Monthly Archives: June 2009

Competition Time: Win tickets to your choice of concerts at the Waltons Guitar Festival of Ireland


Sign up to be included on all our competition and free giveaway alerts by sending an email to and you could be in with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the concert of your choice at this year’s Waltons Guitar Festival.
All you have to do is write WALTONS GUITAR FESTIVAL OF IRELAND COMPETITION in the subject line of your email.
Tell us what your 3 concert preferences are and include your NAME, ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER.
If you don’t wish to be contacted by Waltons about our upcoming giveaways and competitions please state this in your email.

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Waltons Guitar Festival 1st to 5th July

Don’t miss the Waltons Guitar Festival of Ireland taking place from 1 – 5 July, 2009.

The festival, now in its sixth year, is a world-class music event and features a programme of great performances, showcasing the best in classical, jazz, folk and world music in some of Dublin’s finest venues. Over the course of its existence, the Waltons Guitar Festival of Ireland has been transformed from a genre-based festival to a more eclectic series of events that now spans the boundaries of an incredibly diverse instrument.

This year the festival leads with a joint opening-concert by ‘Woodroad‘ to celebrate the Waltons Guitar Festival of Ireland and the Farmleigh Summer Cultural Programme. It will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Farmleigh courtesy of the OPW. Expect a unique concert of laid-back Brazilian lullabies, fiery tangos, graceful Scarlatti and riotous Klezmer. With the guitar playing of Alec O’Leary and bewitchingly mellow clarinet lines from Deirdre OLeary, this is one to treat yourself to.

The following day grammy award winner David Russell performs in what will be a spectacular concert.

Friday 3rd July, the brilliant young Polish guitarist Krzysztof Pelech will make his Irish debut. That evening the true spirit of Argentine tango comes to Vicar St. with dancers, bandoneon, voice and guitars in a much anticipated concert entitled Tango & Friends. This fascinating vocal-instrumental performance is mixed with the choreographies of two tango dancers in a night of passion, seduction and sensuality. Not to be missed.

On Saturday 4th July the great Italian virtuoso guitarist Flavio Cucchi makes his festival debut and later that evening in the National Concert Hall you can see the great ‘Royal Family of the Guitar’ – Los Romeros. A veritable institution in the world of classical music, the Los Romeros quartet has dazzled countless audiences and has won the praise of reviewers worldwide (early booking advised).

Past festival favourite and longtime supporter of the festival John Feeley, hailed as Ireland’s leading classical guitarist, will be performing on Sunday. To finish the festival off on a high note American phenomenon Andy McKee will make his long-awaited festival debut at 8pm on Sunday 5th July in the Sugar Club. There are also many opportunities to study with these world renowned musicians at the Festival. With more than twenty different events, you’re sure to find musical adventures that will delight you, your friends and your family. We look forward to meeting you there!

log on to for booking and more information

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Zakir Hussain Workshop Update

Please note that the time for Zakir Hussain’s percussion masterclass/workshop (see below) has been changed from 4 pm to 3.30 pm on Thursday, June 18th. Thank you!


Waltons World Masters presents

Zakir Hussain

and Masters of Percussion

Thursday, 18 June 2009, 8 pm

National Concert Hall, Main Auditorium

Tickets €26, €41, €52, €63

Free online booking at

Zakir Hussain · Tabla

Niladri Kumar · Sitar

Sabir Khan · Sarangi

Abbos Kosimov · Doyra

Navin Sharma · Dholak

Meitei Pung Cholom Performing Troupe · The Dancing Drummers of Manipur

‘A living genius, whose unadulterated performances of Indian music are among the most thrilling concerts to be heard anywhere.’

New York Times

‘He is the world’s greatest living tabla player, a genius, a maestro.’
Nitin Sawhney


Waltons New School of Music and National Concert Hall Learn & Explore present

Zakir Hussain Percussion Masterclass

Thursday, 18 June 2009, 3.30 pm

National Concert Hall, John Field Room

Tickets €5


Zakir Hussain is one of the greatest tabla players ever and is today appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the world of music at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have not only established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, but gained him fame all over the world for his many accomplishments.

Hussain’s contribution to world music has been unique, and includes many historic collaborations with India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers, from Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar to Birju Maharaj and Shivkumar Sharma, as well as Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharoah Sanders and symphonies around the world. His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study.


Niladri Kumar, the son and disciple of sitar maestro Pandit Kartick Kumar, started learning the sitar at the age of four and had his first public performance at the age of six. Hailed as one of the best young exponents of Indian classical music, Niladri exhibits a profound understanding of the artistic aspects and nuances of diverse gharana styles and a mastery of technical skill. His artistry is a result of years of learning and a lineage of five generations of sitar players. Whether at classical Indian recitals or world music concerts, he has an uncanny ability to strike an instant rapport with the audience that transcends all age barriers.

Abbos Kosimov was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to a very musical family. He studied at the College of Culture and Music under doyra master Mamurjon Vahabov and graduated in 1988. A few years later, he established the Abbos School, where he taught the talented youth of his country to play the doyra. In 2001, in honor of the tenth anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence, Abbos was awarded a medal celebrating his status as an ‘Honored Artist of Uzbekistan’. In 2005, he moved to the United States and he has since recorded and/or performed with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Randy Gloss’s Hands OnSemble, Giovanni Hidalgo and Zakir Hussain.

Sabir Khan was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He is the ninth generation of his family to take up sarangi and is considered one of the beacons of the younger generation. Sabir began learning when he was six years old through his grandfather, Ustad Gulab Khan, and soon after began training with his father, world renowned sarangi player and vocalist Ustad Sultan Khan, and with his late uncle Ustad Nasir Khan. His technique is a rare combination of sur and laya (note and rhythm). He has already, remarkably, learned most of his legendary father’s entire repertoire with a similar command and mastery on the instrument.

Navin Sharma was born in the Ulhasnagar district of Maharashtra in 1975 to a musical family and started studying the dholak at a very young age. His first guru was Shyam Rughuram Sharma, his father, and through these studies he was introduced to other local musicians who were actively composing scores for Bollywood films. After realizing his desire to study more Indian classical music, his father insisted he learn from tabla master Ustad Alla Rakha, with whom he studied for several years. Navin has performed with many master musicians over his career, including jazz, fusion, pop, rock, gazal and bhajan ensembles.

Meitei Pung Cholom Performing Troupe is one of India’s premier performance troupes, combining dance, drumming and martial arts in their repertoire. Dedicated to the rejuvenation of traditional folk and classical Manipuri dance styles, they were established in 1963 by the late Guru Padmashri Amubi Singh. They have performed thousands of concerts in India and have enjoyed many successful international tours. Known for their dynamic athleticism and proficiency as well as their unique-sounding drums, they are a visual feast, dazzling audiences with their acrobatic choreography.

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‘Downhill’ win Waltons Music prize in Blastbeat’s Battle of the Bands!

Blastbeat winners DOWNHILL came in to Waltons Music, George’s Street shop in Dublin yesterday (28 May 2009) to collect their fantastic prize of an amazing full backline of instruments. Waltons presented them with a DXP 5-piece Rock Drum Kit, a set of XING cymbals, the KURZWEIL SP2X keyboards, a CRATE amp cabinet (cab) and head and an AMPEG bass cabinet and head.

Tim, Dan and Conor, from Downhill, were thrilled with their prizes. They were particularly pleased with the CRATE and AMPEG professional amplifiers.

Dan was delighted with the new DXP drum kit. Both he and Conor started the band about three years ago. Dan’s cousin Tim, who plays bass, was invited to join the band. Tim is currently studying music at Newpark in Dublin, and cites jazz greats Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus among his influences. Conor is one of the guitarists in the band and can now blow the roof off with his new Crate Amp! He has been playing guitar for about 6 years. He’s a ‘New Found Glory’ fan but also confesses to liking Bon Jovi!

Three members of Downhill are presented with their prizes by Bill Murray (Waltons Georges Street Manager). (L to R) Conor, Bill, Tim and Dan (front).

Three members of Downhill are presented with their prizes by Bill Murray (Waltons Georges Street Manager). (L to R) Conor, Bill, Tim and Dan (front).

Downhill’s first EP is due to be released during the summer. It will be called THIS IS OUR PROGRESS. It includes four songs: ‘Worse Situtations’, ‘Home’, ‘The All Nighter’ and ‘Always on the Run’. We’ll watch out for that making a splash soon! Look out for their upcoming appearance in Waltons on George’s Street when they’ll perform some of their winning material in the next few weeks.

Blastbeat is an award winning, fun and exciting, new Teen Music & Multimedia Business project offered to high schools around the world to teach entrepreneurial business skills, promote young musicians, and support youth communities on a local and global level.Winning Bands are selected from school concerts around the country by a panel of industry professionals and progress to Regional/National finals. The winning band also receives a Record Deal with Blastbeat Records.

Group Hug from Downhill!! (L to R) Bill Murray (Waltons Georges Street Manager), Conor, Dan and Tim (Downhill).

Group Hug from Downhill!! (L to R) Bill Murray (Waltons Georges Street Manager), Conor, Dan and Tim (Downhill).

Teenagers organize themselves into Music & Multimedia Companies (MMCs), with each member of the company taking on a different job description such as CEO, Sales & Marketing Manager, Talent scout, Web Manager, Video Crew, Photographer, Journalist, etc. ultimately producing a Battle of the Bands concert in order to identify the best musical talent in their areas. There are 2 competitions in 1, an enterprise competition for the MMCs and a Battle of the Bands for the musicians.

Recent winners from Ireland include ‘Hotstop’ from Dublin and ‘The Impressionists’ from Cork. These bands are now signed to BlastSpace Records and will be soon be recording their debut albums. Other bands now signed to BlastSpace Records include Blastbeat Finalists Steer Clear & Homestar Runner, who both recorded and released albums in 2007. MMCs in each territory carry out a variety of specific tasks throughout a 3 Month Module and are graded on a continuous assessment bases. 20% of the marks are allocated to their end of year presentation at the MMC Exhibition on the day of the National Final.

The winning MMCs are decided on by a panel of judges with the winner receiving either a cash prize or a trip to the World Finals which will take place in a different territory each year. The inaugural World Finals took place in Dublin in January 2008 with the Irish Band ‘Hotstop’ claiming top spot and earning the prize of a ‘World Tour’ after beating off stiff competition from bands from LA, New York, South Africa and Belgium.

“The Blastbeat Mini-Company Program has been running in schools in Ireland since 2004 / 2005.  Blastbeat has proven itself to be one of the most successful enterprise programs we have in schools in Ireland…Everyone from the students to the teaching staff, families and general public received Blastbeat very well…Blastbeat has an excellent pedagogy and represents best practices in its approach and application…Students develop a wide range of skills including entrepreneurial, interpersonal, and organizational skills…I am happy to recommend and support the Blastbeat program on behalf of the Department of Education…”

-Michael O’Leary, Transition Year National Coordinator, Department of Education, Republic of Ireland

Get more information on Downhill on their blastbeat page and their Myspace

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