Traditional Music and Song

july, 2022

tue26jul8:00 pm10:30 pmWith Fife and DrumBelfast Tradfest8:00 pm - 10:30 pm The Strand Arts Centre, Holywood Road, Belfast.

Event Details

This Belfast Tradfest concert explores the traditions of Scotland and Ireland through bagpiping, uilleann piping, fifing, flute, tin whistle, drumming and bodhrán, featuring some leading players of these instruments.

Alastair Donaghy from Omagh, Co.Tyrone, is a member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, with whom he has won several major championships, including two world titles, the most recent in August 2018. Alastair was also crowned Young Piper of the Year in 2014. He now competes at senior level.

Acclaimed by the Irish Times as “just about the best tin whistle player this century,” Mary Bergin released her first solo album, Feadóga Stáin, in 1979, which continues to be regarded as a classic. She has toured extensively in Europe, America and in Australia playing in concerts and festivals, and giving workshops and seminars.

Gareth McLees from Belfast began drumming when he was 8 years old – playing for Glasdrummond and North Belfast Pipe Bands. He was taught by Stephen Rourke of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, and the drumming legend, the late Bobby Rea, himself a three-time World Solo Champion and Champion of Champions.

Belfast TradFest board members, Ian Burrows and Andy McGregor, are highly regarded players of the highland pipes and the smallpipes who have performed and taught music the world over.

The vibrant recording heritage of the 1920s and 1930s has had a huge influence on the flute-playing of Harry Bradley (pictured above), as has the playing of musicians such as Séamus Tansey, Desi Wilkinson and piper, Séamus Ennis. From South Belfast, Harry received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil as Traditional Musician of the Year in 2014.

Tara Bingham from Comber in Co. Down learned her early music from her father, Leslie Bingham, also a flute player. She is one of a group of accomplished flute players who emerged from the greater Belfast area in the late 1970s, and is renowned for the tone and smoothness of her playing.

Mikie Smyth began playing the pipes in the Pipers Club in Henrietta Street, Dublin. He has performed both as a soloist and with shows (Riverdance and Ragus) in over 25 countries. He has recorded with Dónal Lunny, Maurice Lennon, Seán Keane and the Rubberbandits.

Virtuoso bodhran player, Tommy Hayes, has been at the forefront of traditional Irish music for over forty years. He has performed and recorded with most of the great names in traditional music and beyond. He has been a member of a number of ground-breaking groups, including Stockton’s Wing, Puck Fair, Altan, Liam O’Flynn and the Pipers Call Band and the Eileen Ivers Band.

Doors open from 7.30pm.

Tickets for the concert, each costing £15, are available from


(Tuesday) 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm


The Strand Arts Centre

Holywood Road, Belfast.

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