Trad Week is thrilled to host Pontún, a new Irish-based music quartet embracing folk traditions from Ireland and Africa, at the Regional Cultural Centre.
The band features several Jiggy players, including Éamonn Galldubh on Whistle & Uilleann Pipes, Robbie Harris on Percussion, and Niwel Tsumbu on Guitar & Vocals. The legendary Steve Cooney also joins them on Bass.
In September 2021, Pontún released their rhythmically pulsating, infectious debut single Atlantean, a taster of what’s to come as they work on their new album.
Éamonn Galldubh has toured and recorded with artists including Clannad, Moya Brennan, Cara Dillon, Riverdance, Damien Dempsey, Ragús, Niamh Ní Charra, Celtic Woman, Hazel O Connor, Tarab, Dúlra, Druid Theatre and the RTE Concert Orchestra. He has performed in over forty countries across five continents. Éamonn began playing traditional Irish music on the tin whistle at age eight, moving on to the uilleann pipes, flute and saxophone. He enjoys working both as a session player and performing as a solo artist. As a composer his work has been performed and recorded by artists including Moya Brennan and Zoe Conway.
Most recently Robbie Harris has been touring with the Grammy-nominated Afro Celt Sound System on their recent European tour. Over the years he has recorded and performed with artists such as: Bobby McFerrin, Clannad, Bob Geldof, Jiggy, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Kodaline, Brian Kennedy, Steve Cooney, Dónal Lunny, Sharon Corr, Luka Bloom, Moya Brennan, Celtic Woman, The High Kings, Emer Mayock and world music artists such as, Hector Zazou, Nitin Sawhney, Theodosii Spassov, Mamady Keita and Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan.
He has recorded and performed with The RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, Galician Philharmonic Orchestra, Il Giardino Armonico and many other chamber orchestras and ensembles.
Congolese guitarist, composer and singer Niwel Tsumbu has emerged as an engaging and innovative musician in constant demand and has gained many admirers around Ireland and Congo. Since moving to Ireland in 2004 from the Democratic Republic Of Congo, Niwel has settled with his wife and three children and has quickly become a prominent face on the Irish music scene. He has collaborated with many celebrated Irish musicians such as Sinéad O’Connor, Liam O’Maonlai, Donal Lunny, Glen Hansard, as well as international stars such as Ma Xiaohui (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack), Senegalese legend Baaba Maal, Richard Bona and Nigel Kennedy amongst others.
Steve Cooney is best known for his development of an influential style of guitar accompaniment to traditional Irish dance music which he developed in West Kerry, and for which he won the National Entertainment Award with Séamus Begley in 1997. Born in Melbourne Australia in 1953, he came to Ireland in 1980 and maintains his connections with the Aboriginal culture there, into which he was initiated. He has ancestral links with Tipperary, Cavan and Galway. He has participated in making more than 250 CDs, either as a guitar or bass player or as producer and engineer. Also a poet and songwriter, he has worked with many iconic international artists in rock and country music but his primary focus is Irish traditional music, and fusions of that genre. In 2020 he was given the RTÉ Folk Awards ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award.