Friday Night Singing & Spoken Words
with Stephen James Smith and Padraig Jack
Spoken word performance from Stephen James Smith with music and song from Padraig Jack.
Stephen James Smith
Stephen is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word scene in Ireland today. Stephen has performed at high profile events and festivals such as the Electric Picnic, Other Voices, the National Concert Hall, the Abbey Theatre (Noble Call) and Vicar Street (alongside Oscar winner Glen Hansard and Colm Mac Ionmaire); and further afield at the London Palladium, the Oscar Wilde Awards in LA, Glastonbury, George Town Literary Festival (ML) and other events internationally.
In 2017 he was commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival to write a new poem as a “celebratory narrative” of Ireland. The resultant piece My Ireland is accompanied by a short film by Director Myles O’Reilly, arranged and mixed by Conor O’Brien (Villagers), with music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Loah, Saint Sister, Eithne Ní Chatháin (aka Inni-K) and Ye Vagabonds. It has been viewed over 300,000 times online and was screened at London Film Festival in Trafalgar Square on March 17th. The poem was in many ways a follow on from Smith’s previous poetry video Dublin You Are.
Stephen has been conducting poetry workshops in secondary schools around Ireland for a number of years and is a regular volunteer with Fighting Words. His poetry is included on the syllabus at Western Connecticut State University and his work has been translated into Irish, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, Dutch and Italian.
Stephen’s debut collection, Fear Not, is published by Arlen House with a launch due in Autumn 2017.
Born and raised on an Irish speaking island 10 miles off the west coast of Ireland, Padraig Jack’s music is influenced by his surroundings as much as it is by his dad Barry Ronan and his musical family as well as the likes of James Taylor, Van Morrison, Paul Brady, Christy Moore and The Eagles.
With a debut independent single release (English + Irish version) in October 2016 Padraig Jack received significant national radio play on RTE Radio 1 with John Creedon, Cathal Murray and Fiachna O Braonain. His music is now regularly played on RTE Raidió Na Gaeltachta and is also played on Raidió na Life, Raidió Fáilte and BBC Radio Ulster. Padraig made his national live TV debut in 2017 on TG4.
With support slots for The Saw Doctors, Donal Lunny, Mick Flannery, The 4 of Us and John Spillane behind him, Padraig has also begun to familiarise himself with the festival circuit in the North and South of Ireland with appearances at the Westport Bluegrass Festival, SOMA Festival in Co Down, Liú Lúnasa in Belfast and he played a set in the MindField area in the Puball Gaeilge tent at Electric Picnic.
As well as being nominated for four Gradaim NÓS Awards in early 2018 (including ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Artist of the Year’) Padraig won second prize at the Pan Celtic National Song contest in 2018 for ‘i bhFostú sa bhFiántas” and had another song, “Brú Do Bhealach Féin” feature in the RTE 1 documentary Lig Liom which was broadcast in March 2018. Padraig is currently recording his debut EP in the UK with plans to release it in summer 2018.