Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

WEDNESDAY, SEPTMBER 21, 2022 at 12:00 PM (ET)

Armagh Rhymers

Photo: Courtesy of the band

How to watch...

The Armagh Rhymers are one of the most celebrated traditional music and theatre ensembles on the island of Ireland. Since a group of talented actors and musicians founded the Rhymers in the 1970s, they have delighted audiences at festivals, arts centers, theatres, and schools, throughout Ireland and around the world. Through music, storytelling and drama, they provide an experience that is entertaining, educational and cultural. Their colorful costumes evoke a sense of tradition and history and encapsulate the spirit of the “wren boys,” young people who donned traditional disguises and went from house to house, entertaining their neighbors. In these ancient house-visiting traditions of Ireland, the kitchen floor became the stage. The Rhyming tradition is a form of folk drama, often called “the theatre of the people.” The Armagh Rhymers draw on the rich history of this traditional Irish culture, which has inspired generations of poets such as Seamus Heaney, Brendan Kennelly, John Montague, John Hewitt, Michael Longley, and Patrick Kavanagh.

In 2011 the Armagh Rhymers’ arts and science project ‘OASES’ received an international UNAWE award. Their projects on the Irish Famine and the Viking period in Ireland have also received critical acclaim. The Rhymers’ philosophy is that every person has a right to experience live music, drama, and the arts. A major focus of their work is to promote tolerance, inclusivity, and understanding through the arts, for as poet and rhymer John Hewitt noted, “Over us all is the self-same sky.”

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2022 concerts will stream online, Wednesdays from March - September. Video will also be posted online here and on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.