The Chieftains will appear at the Tullamore Court Hotel on Wednesday the 24th November for a special concert titled the Sound of Wood which is being hosted by Just Forests, an Irish non profit organisation promoting good forest management and helping to alleviate poverty in African communities – www.justforests.org.
The concert will be the international launch of a new initiative called Just Music, which is being developed to highlight the difference musicians can make in the sourcing of timber by questioning where the raw materials for their instruments come from. This project is alleviating poverty in Africa and helping the local communities receive a just price for the natural resources in their area.
The Chieftains will be putting on a full show with guests including New York-based champion Irish dancer Cara Butler, eight string guitarist Redmond O’Toole, harpist Triona Marshall and guest singer Yvonne McMahon-Tiernan.
The legendary band will be joined by the Tullamore based St. Colmcille’s Pipe Band and Eamhain Mhacha, a band comprised of the sons and daughters of exceptional musicians from around the country.
The Concert is being hosted in association with Concern Worldwide and will highlight this important global issue.
An estimated 200 different species of trees are used to make musical instruments. Exquisite ebonies, rosewoods and mahoganies have been valued for centuries for their resonance and beauty. But now, according to Irish non-governmental organisation Just Forests, at least 80 of these species are in serious decline and are threatened with extinction in the wild.
“Timber species decline is not just a third world issue,” says Tom Roche of Just Forests. “The fear that the majestic Sitka Spruce of Alaska-the main species for numerous musical instrument soundboards – could be gone in six years has prompted Gibson Guitars, Martin Guitars and Baldwin Pianos to join forces with Greenpeace to act.”
He continues: “We want Irish musical artists to reflect this present-day tragedy in their music and inspire Irish music-lovers into action to address this problem of global importance.”