Fleadh Uladh 2017 are delighted to announce that the headline act for this year’s Ulster Fleadh is WORLD CLASS act LÚNASA! Lúnasa, described as THE HOTTEST IRISH ACCOUSTIC BAND ON THE PLANET, 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).
Friday 28th July, 2017
St Comgall’s Parish Centre, Brunswick Road, Bangor
Admission – £10 per person.
Doors open 7.30pm
Lúnasa have sold more than quarter of a million albums in the course of the band’s career and boast an impressive back catalogue of 7 highly acclaimed and award-winning studio albums. The band is internationally acknowledged as being 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. They have performed over 1,500 shows across 36 countries since the band formed in 1997. The band has appeared at internationally renowned venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, National Concert Hall (Dublin), Sydney Opera House and Moscow International House of Music. They have also been invited to appear at the White House.
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.
Tickets for the event are currently available to purchase online (Click Here for details) and in April 2017 they will also be available at Mace Store, Brunswick Rd, Bangor. Seating is limited so get your tickets asap!!
Fleadh Uladh 2017 are delighted to announce that GORIAS, a new exciting traditional band from SW England, will be participating at this year’s festival!
GORIAS first met on the South West of England’s session circuit and all found a common bond in their passion and joy for traditional music. Vibrant and creative, the band comprises of Fred Holden on fiddle, who first cut his teeth in his native Kent and then the London scene before moving to Bristol and meeting flauti…st Marick Baxter. The two instantly hit it off with their similar approach to music and found themselves playing together regularly. The Rhythm section comprises of virtuoso guitarist Tim Petherick and double bassist Andrew North. Both were in the band Inu alongside Marick that toured various countries and festivals.
Bangor’s legendary folk and traditional band, started out in Bangor over twenty years ago and are still going strong today. They have gone on to tour in many European countries and the USA and have released several albums. Although some members of the band have come and gone, champion fiddle player Niall McClean and award-winning singer/guitarist Damian McCoubrey, have been there from the start.
Tuesday 25th July from 10pm in the Rabbit Rooms Bar (downstairs), Quay St, Bangor. Admission – free.
Foxy & Friends at the Fleadh!
Foxy & Friends – Thursday 27th July – Fealty’s Bar, High Street, Bangor @ 8:00pm – Admission Free
Geordie McAdam – the term “living legend” is sometimes used a little freely these days but it is more than accurate when describing Geordie. Geordie now in his 80th year is a Colossus of the local music scene. Originally from the Shankill Road he first encountered Irish traditional music when walking in the Ardoyne as a young child. He has kept illustrious company Sean Maguire, Jackie Donnan and Nigel and Diana Boullier. He has played throughout the world as a traditional player and also as a player of blue grass and “old timie” tunes. He was a member of the acclaimed groups “The Black Mountain String Band” and “The Broken String Band”. He is also a fifer, a Lambeg drummer and mandolin player. He has recently taken up the ukulele! He has featured in many television and radio broadcasts. In addition to his playing he is equally well known in local circles for his story telling and fiddle making (lately he has made a number of fiddles out of lollipop sticks and matches). His shop/workshop in Grayshill, Bangor is a much sought out destination by all musical enthusiasts. Recently the legendary Scottish accordion player Phil Cunningham dropped in to join Geordie in a number of tunes when filming his critically acclaimed documentary for the BBC “Wayfaring Stranger”. Geordie will be joined by a number of local musicians in what promises to be a historic occasion.
Geordie at 80 – Monday 24th July – Imperial Bar, Central Avenue, Bangor @ 8:00pm – Admission Free
Keith Gregg, aged 15, is a champion Lambeg drummer and has been playing since he was 7 years old. A member of the Ballyrobert Drumming Club he has triumphed in a number of competitions to great acclaim. He was recently requested by the Mayor to play at her inauguration when he shared a stage with a number of young local traditional musicians.
Keith will be performing at two fleadh events, namely the Fleadh Youth concert on Thu 15th june @ St Comgall’s Parish Centre AND the Fleadh Opening concert on Fri 28th july @ Marine Court Hotel – Admission free
Glórthaí UIadh – Fleadh Extravaganza Concert – Tuesday 25th July @ 8:00pm – Admission £10
Josephine Mulvenna is a singer, actor, broadcaster, dancer and magazine contributor from Belfast, her childhood rooted in Irish folk singing and traditional step dancing, a member of Billy Holmes and Anna McCoy schools of Irish Dancing, she was involved in Fleadh Cheoil, Feis na nGleann, Feis An Dún, Scór na nOg where she took county and Ulster titles and second placings at All Ireland finals and Scór. Josephine took up set dancing and subsequently travelled to Italy on tour with Belfast All Set under the direction of Mary Fox combining her singing and dancing, she was a student of the Belfast School of Music, member of the Ulster Youth Theatre and graduate of the Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Combining both her passion for traditional music and theatre Josephine has performed on various stages , on radio and television including BBC NI Drama( Life In The City), 11thHour, Corner House ( BBC & RTE) UTV Kelly Show, TG4 & RTE Fleadh Cheoil series, The Belfast Festival at Queens on several occasions at Whitla Hall and Folk Club venues, Beyond The Frontiers BBC Radio Ulster, Rathlin Airs Festival, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Northern Lights Festival, The Front Page,Féile An Phobail, An Creagán Bealtaine Festival, Gig n’ the Bann, Coleman Traditional Music Festival, Féile Frank McGann, Celtic Connections Open Stage, Rhythm of the Celts at the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, Boston Belfast Trade Mission musical contingent under the direction of BBC Producer the late Tony McAuley and sang for President Mary McAleese at Áras An Uachtaráin. Instigating the Irish Emigrant Homeless Appeal in 2003 Josephine produced concerts in Cavan, Mayo and the National Concert Hall in Dublin to raise funds to help various homeless centres in Britain, with the help of stalwarts in traditional music including Maighread, Tríona & the late Micheál Ó Dhomnaill, Máirtín O’Connor, Cathal Hayden & Seamie O’Dowd, Belfast Comhaltas branch and the late singer songwriter Christie Hennessy.
Josephine began writing a weekly Irish Traditional Music column for Daily Ireland in 2005 and Lá in 2006 and on occasion articles for The Irish News, more than a decade ago she was invited to contribute to Irish Music Magazine. In 2007 she broadcast a spring season of traditional music programmes on Ráidio Fáilte the Irish language community radio station in Belfast. In February 2009 Josephine began broadcasting CELTIC BRIDGE on three of Q Radio Network’s radio stations which she produced and presented for almost seven years, a specialised traditional & folk music programme which among many elements recorded respected artists such as Len Graham, Cathal McConnell, Cara Dillon, Jim McGrath, Seamus O’Kane and many more.
After almost a decade away from the stage Josephine finally returned to sing live in performance at The Soma Festival Castlewellan in her home County of Down in 2015. Last year she continued with gigs in her home city of Belfast at the iconic Sunflower Folk Club, An Creagan County Tyrone & at Fleadh Uladh staged in Bangor, back in her native County Down midst selling up in the south and a move back home. Only a few months returned Josephine has begun two new projects, a partnership with the International Traditional Music Organisation Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann bringing her established ‘Celtic Bridge’ to an online audience on a new platform, with a successful launch concert in February at Comhaltas Ulster Regional Resource Centre of Dún Uladh, Celtic Bridge began broadcasting on Sunday March 5th, and on March 1st Josephine embarked on a first of its kind for Belfast 89 FM a monthly segment called ‘Seisiún Trail’ in her home city of Belfast, bringing listeners news of all things Traditional & folk music in and around Belfast.
Josephine has been gradually returning to performance midst her move back home, in recent times singing at two Causeway Coast and Glens hosted events on the work of Sam Henry’s ‘Songs of the people’, and she has just hosted a traditional singing workshop for Cushendun Big Arts Weekend, Josephine continues to mix her passion for singing traditional songs and her love of broadcasting that very genre of music and song and looks forward to her onward journey in performance and broadcasting.
Josephine Mulvenna – Guest Artist at Gorias Concert – Saturday 29th July – Rabbit Rooms Bar, Bangor @ 9:30pm – Admission Free
Robert Graham Memorial Flute Band – Fleadh in the Parks
Ards CCÉ Entertainment Group – Various Events!
Ards CCÉ Entertainment Groups, combined with the Smyth family of Irish dance, will come together for many events throughout the Ulster Fleadh. The 30 strong group will perform at the Fleadh Extravaganza concert in St Columbanus College on Tuesday 25th July along with appearances at the Fleadh opening concert in the Marine Court hotel on Friday 28th July from 5pm. They will also do support to Lunasa on Friday 28th in the Parish Centre and they will close the Ulster Fleadh 2017 in Ward Park on Sunday 30th July.
Ards CCÉ Entertainment Groups were established in 2012 by music tutors Niall and Bronagh McClean in an attempt to bring all the young talented artists together, as a team, to promote Irish Music, Song and Dance in the form of a Stage Show. Since then the show has gone from strength to strength and the groups have performed at many major music festivals throughout Ireland, UK, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy and USA. The groups have also played support acts to many famous Irish bands, namely Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin, Beoga, Sean Keane, Dervish and 4 Men & a Dog. In 2015 they were personally requested to perform alongside “THE PRIESTS” throughout their Ulster Christmas tour, which involved 3 sell out concerts at Letterkenny, Donegal, the Waterfront Hall, Belfast and the Millennium Forum, Derry.
In recent years they have also been the headline act for FOUR major cruise ship companies, released 4 CDs, appeared numerous times on Irish TV and been described by Irish media as “The Best of Irish Culture”. The group’s three Irish Dancers are also champions in their field and they hail from a family steeped in traditional Irish dance. Their sister Lauren Smyth has been lead dancer in RIVERDANCE and their brother, also a champion Irish dancer, is a lead dancer with LORD OF THE DANCE. Furthermore they have personally performed for the ROYAL FAMILY, ie HRH Prince Charles and HRH Duchess of Cornwall, at their private residence in Hillsborough Castle! Other important events include performances at:
- Major Charity events (local and overseas)
- Local Tourist attractions (Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Centre, Ulster Folk Park, Ulster Museum etc)
- Grand Opera House, Belfast
- Hillsborough Castle (Visitation of International Guests)
- Local Government Events
- All Ireland Fleadhs (Main Stage)
These groups are absolutely sensational so don’t miss them in action at this year’s Ulster Fleadh!!
Ards CCÉ Under 12 Group – Fleadh Extravaganza
The Mulholland Family
Alan Grant (Presenter, Celtic Music Radio) Scotland. Brendan Monaghan “never too late to come home“ “one oft he best albums that I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to”.
The Kieran Sisters
The Kiernan sisters, featuring Paula (fiddle), Roísín (flute) and Joan (guitar, concertina, vocals) have been immersed in traditional music all their lives, growing up in the musical village of Madden, County Armagh. They have been taught by some of the finest traditional musicians around including Brian Finnegan, Paul Meehan and the legendary Tommy Peoples. All members of the Armagh Pipers Club from an early age, they have each since taught at the club, as well as at various other music clubs and Comhaltas groups across Ulster. Individually and with various other ensembles, the sisters have performed at notable events such as the Piping Live Festival, Danny Kyle Open Stage at Celtic Connections Glasgow, Fiddle Fair Festival in Baltimore Cork, Tonder Festival Denmark, William Kennedy Piping Festival Armagh and at the opening ceremony for the Transplant Games NI at the Waterfront Hall.
The sisters will have their own slot at “FLEADH IN THE PARK” at WARD PARK BANDSTAND on SUNDAY 3OTH JULY and provide a support role at the MULHOLLAND FAMILY GIG on FRIDAY 28TH JULY at RABBIT ROOMS BAR, BANGOR. This is going to be a superb weekend of traditional Irish entertainment, so don’t miss them! Admission is FREE!!
Lauren Smyth – Riverdance
In 2007 she joined RHYTHMN OF THE DANCE, where she performed the lead role for three years. However, in 2010 she fulfilled a lifelong ambition by joining the world renowned Irish Dance phenomenon…..RIVERDANCE. In 2014 it got even better and her childhood dreams really did come true as Lauren finally stepped out on stage in Belfast as LEAD DANCER in RIVERDANCE! This really will be an evening to remember as Lauren will be joined by her amazing younger siblings…..a family truly steeped in the Irish Dance tradition!
The McGinn Sisters
The McGinn Sisters, Catherine, Dearbhla and Aoife from Bangor have successfully represented Ards CCÉ at County, Provincial and National levels in their chosen instruments of fiddle, whistle/flute and harp respectively on numerous occasions. They have enthralled and mesmerised local audiences for many years despite their youth. Their musical tapestry of traditional Irish and classical music will leave you spellbound, evidenced by the success of their recently released CD, which is a true testimony to their increasing popularity. It is therefore great news for Fleadh Uladh 2017 that these amazing siblings will be performing at the Fleadh Extravaganza Concert on Tue 25th July at St. Columbanus’ College, Bangor AND Fleadh in the Park on Sun 30th July at Ward Park bandstand.
Broadway comes again to Ulster Fleadh Bangor! More fantastic news for Fleadh Uladh 2017! Conor Smyth from Michael Flatley’s Broadway Show “Lord of the Dance” will also be making an appearance at the fleadh opening ceremony at Marine Court Hotel, Bangor on Friday 28th July. He will join big sister Lauren Smyth and other family members for an Irish dance extravaganza. Full details of this amazing family event will be posted soon, so keep checking our facebook page for the complete performance line-up.