The recent lifting of many Covid restrictions has prompted the team behind Belfast TradFest to stage a special winter weekend of traditional music, song and dance – having lost its usual summer slot to the pandemic for the last two years.
The weekend on February 18-20 will see an excellent series of concerts as well as sessions, festival club, céili and workshops with some of the festival stars.
Among the guests appearing in a packed programme are Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Gerry O’Beirne, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, Cathal and Stevie Hayden with Séamie O’Dowd, Brìghde Chaimbeul, TRIP, Niall Hanna, Diane Cannon, Jack Warnock and Méabh Smyth.
As well as a whistle and sing workshop aimed primarily at children – a number of workshops will be presented by master musicians:
- Craig Baxter (bodhrán)
- Conor Caldwell (Donegal fiddle music)
- Isla Callister (fiddle)
- Brìghde Chaimbeul (small pipes and bagpipes)
- Zoë Conway (advanced fiddle)
- Edwina Guckian (dance)
- Cathal Hayden (banjo)
- Stevie Hayden (intermediate fiddle)
- Elaine Hogan (harp)
- Sam Mabbett (button accordion)
- Alasdair MacKenzie (guitar/voice)
- Rory Matheson (piano
- Martin Meehan (flute)
- Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (traditional singing)
- Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh amhránaiocht ar an sean nós))
- Gerry O’Beirne (guitar accompaniment)
- Séamie O’Dowd (guitar accompaniiment)
- Padraig Rynne (concertina)
All of the workshops are aimed at intermediate players and above, except for the traditional singing classes (no experience required) and the whistle and sing workshop.
Details of the concerts and sessions are available on the Belfast Tradfest website: https://www.belfasttraditionalmusic.com/