Michael Coleman, the legendary fiddle player, was born in Knockgraine, Killavil, near Ballymote in Co. Sligo in 1891. Surrounded by fiddle players of great skill, his older brother Jim, regarded locally as a master fiddler and his neighbours Philip O’Beirne and PJ McDermott had a major influence on the young Michael. He emigrated to America in 1914 and was among one of the first to record traditional music there.
Coleman’s records were to have a major impact on musicians back in Ireland, and were to exercise an influence on traditional music which was to long outlast his own lifetime. Although he has had many imitators, his combination of superb technical ability and deeply expressive playing has had few, if any equal. Michael Coleman died in New York in 1945 and is buried in St. Raymond’s cemetery in the Bronx.
Today, Ceoláras Coleman – or The Coleman Music Centre, located at the crossroads in Gurteen village, is a state of the art traditional music and cultural centre developed & dedicated to the memory of Michael Coleman. It is also the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Regional Resource Centre for the five counties, Sligo Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Fermanagh. The centre is very welcoming and caters for individuals and groups as well as coach tours, retirement groups and school tours. A visit to the centre will provide a first-hand experience of Sligo’s original brand of traditional music where visitors can view an audio-visual presentation on the history of Irish traditional music and experience the exhibition area with its interactive multimedia terminals of various musicians, their music and styles from the beginning of the last century to modern times.
Learn about Irish dancing styles and traditions, how musical instruments are made and much more. The Coleman Archive houses an extensive collection of music, folklore, songs, videos, photographs and has a link to the National Comhaltas Archive.
The Coleman Theatre
The Coleman centre has an intimate theatre where regular concerts and theatre events take place during the year. During the months of July and August, concerts take place twice weekly.
The Music/Gift Shop
The shop stocks a vast selection of traditional music CDs, including many of an archival type, DVDs, music books, musical instruments and accessories, gift ideas and lots more....
Coleman School of Music
Weekly music classes, catering for all age groups are held for an extensive range of instruments during the school term. Special one-to-one tuition is available all year round by advance booking.
The Coleman Cottage
This farmhouse cottage is a replica of the original Coleman homestead, which will give visitors a unique insight into how people lived during the early twentieth century in Ireland. The building has three rooms, is constructed of red sandstone and is roofed in traditional thatch. The cottage contains everyday cooking utensils, furniture, crockery and other artefacts, which date back to the 1920s. These give the visitor a living representation of life during that time. (Visit by appointment)
A programme of music, song and dance is available - day or evening - booking essential. GPS-coordinates: 53.996017, -8.522813
Open all year round - Mon-Sat