Wight and I’ll pop the whole song lyrics up on the next blog. . .
I also loved the dance with Blowzabella . . .but I must say, the two top concerts for me were Hannah James’ preview of her forthcoming solo show ‘JigDoll’ – see :

and of course, the utterly stunning New Rope String Band – who are already on their farewell tour. See them before it’s too late!!!!

OK – in case you’re free and in Ireland on Wednesday night – Ian Carr (guitar whizz & who was in the NRSB before Tim)) is playing (I’m not quite sure who with. . .sorry, it’s been busy!) at Roscommon Arts Centre (possibly Alan Kelly – wonderful piano accordionist) and on Saturday. . .I got this reminder from Ger Kelly :

From: Ger Kelly <>
Sent: 01 September 2015 08:37

Hello there!

Get rid of the back to school blues and come out for an amazing night of music from two of the giants of Sligo music in the Clubhouse, Dromahair . Liam Kelly has played flute with traditional giants, Dervish all over the world for the past 26years and is back in his adopted village and beside his father’s birthplace, Sweetwood-just 2 miles from Dromahair. Philip Duffy originally from Tubbercurry, Co Sligo and now living in Carney overlooking the Darty mountains, has played fiddle with many different groups and now plays with the All Ireland winning Darty Ceili Band.

They’re in great form for playing tunes in the Clubhouse next Saturday, 5th Sept @ 9.30pm (ish)having warmed up at the All Ireland Fleadh in Sligo just a few weeks ago; come and see ‘n’ hear for yourself! You can hear tunes live from their new  critically acaimed CD “Sets in Stone”. Sure you can have a meal in the Riverside Award winning restaurant; whilst you’re here!


. . . . . and Frances O Rourke was telling me about this exciting weekend she has planned (when I met her at the Blowzabella Dance) :

From: Frances <>
Sent: 01 September 2015 07:48
To: Karen Tweed
Subject: Manchester Klezmer Day



Manchester Klezmer Day on 19 September 2015

Manchester Klezmer Day

Saturday 19 September 2015

St Matthew’s Church Hall, Chester Road, Stretford, Manchester, M32 8HF

Learn to play in an authentic Klezmer style with some of the UK’s top Klezmer musicians.
  • Susi Evans, on clarinet plays with bands She’Koyokh and London Klezmer Quartet. She has an international profile; her dazzling technique is the high point of festivals around the world.
  • Frances O’Rourke on piano accordion has also performed with London Klezmer Quartet and runs Yiddlesticks Klezmer Band in Manchester.
  • Josie Wexler on fiddle, sings and plays with Minnie Moosika in Sheffield. Josie plays with inspiration and imagination.
  • Judith Plowman has been running Klezmer dancing classes in Manchester for several years and will be our dance leader for the Klezmer Keilidh.

 Saturday daytime workshops are for musicians of all levels (not beginners) and take place at St Matthew’s and on Saturday evening in the same venue will be a ‘Klezmer Keilidh’ featuring the tutors and all the musicians that participate in the workshops.

To start off the weekend, on Friday 18 September there will be a Klezmer jam session in the basement at Mono Bar in Chorlton, Manchester. Admission is free but there will be a collection.
Mono, 535 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 0UE

For booking and information, go to the Manchester Klezmer Day web page:

£25 Full Day Ticket – admission to the workshops and all events.
£20 Workshops – just the daytime workshops.
£8 Klezmer Keilidh – evening dance.

This event is sponsored by the Jewish Music Institute


What a bargain!!!

And! Festivals can be great for conversations and finding things ut. I really enjoyed the first set I saw of PIVA. Their leader, Eric Moulder is a superb instrument maker (early music) and I was fortunate enough to visit his workshop a couple of years ago and find out about his baroque bassoons! An amazing chap, and along with his partner, Jane (and two more of the PIVA players) – we had a lovely cup of tea on Sunday and they held me, fascinated, in a conversation about Renaissance (as against Baroque) music.


All about ‘Ground Basses’. . .I’ll ask him to write a few words about it. My head was already reeling form the Good Vibrations rehearsals and Giuliano’s superb and thoroughly understandable explanations for me and Sandy about Indian Ti Hais.


Curious? Well, if I didn’t have to catch a train. . .seriously, I’ll be writing more about all these things shortly. And about how the CBSO (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) are now reverting to wooden (instead of silver) flutes.


Meantime, check out PIVA :




Lastly, I’d just like to pay tribute to an old gentle friend, Christian Wurm who died at the beginning of June.

He was an amazing photographer and I only found out about his passing on Saturday. His photograph collection is now held by the Bavarian Jazz Institute.

He wasn’t very old and I shall miss our sporadic letters and sharing of music that we loved. He introduced me to Tin Hat Trio and Carminho.

A beautiful, shy man who saw the world so very differently and was way ahead of his time. His photographs were used for SWAP’s first CD and Davy Steele’s ‘Chasing Shadows’.

I expect Christian and Davy are up there, having a wee beer and laughing down on us.

Two of the best.

May they rest in peace.





Thursday 10th September – Sunday 13th September : KT at NEWRY CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL, Newry, Northern Ireland.

Friday 18th Sunday 20th September : THE LONGFORD COLLECTION WEEKEND (in partnership with Karen Tweed’s Great Days. . . .

Friday 18th September : Grand concert with KT (solo) and The Longford Collection
Barney’s Bar and Restaurant. 12 Main Street, Longford Town, County Longford, Republic of Ireland
Tickets : 7€ (advance) / 10€ on the door. 5€ under 16s and unwaged. Under 5s – free.

Available from :

and the Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford Town, County Longford, Republic of Ireland.

Tel : +353 (0) 43 334 2577

Saturday 19th September : WORKSHOPS and TALKS and MASTERCLASSES!!!
Venue : The Longford Arms Hotel and Spa, Longford Town, County Longford, Republic of Ireland.
(we tried to make the address as simple as possible to remember. . .)

Tel : +353 43 3346296

Music workshops from 10am – 4.30pm led by Karen Tweed (piano accordion) and Nick Wiseman Ellis (diatonic button accordion).

Karen will be concentrating on Irish traditional music techniques using repertoire from the Bunch Of Keys Tune Book 1, polkas, slides and perhaps a waltz as well.

Nick will be concentrating on Irish traditional music, French and Swedish music.

Notation and ABC notation will be available at the end of the day; however, you are encouraged to bring a notepad, pencil and recording device. All music will be taught in the workshops, by ear.

NO beginners but everyone else welcome.

Schedule :

10am Welcome

10.15-11.15 Session 1 (KT & N W-E)

11.15-11.45 Tea / coffee break

11.45-13.00 Session 2 (KT & N W-E)

13.00-14.00 LUNCH (not provided)

14.00-14.45 Flute-On with local flautists Tom McElvogue and Noel Sweeney (Talk and Tunes; open only to and free to the Accordion Course students).

This is a ‘Listen and Share’ masterclass with Tom McElvogue and Noel Sweeney (flutes) where they share how / why they play and compose; their musical styles and where they came from; the local music in Longford and their varied lives involving music professionally.

14.45-15.00 Tea / coffee break

15.00-16.30 Session 3 (KT & N W-E)

16.45-17.45 Karen Tweed’s beginner’s melodica class (melodicas provided – no experience in playing or music reading necessary).
This is a beginners’ melodica workshop with Karen Tweed.

Karen started her musical life on the melodica and they are great as they teach you keyboard skills and breathing; so you can then go onto woodwind, brass, accordions etc and the melodicas aren’t a ton weight! Perfect for adults and younger people alike. . .

Tickets : 3€ (Free to Accordion Course students).
All ages welcome.

All above events held at the Longford Arms.

Plus some non-musical-but-very creative talks for those needing to get away from those darned accordions!

Accordion Workshop day 60€.

Accordion Classes student numbers are capped at 20 students.

Tickets : 60€ for the workshop day.

Available from :

and the Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford.

Tel : +353 (0) 43 334 2577

On the Saturday the evening, there will be a ‘Despicable Ceili’ (Round the House and Mind the Minions!!!) with prizes for the best dressed character from any of the DespicableMe Movies and certainly for the best dancer (in the style of DespicableMe).

Music will be by The Longford Collection and many of the dances will be called so no experience necessary!

Ceili, old time, sets and waltzes. Oh you HAVE to have waltzes (don’t tell my Dad though, he hates waltzes!!!)

Fancy Dress (optional) Ceili tickets : 5€ / ‘Family’ ticket (2 adults and 2 under 16s – none of whom need to be related) 10€

Available soon from :

and the Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford.

Tel : +353 (0) 43 334 2577

Sunday 20th September :
Music workshops from 10am – 3.30pm led by Karen Tweed (piano accordion) and Nick Wiseman Ellis (diatonic button accordion).

Karen and Nick will be creating a performance big band (ALL instruments – including woodwind and brass welcome) which will perform in a public concert that day at 5pm.

A kind of ‘Crikey, let’s get a move on!’ pop up instrumental and vocal workshop.

No experience needed; but no absolute beginners on instruments, please.

Bring your instruments and voices, a wee note pad and recorder if you have one. There will be notation for melodies and words for the songs but arrangements will be done by ear.

Tickets : 20€ for the workshop day. Family ticket (you do need to be related for this one) 50€

Available from :

and the Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford.

Tel : +353 (0) 43 334 2577

A lively and fun popup big band created from today’s students and directed by Nick Wiseman Ellis and Karen Tweed.

Expect madness, beauty and fun in music, vocals and spoken word.

Tickets : 5€

Available soon from :

and the Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford.

Tel : +353 (0) 43 334 2577

So if you’d like to come for the whole weekend, book in with the Longford Arms Hotel and Spa – great rooms, lovely food and heaps of free parking. Bang in the centre of town too!

Tel : +353 43 3346296

 NB: The accordion workshops are limited to 20 students (we will split the group so that students get time with Nick and I individually, and some sessions will be led jointly) so it may be worth booking sooner rather than later. If you are coming overseas and wish to borrow a box, email me at


I’m now re-releasing old recordings of mine as downloadable cds from my website (thanks to Tom McElvogue) and we’ve now got :

‘Shhh’ which was originally released in 1995 with Ian Carr (guitar)

‘Fyace’ which was originally released in 1997 with Ian Carr (guitar)

‘Half As Happy As We ‘ Two Duos Quartet originally released in 1999 with Ian Carr (guitar), Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion) and Chris Wood (fiddle – he doesn’t play that anymore, sadly – and guitar and vocals) 

‘One Roof Under’ which was originally released in 2002 with Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion)

‘May Monday’ which was originally released in 2001 with Timo Alakotila (piano)

‘Midnight May Monday’ which was originally released in 2007 with Timo Alakotila (piano)


Round and about. . .

1. Liam Kelly & Philip Duffy are launching their new CD “Sets in Stone” in the Clubhouse, Dromahair, County Leitrim, Republic of Ireland on Saturday, 5th September. Hopefully they’ll have lots of musician & dancer friends to join them in a session afterwards. They’ll play for about 45mins and then hopefully, all hell will break loose into a mighty session of music and craic!


From: Jill Elliot <>
Sent: 27 August 2015 21:35
To: Jill Elliot
Subject: New Rope String Band Last Ever Somerset Performance


Advanced notice of Hibernia Autumn term starting soon on Saturday 5th September – but just thought I should pass this on to you about the New Rope string band playing for the last time locally as so many of you enjoyed the New Rope String Band at the Christmas party last year.

FRIDAY 18th SEPT. Doors (and bar) open at 7pm
COMPTON MARTIN VILLAGE HALL (between Bristol and Bath)
tickets from
Tel: Katie Newlyn (Mobile): 07816 451295



Karen Tweed is represented worldwide by  :
Lorraine Carpenter at Different Strings Agency

+44 117 904 1870 / +44 7929 135744