Irish meets Jewish ….

Irish meets Jewish …. amidst the mirk over the Irk

(at the Manchester Jewish Museum)


Thursday 3rd March, 2016 (19.30-22.00) – more information

Sunday 6th March, 2016 (14.30-16.30) — including a film premiere of a new documentary – produced by Rob Foot and Ellie Sherwood – about (the development of) klezmer in Manchester and what it means to those involved in it. – more information

Sunday 6th March, 2016 (19.30-22.00) – more information


Three concerts featuring Mike McGoldrick, Dezi Donnelly, Ange Durcan and L’chaim Kapelye.

Imagine, back in the day (say 1880s-1900s), the huddled masses down in the valley of the river Irk; on the western bank, the largely Jewish communities of Red Bank and on the eastern side the largely Irish dwellers of Angel Meadow. Their differences in languages, cultures and religions meant they probably kept largely to themselves but, imagine, amid the polluted murk in which they lived and worked, what if they’d caught snatches of melody drifting across the Irk? Maybe some were curious to follow the sounds and cross to the other side. Imagine what music might have ensued.

These two communities – though very different – shared the immigrant experience of leaving home (the shtetl and the bog) behind, driven from their rural and small-town home-worlds for the industrialised deprivations and opportunities of Cottonopolis. Over time, both peoples prospered, and both, through their participation in the life of the city, became important Mancunian communities. The musics of such Jewish and Irish communities – though very different – also share some similarities. Both are modal, heterophonic, dance-oriented oral traditions, and the fortunes of both have waned then waxed over the years. So, imagine if, a century or more ago, some musicians had ventured from Angel Meadow to Red Bank …. what would have transpired and what might it have sounded like?

In this newly-devised show, musicians in both traditions (who learned their craft here in Manchester) come together to explore these possibilities. Michael McGoldrick, Dezi Donnelly and Angela Durcan and the six-strong members of L’chaim Kapelye (Pippa Goodall, Jemima Kingsland, Dan Mawson, Lucie Phillips, Ellie Sherwood, and Hat Wells) – together, they work the different traditions to create new sounds and pieces, their response to this ‘What if?’ of intercultural engagement.


Mary Burke’s Sketches of the show:

Mary_Burke_Sketch2

Mary_Burke_Sketch1

See reviews of and articles about the show: Big IssueRob Spence blog reviewNorth West End review,