Meath based flute player, Catherine McEvoy, is to be awarded traditional music’s highest accolade of Musician of the Year, at TG4’s Gradam Ceoil Award ceremony, to be held in Belfast next February.
The accomplished concert flute player from the Sligo-Roscommon tradition, joins a long list of traditional music greats, such as Matt Molloy, Liam O’Flynn, Máirtín O’Connor, Frankie Gavin and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, who have all received Trad music’s top ‘Oscar’, in the 22 year history of the awards.
Ground breaking as a female musician, Catherine McEvoy’s standing in the tradition is testified to by her distinguished career in terms of recordings on CD and for radio, TV appearances, teaching and performing.
This year’s Young Musician Award goes to South Galway accordion player, Conor Connolly, an accordion player and singer whose music and song is rooted in his home county – some of his main accordion influences being Joe Cooley, Charlie Harris and P.J. Conlon, as well as Tony Mac Mahon.
All the recipients of this year’s awards were announced live on Nuacht TG4 this evening, from an event in the Duncairn Arts Centre in Belfast.
The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2019 recipients reads as follows:
Ceoltóir na Bliana/Musician of the Year: Catherine McEvoy
Ceoltóir Óg/Young Musician of the Year: Conor Connolly
Gradam Saoil/Lifetime Achievement: Nicky & Anne McAuliffe
Amhránaí na Bliana/Singer of the Year: Thomas McCarthy
Gradam Comaoine/Outstanding Contribution: Brendan Mulkere
Gradam Comharcheoil/Musical Collaboration: Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
Gradam Ceoil TG4 is the premier annual traditional music awards scheme and academy. An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients each year. It is not a competition. The Gradam Ceoil recipients are presented with a specially-commissioned piece by leading sculptor John Coll as well as a small stipend.
This year’s awards will be presented at the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Concert in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast on Sunday 17th February. At this live televised concert, hosted by Doireann Glackin & Dónal O’Connor, the 2019 Gradam recipients will be joined in performance on stage by their own special musical guests in a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters.
TG4 Director General, Alan Esslemont, says:
“Gradam Ceoil is certainly one of the most important initiatives that TG4 has embarked upon since the station was founded in 1996. I would like to congratulate all the award winners. They are the lifeblood of our musical tradition and we are immensely proud of their wonderful achievements. We are also delighted to be building on our very successful collaboration with the ILBF and Belfast City Council, which goes from strength to strength each year.”
Northern Ireland Screen’s Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, Áine Walsh says:
“We are delighted that the Gradam Ceoil will be broadcast live from Belfast again in 2019. As well as giving recognition to the Gradam winners this is also a fantastic celebration of the talent and broad musical heritage of the North, a celebration which will be seen by a worldwide audience”.
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown who attended tonights event says:
“It is a great honour for the Belfast Waterfront to be hosting the Gradam Ceoil for the second successive year. I am sure that the evening will be a magnificent showcase for one of the jewels in our city’s crown, and also of the amazing grassroots talent we have here on our doorstep. My congratulations to all of the winners, and I look forward to a fantastic night next February.”
Tickets for TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards 2019, priced from £22.50, are available from www.waterfront.co.uk or +44(0)2890 334455.
For more information see www.gradam.ie or Facebook and Twitter @GradamCeoil #GCTG4