Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer whose books explore birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Her latest book, Lies, draws on a decade of her Irish language poems in translation, and was chosen as a Book of the Year in both The Irish Times and The Irish Independent. Doireann’s awards include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA, 2018), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University, 2018), the Ostana Prize (Italy, 2018), and The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (2016), among others. She writes “with tenderness and unflinching curiosity.” – Poetry Magazine

“Culture Night is a vibrant and dynamic celebration of the arts in Ireland, and it goes from strength to strength every year. I’m excited to join in this year’s festivities, and to discover what’s in store for audiences all over the country!”

God Knows

God Knows is an Irish MC known for his vividly honest lyricism and his electrifying energy wherever he sets foot.

Growing up, God Knows was inspired to pursue music thanks to his uncle, who was a famous Zimbabwean musician in the 1990s. It was music or nothing, so he started writing bars at the age of 12 as an outlet for that little voice  in his head.

His disparate influences, ranging from Lucky Dube to Pepe Kalle to Andre 3000, have helped carve an artist who is not shy to take on deep subject matter over fist-pumping anthems, or to lay bare his emotions over soul samples.

In 2014, God Knows linked up with Clare producer/DJ mynameisjOhn to drop a critically acclaimed eight-track project titled Rusangano/Family and toured around Ireland playing support to international stars such as Run the Jewels and Snoop Dogg among others and making their presence felt on the Irish festival circuit.

This was followed by notable appearances at international festivals such as Eurosonic and SXSW in 2016, leading up to the release of their album Let The Dead Bury The Dead along with frequent collaborator Murli Bo. The trio formed Rusangano Family and went on to win the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Best Irish Album for the 2016.

Since then, God Knows has featured on tracks by Loah, Bantum, Sim Simma Soundsystem and many others before turning the focus to a solo project in 2019, lead by the single ‘CROWN’ featuring French artist, Awir Leon.

“I am a Cultural Trailblazer because I love any opportunity to be a part of anything that brings people together. Culture Night does that successfully every year. I know this first hand as I have been part of Culture Night in some way since 2014 in Limerick and in Clare”

Saint Sister

Saint Sister are a duo from the North of Ireland. Since forming in 2014 they have quickly established themselves as one of the most talked about bands in Ireland. 2015’s ‘Madrid’ was a breakout success, playlisted on BBC Radio 1, RTE and across European radio, enabling them to tour extensively around Ireland, UK and mainland Europe.

Festival highlights at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and Latitude and support slots with The National, Lisa Hannigan and Hozier have secured their reputation as a phenomenal live band. Critically acclaimed, they have won support from key tastemakers at NPR, The Guardian, The Independent (UK) and Billboard Magazine.

At home they were voted the “Best Irish Act” by the readers of The Irish Times, and nominated for the Choice Music Prize Song of the Year in 2016. Their debut album ‘Shape of Silence’ was released last October to rave reviews and they embarked on a 50 date world tour, across the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe to promote it. The band were nominated again for the 2018 Choice Music Prize, both for Song of the Year and Album of the Year. They returned to the USA in May for a month long tour with Henry Jamison.

“We’re very honoured to be representing Ulster as Culture Night trailblazers. Culture Night is an incredible opportunity for people to expose themselves to new sounds, new ideas and come away with a new perspective. The fact that such a special night is island-wide means a lot to us – we’ll be spending the night in Derry’s fair city”

Maser

Maser first started painting street art in Ireland in 1995 and quickly gained a reputation as one of Ireland’s most innovative visual artists.  He combines his unique typographic style, with photorealistic elements that convey an uplifting and socially conscious message.

Maser’s work conveys his love for his environment and the people that live there.  He was recently named one of the top seven Irish people to follow on Instagram by The Daily Edge, was named one of the 60 Most Creative People in Ireland by The Irish Times, and was named in Topman magazines as “The Talent That’s Shaping the City. “

Maser studied motion graphics, photography, print design, and typography at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.  In 2005 he graduated with distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in Design Communication.  Upon graduation Maser was awarded Membership of the International Society of Typographic Designers.  Maser has developed a style of work with a unique edge that fuses art and graphic design.

Since 1995 Maser has treated the world as his canvas leaving behind his artwork in places such as London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Florida, California, Australia, Uganda, Liberia, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Prague, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.  Maser has also painted extensively throughout Ireland for a variety of well-received exhibitions and art events.

Maser endeavors to highlight the positive aspects of street art, for example how it can enrich the cityscape and provide an outlet for young artists. His style is reflective of this, being both inspirational and socially conscious. His creative work carries a positive message, from the simple “Maser loves u” to the “Love yourself today” and his iconic “Don’t Be Afraid” inspired by nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney.

One of Maser’s biggest honors is his invitation by Tandem Press at the University of WisconsinMadison. Tandem Press is one of three professional presses affiliated with a University.  Maser created a limited edition print that was sold to collectors and galleries across the United States and hopes to return to carry out these projects.  In Spring 2014 Tandem Press invited Maser to be an artist in residence while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Culture Night is an exciting opportunity for people to navigate their way throughout the city, culturally, rather than geographically. As a contemporary artist with origins in Street Art, this idea resonates deeply with me. My creative practice continuously strives to bring the outside world – in, and human interaction plays a vital role in the work. As a Culture Night Trailblazer, I am hoping to further expand the artistic genres covered by this national event, to promote inclusion within the creative industry and to welcome visitors to my gallery Atelier Maser”

ALMA HARRAK

She has recently left people with ‘no words’ after teaching herself to play piano in just six months. Alma is from the Syrian capital Damascus. She has never taken a piano lesson before, but instead used YouTube videos to teach herself on a piano in the Mosney Accommodation Centre in Co. Meath.

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URSULA BURNS

She has independently released five solo albums, the latest being The Dangerous Harpist. She has composed a wealth of music for the Theatre Circus. She has toured the comedy circuit and the world with her harp. The multi-instrumentalist accidentally fell into comedy when she won the Irish Musical Comedy Awards in 2012 and her first trip to Edinburgh festival earned her a nomination for the Malcolm Hardee award for Comic Originality. Follow her on Twitter.

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MUNDY

Irish singer/songwriter Mundy is one of a number of artists to successfully make the transition from street busking in Dublin to international stardom during the ’90s. Mundy’s mainly acoustic, folk-based pop/rock has been compared to Damien Rice and Josh Ritter; however, his style is more upbeat and celebratory than either, and his jangle pop influence and tendency to experiment with unconventional sonic textures and beats further distinguishes him.

AIDEEN BARRY

She uses various mediums in her work including performance, sculpture, film, drawing and installation work. Her work has been displayed in museums and contemporary art centres across the globe. Aideen delves into visual trickery to create a heightened suspension of reality through her work, which she has stated is to help deal with her anxiety. Check out Aideen’s work on her website or follow her Twitter @AideenBarry.

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DARACH Ó SÉAGHDHA

His book Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a not so dead language won the Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction award in 2017. Motherfoclóir takes a very witty and pun-filled approach to the Irish language, while included Darach’s personal stories of his relationship with the language. Darach has a growing Twitter account called @theirishfor where he tweets humorous and witty ‘translations’ as Gaeilge. He is the host of the podcast Motherfoclóir, featured in the Headstuff Podcast Network.

Follow Darach on Twitter @darachos or check out Motherfoclóir.

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