TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Music Awards to be hosted in Cork City

18 January 2016
By Bryan Smyth

Entertainment Update

Cork City Council have again secured a partnership with TG4 to host the prestigious TG4 Gradam Ceoil, the Traditional Music Awards.


The recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2016 (Traditional Music Awards) are being announced at St. Peter’s Church Cork this evening.

A concert, featuring this all-star line-up of traditional musicians who are in demand individually around the world, will take place at the Cork Opera House on Sunday February 21 to honour their outstanding achievements, and it will also be broadcast live on TG4 in an extended 2-hour special from the Cork Opera House.

The theme of this year’s concert is a celebration of 100 years of traditional Irish music and culture to coincide with national 1916 commemoration events.

London born, Oregon-based veteran fiddle maestro Kevin Burke heads the list of recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2016 (Traditional Music Awards) announced at a media reception in Cork this evening. Reared in London by Sligo parents, his musical influences and recordings range far and wide in a long career that includes membership of the legendary Bothy Band, collaboration with US folk-icon Arlo Guthrie, a long-time association with Mícheál Ó Domhnaill and an early teenage stint with the Glenside Céilí Band in his native city.

This year’s other Gradam recipients include a 23 year-old London-born flute-player (Young Musician of the Year); a multi- talented Tyrone man who genius single-handedly moved the guitar into the mainstream of traditional music (Lifetime Achievement); an organisation that brought the harp from the edge of extinction; a member of the current generation in revered sean-nós dynasty (Singer of the Year) and an innovative Borderland musical heritage project. And in this special Centenary Year TG4 is also honouring an organisation whose willingness to commission archive-film documentaries about the Rising first brought a young musical arranger/composer called Seán Ó Riada to national prominence.

An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil each year. Recipients are presented with a specially-commissioned piece by sculptor John Coll as well as a stipend.

The Gradam Ceoil concert in Cork Opera House on Sunday 21 February will be hosted by well-known musician/broadcasters Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Tristan Rosenstock, the 2016 Gradam recipients will be joined on stage by their special musical guests, in a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters.

In addition to the main event in Cork Opera House, a number of other complimentary events will also take place throughout the city, to create a ‘trad festival’ atmosphere.

In further news, Cork has also been selected as the city to host the Munster Fleadh in 2017, which further positions the region as a key player in Irish traditional culture.

Commenting, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City, said,

“We were thrilled to secure Gradam Ceoil for a second year running. It’s a huge coup for the city as Irish culture continues to be one of the main tourism drivers in Ireland. We are also delighted to have secured the Munster Fleadh for 2017 – this event will attract 45,000 people to the city, and is another step to securing the All-Ireland Fleadh in the future. The city also continues to invest in the Lee Sessions, free trad sessions in bars throughout the city (The Lee Session), and our very own production Pulses of Tradition.”


According to Failte Ireland, 83% of visitors are interested in experiencing Ireland’s traditional culture and it represents one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of tourism globally, generating an estimated €2 billion for the Irish economy yearly.

Tickets for TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards 2015, priced €25, are now on sale from the Cork Opera House:. If you don’t secure a seat you can watch it live on TG4 at 9.30pm on 21 February!

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