Belfast TradFest - Belfast Summer School of Traditional Music
27th July - 2nd August 2019
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Lúnasa, Ulaid + Ríoghnach Connolly

Lúnasa, Ulaid + Ríoghnach Connolly


Date: Saturday 27th July

Doors: 8:00pm

Location: The Lyric Theatre

Three of the hottest acoustic acts on the planet in Belfast for one night only. Don’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime to catch Lúnasa, Ulaid & Ríoghnach Connolly in concert for what promises to be a most spectacular night of traditional music and song in one of the most beautiful theatres in Ireland - The Lyric Theatre, Belfast..

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Lúnasa is composed of Kevin Crawford (flutes, low whistles and tin whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass), Ed Boyd (guitar), Seán Smyth (fiddle and low whistle) and Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistles). The band is internationally acknowledged as being one of the finest traditional Irish instrumental outfit of recent times. They are renowned for their stunning shows honed by superb musicianship and a constant touring cycle. Their inventive arrangements and bass driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. Their recordings have been hailed as some of the best and most important world music albums anywhere, while their blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity, and passion has brought them to the forefront of Celtic music.

Ulaid features three supreme instrumentalists, gifted composers and talented interpreters of traditional and original music in one explosive package. John McSherry (Uilleann Pipes) ,Dónal O’Connor (Fiddle) & Seán Óg Graham (Guitar) are considered to be some of the finest players of their generation. Having released their eponymous record in 2015 to great critical acclaim, they have followed it up with a host of collaborations with some of Ireland’s finest singers such as Liam Ó Maonlaí, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Mary Dillon & Ríóghnach Connolly. In 2018 they released ‘A Note Let Go’ with the be-dreadlocked, be-mascara-ed collector of 1930s gramophones Duke Special, and have recently joined forces with the legends of Irish rock Horslips for a spellbinding collaborative performance on BBC. Featuring new compositions which sit comfortably alongside traditional pieces from 19th Century collections, plus fresh and progressive arrangements, coupled with occasions of free form solos, Ulaid will take you on an emotive and uplifting musical journey. From Ireland to the neighbouring Celtic regions, these three fearless musical adventurers chart a path from the ancient music of the Gael to the contemporary shape of traditional Irish music today.

Ríoghnach Connolly

The ‘irrepressible, inimitable’ singer grew up as part of the Armagh Pipers Club where she had her eyes opened to the world of folk music and how it travelled into other countries and cultures. This would shape Connolly’s time studying and working as a community musician in Manchester, a vibrant city she would be actively involved with, broadening her horizons and helping others at a grassroots level. It was there where Connolly formed Honeyfeet, a ‘folk-hop’ collective who have played countless festivals over the last 12 years and have recently finished recording their third album. Never restricted to one sound, Connolly has worked both in studio and live spanning across Irish traditional, folk, blues, jazz, electronica and more. Her formidable voice has been used to front a ream of musical projects, including her own 2012 album Black Lung which was recorded before her headline appearance at the Manchester Jazz Festival and adopts traditional Irish sean-nós singing. She is also part of collaboration-based project Beware Soul Brother, spawned from a previous residency in Brazil, regularly features with Afro Celt Sound System and is one half of The Breath with Stuart McCallum, which has released two albums to date. Tonight she performs new material with Ulaid.