The sound of traditional music will fill the streets

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The sound of traditional music will fill the streets of Belfast when TradFest 2019 comes to the city.

This week-long event, which runs from July 27 - August 2, is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland, and brings together both the Irish and the Ulster-Scots musical traditions, in a shared celebration of culture and heritage.

Descending upon the city, in a series of concerts, masterclasses, workshops, talks and sessions, will be a host of world renowned traditional musicians, including BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Jarlath Henderson, Scottish piping legend Finlay McDonald, six former winners of the prestigious TG4 Gradam Ceoil awards - Harry Bradley, Edel Fox, John Carty, Mary Bergin, Michelle Mulcahy and Conor Connolly alongside Niamh Dunne and Eamon Murray of Beoga who recently co-wrote Ed Sheeran’s massive hit Galway Girl, Kevin Crawford of Lúnasa, Ulster Lambeg and Fife legend Willie Drennan, John Joe Kelly of Flook, Oisín MacDiarmada of Téada, and Ríoghnach Connolly of the Afro Celt Sound System, amongst many others.

After two hugely successful years, Belfast Summer School of Traditional Music is re-branding as Belfast TradFest and will incorporate the summer school into its packed programme of events this year. In addition, this year Belfast TradFest will hold a very special opening concert on Saturday July 27 when three of the hottest acoustic acts on the planet play Belfast for one night only. In what will surely kick the festival off in style, Lúnasa, Ulaid and Ríoghnach Connolly will come together for what promises to be a spectacular night of traditional music and song in The Lyric Theatre.

For five days, hundreds of budding traditional musicians, of all ages, will get the chance to learn from traditional music royalty at the Ulster University, York Street, in a series of masterclasses across 18 instruments. In addition, the school will bring jigs and reels to all four corners of Belfast with concerts, demos and talks taking place at The Strand Arts Centre in East Belfast, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich in West Belfast, The Duncairn Centre in North Belfast and An Droichead in South Belfast- with the heart of the summer school and a packed programme of free sessions and events located in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

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