Although many people immediately thinks of Fado when they first visit Lisbon, there was music already here from the old Celtic tribes that once lived in Lusitania (the territory we now know as Portugal) that is still in our DNA nowadays. Could this explain the melancholia of Fado (that in Gaelic means “long ago”)? Lots of coincidences, but no one knows. One thing is for sure: Portuguese folklore could easily be confused with the Celtic folk that you hear in Ireland or Scotland. Yes, We have bagpipes too!
In 1995, the Irish Sessions started, but they didn’t last long. In 2007, Cesar Pimentel had the idea of restarting the jams and soon the “Irish Sessions of Lisbon” were born in a local Irish Pub every Monday. At first, they were just a few, but soon it became bigger.
There’s the Irish concertina, a fiddle, guitars, mandolins, thin whistles and banjos. For me, this is one of the best nights of live music in Lisbon. It’s free and more spontaneous than other concerts, and everyone is welcome to join. Aren’t you curious to watch Portuguese playing Irish reels, jigs and fiddle tunes?
Every time I have the chance I go there to take the dust out of my mandolin and join the jam.
Make sure you don’t miss it! Every Monday at 21:30 at O’Gillins Irish Pub!