An afternoon of Irish & Flemish trad & folk music with special guest performance from Jan Smed
The Jan Smed (‘John Smith’) is a traditional Flemish dance. In 1969 five youngsters from the same parish near Brussels chose Jan Smed as the name of their newly formed band. They were among the very first to revive traditional music in Flanders. Now, fifty years later, and still going strong, they are the only surviving band from the pioneering days.
Jan Smed’s hallmark has always been a repertoire of tunes and songs drawn from the purest sources of tradition: old collections and handwritten tunebooks, and the memory of aged musicians and singers. The line-up includes fiddle, flute, fife, Flemish bagpipe, diatonic accordion, hommel (Flemish dulcimer), double bass and percussion. The band are known for their fresh, energetic and highly danceable tradition-inspired approach.
Ever since their first gigs in Ireland in 1975, at festivals in Cobh and Letterkeny, the Jan Smed band have had a soft spot for the country. A couple of years ago, fiddler and piper Ivo and his wife Chris even became parttime residents of Bray. Ivo now takes every opportunity to jam with his Irish friends in the area. Some of them will be happy to join the band for a mixed Flemish and Irish set.
Fifty years after Jan Smed’s first gig in October 1969, their could be no greater place for one of their golden jubilee concerts than the Hot Spot.