Belfast TradFest announces St. Patrick’s Eve Gala Concert in the Ulster Hall, Belfast

Belfast TradFest

Belfast TradFest presents two of the finest traditional acts on the planet, Frankie Gavin & Dé Dannan and Karen Matheson & Donald Shaw, for a St. Patrick’s Eve Gala Concert in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on 16 March 2024.

Frankie Gavin is the co-founder and leader of one of the most influential traditional groups of all time, Dé Dannan. Formed in 1975 by Frankie, Alec Finn, Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh and Charlie Piggott, as a result of wild sessions in Hughes's Pub in Spiddal, County Galway, with Dolores Keane subsequently joining the band, they played an influential role in the development of modern traditional Irish music.

As well as performing with the cream of traditional Irish musicians and legends from other musical genres, such as Stéphane Grappelli, Yehudi Menuhuin, James Galway, Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones; Frankie Gavin has performed for celebrity audiences including four American presidents: J.F.K on his 1962 visit to Ireland, followed later by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.

This new line-up of Dé Dannan comprises Gavin on fiddle and flute, Catherine McHugh on piano, Ian Kinsella on guitar, Diarmuid Ó Meachair on melodeon and Kaitlin Cullen-Verhauz on vocals and cello. This performance in Belfast's iconic Ulster Hall is highly anticipated and will surely be a night to remember.

Karen Matheson is widely recognised as one of the world’s great vocalists. For over 40 years, she has been the compelling frontwoman of Scottish supergroup Capercaillie, with whom she has graced the pop charts and been featured in blockbuster movies. Her career highlights have included sharing the stage with Pete Seeger in New York and performing at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where her stunning rendition of ‘Ae fond kiss’ was broadcast to a television audience of over 600 million people. Joined by long-time musical partner Donald Shaw, this duo will distil the songs and sounds of the Scottish Highlands and Islands and will fill the stunning surrounds of the Ulster Hall with much loved Scottish song and lush piano arrangements.

Dónal O’Connor, Artistic Director for St Patrick’s Music Weekend, says, “We hope you’ll join us for an enchanting St. Patrick's Eve celebration at Belfast's Ulster Hall, where the spirit of Ireland & Scotland comes alive through an extraordinary musical gathering. Frankie Gavin & De Dannan, masters of traditional Irish tunes, will weave a tapestry of melodies that echo through the generations. Karen Matheson's ethereal voice, accompanied by the musical genius of Donald Shaw, will transport you to the heart of Celtic soul. Join us in celebrating the legacy of St. Patrick, as these extraordinary artists come together to create an unforgettable symphony of Irish & Scottish magic and an evening filled with music that speaks to the soul and echoes the proud traditions of these Islands."

This concert is part of the St Patrick’s Music Weekend curated by Belfast TradFest for Belfast City Council, which also features performances by Anúna, Stockton’s Wing, John Spillane, Clare Sands, Jack Warnock, Alfi, Drumlough Pipe Band and many more.

For the full programme, go to -

St. Patrick’s Eve Gala Concert

Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.