folk & world

Transatlantic Sessions

Today’s finest Celtic and Americana musicians revisit shared roots and forge new common ground in the tenth appearance of Transatlantic Sessions at Southbank Centre.

The project’s founding musical directors are Shetland fiddler legend Aly Bain and 14-time Grammy-winning Dobro master Jerry Douglas.

They lead a house band that includes John Doyle, Michael McGoldrick, Russ Barenberg, John McCusker, Donald Shaw and James Mackintosh.

They are joined by the remarkable mandolin player, tone-true vocalist, and recording artist Sierra Hull, who was the first woman to win the prestigious IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and Tommy Emmanuel CGP, widely acknowledged as a master of the solo acoustic guitar.

The show brings together the best of Nashville, Ireland and Scotland in a format that affords the musicians the opportunity to play together for the love of the music they are playing.

Transatlantic Sessions originated as part of the award-winning Pelicula/BBC TV series of the same name.

The 17th live edition of Transatlantic Sessions once again highlights the format’s evergreen fruitfulness, with a fresh cross-generational array of Scottish, Irish and US special guests joining the regular all-star instrumental line-up.

Sierra Hull, a Tennessee former child prodigy mentored by Alison Krauss, is a three-time (and first-ever female) winner of the IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year Award, and a member of the supergroup First Ladies of Bluegrass. Her 2016 album Weighted Mind introduced her as a singer and songwriter of matching calibre, and she’s soon to release its follow-up.

Cahalen Morrison is a US singer and multi-instrumentalist, who first wowed Americana fans in his mesmerising duo with Eli West. Morrison now features in the acclaimed Western swing/honky-tonk supergroup Western Centuries.

Tommy Emmanuel is an Australian-born guitar deity, with the title of ‘Certified Guitar Player’ from the late Chet Atkins, drawing masterfully from across the realms of folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz and rock.

Cathy Jordan is Dervish’s dynamic, Irish frontwoman and has previously explored transatlantic connections with Seamie O’Dowd and Rick Epping in side-project The Unwanted. In 2012, Jordan released an acclaimed solo album, All the Way Home.

Rachel Sermanni is a Scottish ‘folk noir’ singer-songwriter, who has continued to build her increasingly stellar reputation with 2019’s third studio album As It Turns, inspired by both a sojourn at a Buddhist monastery and current social and political concerns.

Under the annual musical direction of Shetland fiddler Aly Bain and multi-Grammy-winning dobro maestro Jerry Douglas, the accompanying instrumental dream-team once again features Russ Barenberg, Phil Cunningham, John Doyle , Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, Daniel Kimbro and James Mackintosh.

No concert series I know is as downright joyous. . . performances that evoke the informality of a sing-song in a pub
The Times

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall


£27.50 - £33
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£27.50, £33


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.