Aug 15 & 16, 2020 : Dublin : A Festival of Rhythm

Welcome to Big Bang Festival 2020!

We are delighted to continue the festival online for this year on August 15th and 16th and to host the Big Bang Dance Project in real life, from August 22nd to October 3rd.

We look forward to supporting artists in Ireland, Guinea, the US and India, bringing a programme of workshops interviews, conversations and performances direct to your home. 

The Big Bang Festival is the annual opportunity for dancers, musicians and rhythm makers of all kinds in Ireland to connect with the best practitioners worldwide. We are enabled to do this in 2020 with the kind support of our sponsors The Arts Council and Dublin City Council and the help of our partners, Dance Ireland, Gandharva Loka, Dublin City Council Culture Company and Catherine Young Dance.

We would also like to thank all the other partners who have brought us this far with their support over the years including CityArts, Waltons New School of Music, The Improvised Music Company, Project Arts Centre, Music Maker, Dance Theatre of Ireland, The National Concert Hall, The Ark, The Dublin Pizza Company, The T-shirt Company, The Sugar Club, Whelans, Coiscéim the embassies of Malta, Egypt and Argentina and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Most importantly we would like to thank you, the friends and supporters of the Big Bang Festival who have created this great community of rhythm in Ireland. 

Saturday 15th Aug 


N'Faly Kouyaté

Saturday 15 Aug, 2pm

The Rhythms of My Village

N’Faly Kouyaté, Singer, kora and balafon player with the Afro Celt Sound System takes us on a tour of the village of Siguiri in Guinea, West Africa. Along the way, he introduces us to the local musicians and rhythm makers that made him the musician and Griot he is today and plays us songs from his home, followed by a live Q&A Zoom from Guinea.

Watch live on youtube or facebook or email for the zoom link, which will be sent on the day.

Yahaya Kamaté

Saturday 15 Aug, 3pm - 4.30pm

West African Dance Zoom 

Yahaya Kamaté, a former member of the National Ballet of the Ivory Coast. Yahaya is a teacher at the prestigious Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York and will take you through your paces for 75 sweaty minutes of traditional Mandinka dance. Watch live on our Youtube channel or Facebook page or email for the zoom link, which will be sent on the day. If you would like to dance with more people and in real life, join our 6-week free course with Catherine Young Dance and live drummers at Richmond Barracks from August 22nd, in association with Dance House and Dublin City Council Culture Company

West African Percussion

Saturday 1t5 Aug, 4.30pm - 6pm

Live Zoom workshop

Live Zoom workshop with Monette Marino Keita and Nasira Keita. This workshop will be suitable for beginner to intermediate players and will cover the rhythms Mendiani and Denadon for djembe and dundun. As well as being an in demand soloist, teacher and session drummer in Claifornia, Monette has studied and performed for 20 years with the Guinean master drummer Mamady Keita. Mamady is a former headline act at the Big Bang Festival and is the man Nasira also refers to as ‘Dad.’

Interview with Monette Marino

Saturday 1t5 Aug, 6pm 

Live interview

Interview with Monette Marino about the evolving role of women in percussion in West Africa and elsewhere, with a Q&A with Irish -based and other female practitioners.

Watch live on our Youtube channel or Facebook page or email us in advance to receive the link on the day to the Zoom call.

Sunday 16th Aug


Steve Cooney

Sunday 16 Aug, 2pm

All in Good Time

A conversation on rhythm with Dr Steve Cooney, who revolutionised the role of rhythm guitar in Irish music, through his encyclopaedic knowledge of world music and his own pioneering technique for writing and conceptualising rhythm.  His influence on Irish music is evident on over 250 albums in which he has participated as guitarist, bassist and/or producer.

Watch live on our Youtube channel or Facebook page



Ray Fean

Sunday 16 Aug, 3pm

In Conversation

A conversation with pioneering Irish drum kit virtuoso Ray Fean (Horslips, Dan Ar Braz, Steve Earle, Emmy Lou Harris, Elvis Costelloe, Eddie Reader, Sinead O’ Connor and the Kodo drummers) about the role of drum kit in traditional music. Ray has been the go-to kit drummer for many of the biggest projects in traditional music over the past 3 decades. He talks about his approach to Irish and other Celtic music and the stories behind the big gigs and recordings.

Watch live on our Youtube channel or Facebook page

Advanced West African Drumming Workshop

Sunday 16 Aug, 4.30pm

With Monette Marino and Nasira Keita. This workshop is aimed at djembe players who have been playing for a number of years, have an understanding of dunduns, traditional rhythms and experience of soloing on djembe. Monette will be covering the traditional djembe solo for the rhythm Mendiani.

Watch live on our Youtube channel or Facebook page

Advanced players only are invited to email, at least a day in advance to receive the Zoom link on the day itself.

Debojyoti Sanyal

Sunday 16 Aug, 6pm

Performance from Kolkata, India with Debojyoti Sanyal. ‘Debu’ has performed at two previous Big Bang Festivals and, after Zakir Hussein, is probably the tabla player who has had the most influence on Irish musicians. Debu also has several Irish tabla students whom he teaches by Zoom and in person on his frequent European tours. Debu closes out the weekend with a virtuosic duet of Indian Classical music from his home in Kolkata with santoor player Pinak Bhattacharjee. 

Watch live on our Youtube channel or Facebook page

Saturdays August 22nd –October 3rd, 11am

Big Bang Dance Project with Catherine Young Dance at Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, in Association with Dance Ireland and Dublin City Council Culture Company.

Our one ‘real life’ live project for this year’s Big Bang Festival is the Big Bang Dance Project, which takes place weekly at 11am at Richmond Barracks in Inchicore with live drummers every week. The class will be led by Catherine Young and will focus primarily on traditional West African Dance. Richmond Barracks is on the Luas line at Inchicore (Drimnagh stop) and has the capacity for social distancing. The project will culminate in a performance with a live band on October 3rd.

To participate, email Participation is free but places are strictly limited.

Big Bang Dance Project



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