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Irish Traditional Music Awards to broadcast live on TG4 and on BBC ALBA this Sunday

21.02.20

TG4 is pleased to collaborate with BBC ALBA, to bring the annual awards ceremony and showcase of Traditional Irish Music,  GRADAM CEOIL TG4,  live to homes across Scotland and the UK for the first time.  TG4’s Gradam Ceoil will be televised Live on both on TG4 and BBC ALBA  at 9:30pm on Sunday evening 23rd February, from Belfast Waterfront Hall and will also be available as catch up on the BBC iPlayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000ft8x and worldwide on the TG4 player www.TG4.ie
 
TG4 Director General, Alan Esslemont, welcomed this collaboration between TG4 and BBC ALBA. ‘As Ireland’s Irish language Public service broadcaster TG4  aims to extend the reach of TG4’s Irish language and cultural content to audiences worldwide.  Our collaboration with BBC ALBA this year is an opportunity for Scottish and UK audiences to celebrate the best of traditional Irish music Live on the night’.
 
BBC ALBA Channel Editor Margaret Cameron said BBC ALBA and TG4 have enjoyed a valued partnership on co-productions over the years but our first joint broadcast of a LIVE music event. And we look forward to bringing an lively night of traditional Irish music to audiences throughout the UK.”
 
TG4, the Irish language television channel is an independent statutory entity. The channel has been on-air since late 1996. TG4 is a free-to-air channel, with a strong viewer base throughout the island of Ireland. It is currently the 6th most watched channel in Ireland, ahead of BBC 2 and Channel 4.  BBC ALBA, the Scottish Gaelic channel in the UK, is a partnership channel between MG ALBA and the BBC and has been operating since 2008.
 
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 2019 Young 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 Award to Séamus Connolly, https://youtu.be/UO5V-ysRbek.
Outstanding Contribution Award to Tipperary’s Ned Kelly and Composer of the Year to London born Josephine Marsh.
 
Gradam Ceoil is the premier annual traditional music awards scheme, with this year’s event set to be televised live on TG4 from Belfast on Sunday 23rd February thanks to support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund. Some of Ireland’s most notable stars from across music, film, sport and civic society will assemble in Belfast this weekend for the 2020 Gradam Ceoil music awards, taking place at the Waterfront Hall on Sunday 23rd February. The internationally acclaimed traditional Irish music award ceremony will welcome an array of prestigious guests including Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar, GAA Presidential Candidate Jarlath Burns and Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey.
 
Trad sensation Beoga, who collaborated with Ed Sheeran for his 2017 chart topping hit ‘Galway Girl’ will also take to the stage alongside the 2020 award recipients for what is set to be the biggest Gradam Ceoil to date. Beoga talked about their upcoming performance and return to Belfast: 
“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. It is shaping up to be an incredible showing of the best in Irish traditional music, and we look forward to playing in Belfast on the night.”
 
The showcase kicks off with a multitude of FREE fringe events throughout Belfast City from Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd February: https://youtu.be/jv4FpUU8QuI

Included in the programme of events is an exploration of contemporary Irish harp accompaniments to Gaelic bardic poetry with Lauren O’Neill at the famous Sunflower Public House. Attendees can also take a musical journey through outer space where children will learn new songs and dances at Cultúrlann and avail of the opportunity to soak in the sounds of amazing young traditional Irish musicians at St George’s Market. From tours, trad trails, sessions, recitals, exhibitions and much more, there is truly something for everyone in this year’s fringe event.
 
For more information see www.gradam.ie or Facebook and Twitter @GradamCeoil #Gradam
 

Media Contact:
Deirdre Ní Choistín, Bainisteoir Cumarsáide / Communications Manager TG4 | deirdre.ni.choistin@tg4.ie | 086 1453527

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