The Waterfront Hall is set to host the 2020 Gradam Ceoil TG4 music awards on Sunday 23 February, with globally renowned quintet Beoga playing live at the internationally acclaimed event.
Trad sensation Beoga, who collaborated with Ed Sheeran for his 2017 chart topping hit ‘Galway Girl’ will take to the stage, for what is set to be the biggest Gradam Ceoil to date.
The band talked about their upcoming performance:
"We are delighted to be involved in the 23rd annual Gradam Ceoil TG4 traditional music awards celebration. We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious event that celebrates highly-talented Irish and international musicians and we can’t wait to take to the wonderful Waterfront Hall stage on 23rd February.”
TG4 Director General, Alan Esslemont, spoke about the event:
"Gradam Ceoil TG4 is 23 years in existence, and recognises the best of traditional Irish music, an initiative that TG4 is immensely proud of. I would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners. They are the embodiment of traditional music and song, and we are delighted to award them the highest honour in Irish music. Gradam Ceoil represents a successful collaboration with Belfast City Council, ILBF, Red Shoe Productions and TG4".
Women lead the way in this year's accolades, with 'Musician of the Year', 'Young Musician of the Year' and 'Composer of the Year' all set to be awarded to highly talented female musicians.
Harper Laoise Kelly from Westport, Co. Mayo is this year’s TG4's 'Musician of the Year'and is one of the youngest recipients of the main award to date.
Fiddle and Cello player, Sharon Howley, from Kilfenora, Co. Clare has been selected as the 2019Young Musician of the Year, having been immersed in traditional music from a young age with a rich musical lineage.
Lillis Ó Laoire, two-time winner of the premier sean-nós singing competition Corn Uí Riada in 1991 and again in 1994 is to be awarded the title of Singer of the Year.
The other award recipients are Lifetime Achievement Awardto Séamus Connolly, Outstanding Contribution Award to Nenagh's Ned Kelly and Composer of the Yearto Josephine Marsh.
Northern Ireland Screen’s Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, Áine Walsh talked about the scheme’s strong links with Belfast:
“As well as giving recognition to the Gradam winners this is also a fantastic platform for the talent and broad musical heritage of the North. It is also wonderful that this celebration will be seen by a worldwide audience”.
The 2020 Gradam Ceoil showcase will bring a number of special fringe events to Belfast on the weekend of the awards, adding to what should be a festival musical atmosphere across the city. Beyond the talents of Beoga and the various award winners, the night will see special accompanying performances from both The Kilfenora Ceili Band and Orchestra for Life.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor John Finucane spoke about the impact of the awards:
'Gradam Ceoil is a fantastic celebration of traditional music and is revered by music fans right across Ireland and beyond. We’re delighted that Belfast is once again playing host to the awards ceremony, which promises to be an amazing spectacle of live performances, showcasing world class talent.'
The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2020 recipients reads as follows:
Ceoltóir na Bliana/Musician of the Year: Laoise Kelly
Ceoltóir Óg/Young Musician of the Year: Sharon Howley
Gradam Saoil/Lifetime Achievement: Séamus Connolly
Amhránaí na Bliana/Singer of the Year: Lillis Ó Laoire
Gradam Comaoine/Outstanding Contribution: Ned Kelly
Cumadóir na Bliana / Composer of the Year: Josephine Marsh