DATE: MONDAY 31st JULY
VENUE: DUNCAIRN CULTURAL ARTS CENTRE
Featuring Harry Bradley, Siobhan Peoples, Cillian King, Tara Breen, Allan McDonald, Steven McWhirter, Ríoghnach Connolly and Brian McGrath
Hosted by the award winning BBC broadcaster and producer, Lynette Fay.
The word genius may be over-used these days, but there’s no other way of describing the phenomenon of Sean Maguire in the world of traditional music. The Belfast man rewrote the book on fiddle playing after bursting onto the scene in the 40s with a combination of dazzling virtuosity, high creativity and passion for performance. It was a style which pushed the boundaries, nettled the fundamentalists and which he himself called ‘progressive traditional’. Tonight we pay tribute to the man and his music.
DATE: TUESDAY 1st AUGUST
VENUE: ULSTER SCOTS AGENCY HUB
Hosted by Ian Burrows - RSPBANI & Chairman of BSSoTM
Exploring the repertoires of Scotland and Ireland through Bagpiping, Drumming, Uilleann Piping, Tin Whistle & Bodhrán. Featuring some of the finest exponents in the world today - Allan MacDonald (Bagpipes), John McSherry (Uilleann Pipes), Steven McWhirter (Drums), John Joe Kelly (Bodhrán), Kevin Crawford (Flute & Whistles) & David Angus (Fifes)
DATE: WEDNESDAY 2ND AUGUST
VENUE: CULTÚRLANN MCADAM O'FIAICH
DATE: THURSDAY 3RD AUGUST
VENUE: AN DROICHEAD
Hosted by Dr. Martin Dowling
Featuring Laoise Kelly, Tara Breen, Harry Bradley, John McSherry, Kevin
Crawford, Ed Boyd, Maurice Leyden and David Angus
The Belfast Harp Festival, called by contemporary writers 'The Belfast Harpers Assembly' July 1792, was a four-day event organised by merchant class Presbyterians Dr. James McDonnell, Robert Bradshaw and Henry Joy. It’s purpose was to revive an interest in harp music and to collect the music of the harpers and note their style of playing for future generations. What was hoped to be a revival proved to be a farewell to the old tradition. Eleven harpers attended. Seven were blind. The eldest, Denis Hempson (1695 -1807) from Derry, was 97. He was the only one to use the ancient way of playing with the fingernails. By far the most important thing that happened at the festival was that a young man from Armagh named Edward Bunting(1773-1843) was employed to write down the music of the harpers and to make notes on their instrumental techniques. He dedicated the rest of his life to collecting and preserving Irish music. He published three volumes of music, collectively known as the Ancient Music of Ireland. Tonight we pay tribute to that event and the Bunting Collection.