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Irish Songbook

A collage of images of musicians with Irish connections. Images via the Hot Press ArchivePhotos from the Hot Press Archive

For Expo 2020 Dubai, the Irish Songbook, curated by Niall Stokes in collaboration with the National Concert Hall’s Gary Sheehan, will focus on iconic Irish songs. It comprises 55 songs in total, 15 of which are songs from the Irish Diaspora.

During the 6 months of Expo, these songs will be explored and reinterpreted by our Expo Players, live at our Pavilion and other venues. Their work will lead to an album recording and international release of a selection of songs from the Irish Songbook for Saint Patrick’s Day 2022.

Our Expo Players, who have been selected for their musical creativity as well as the quality of their musicianship, will reimagine selected songs, bringing new musical ideas and new expression to this much-loved collection - thus continuing the Irish tradition of reimagining musical forms.

The reimagined Irish Song Book will tell our stories, explore the themes we are addressing at Expo and create a lasting legacy. The project involves commissioning artists, musicians, recording engineers and others to make and produce new work.