We’re delighted to begin the third series of the Santa Rita Concerts at the Little Museum of Dublin with a solo vocal performance by British singer Sam Lee – a rare opportunity to re-discover the immense power of the naked human voice, and the immediacy and timelessness of folksong.
Since bursting on to the folk scene at the end of the last decade, London-born Sam Lee has blazed a trail as an outstanding singer and song collector. Lee is a 21st-century artist, collecting new versions of old songs on his iPhone and laptop, but his repertoire is steeped in the reek and smoke of folk history and lore, its tales of love, parting, exile and murder.
Awarded the United Kingdom’s 2011 Arts Foundation prize, and nominated for the 2012 Mercury Music Award for his debut album, Ground Of Its Own, Sam Lee has brought his music to more than twenty countries worldwide. He has appeared in the BBC TV series Peaky Blinders and he joined The Unthanks to commemorate the First World War at the Barbican in London. Lee reached an even larger audience with his performance of The Tan Yard Side to the accompaniment of a nightingale on BBC Radio 4 in May 2014 (marking the 90th anniversary of the first-ever outside broadcast of Singing with the Nightingales by cellist Beatrice Harrison in May 1924). BBC Radio 3 is currently in the process of recording a feature programme on Sam’s ‘nightingale walks’ which he undertakes every Spring in the Sussex fields.
Released to tremendous critical acclaim in the UK, USA and beyond, Sam’s latest album, The Fade In Time, has helped bring him two nominations in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Sam features as music advisor and composer for the soundtrack of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which is due for release in Spring 2017.
The Santa Rita Concerts provide a unique, deeply immersive audience experience. Each evening begins at 7pm with a Santa Rita wine tasting, and a fireside interview with the artists. The performances take place at 8pm in the museum’s beautifully resonant downstairs gallery. The space is candlelit and the atmosphere highly intimate – a concentrated ritual shared by performer and audience.
"Maarja Nuut, a singer and violinist from Estonia, used loops and electronics to build austere, minimalist grids, with traditional-sounding waltzes and polkas floating in them like ghostly memories." – The New York Times
"Like Brian Eno at his solo best, it's the sort of ambience that doesn't flood, that hovers precariously somewhere between the conscious and the unconscious, barely-there and indisputably present." – pitchfork.com