Belfast TradFest presents two of the finest acts on the planet, Frankie Gavin & Dé Dannan and Karen Matheson for St. Patrick’s Weekend Gala Concert in the Ulster Hall, Belfast on 16 March 2024!
Frankie Gavin is the co-founder and leader of one of the most influential traditional groups of all time; Dé Dannan.
Formed in 1975 by Frankie, Alec Finn, Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh and Charlie Piggott, as a result of sessions in Hughes's Pub in Spiddal, County Galway, with Dolores Keane subsequently being invited to join the band, they have played an influential role in the development of modern Irish music.
As well as performing with the cream of traditional Irish musicians and legends from other musical genres such as Stéphane Grappelli, Yehudi Menuhuin, James Galway, Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones, Frankie Gavin has performed for celebrity audiences including four American presidents: J. F. K on his 1962 visit to Ireland, followed later by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.
This new line-up of Dé Dannan comprises Frankie Gavin on fiddle and flute, Catherine McHugh on piano, Ian Kinsella on guitar, Diarmuid Ó Meachair on melodeon and Kaitlin Cullen-Verhauz on vocals and cello. This performance in Belfast's iconic Ulster Hall is highly anticipated and will be a night to remember.
Karen Matheson is widely recognised as the compelling vocals of Scottish supergroup Capercaillie, with whom she has graced the pop charts and featured in blockbuster movies. Karen Matheson’s solo career highlights have included sharing the stage with Pete Seeger in New York and performing at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where her stunning rendition of ‘Ae fond kiss’ stole the show to a televised audience of over 600 million people.
Joined by long-time musical partner Donald Shaw, this duo will distil the songs and sounds of the Scottish highlands and islands and fill the stunning surrounds of the Ulster Hall with Karen’s stunning voice and Donald’s lush piano arrangements.
“Karen Matheson has a throat that is surely touched by God’’ - Sean Connery