Tradfest: Flutopia

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Live Music

Tradfest: Flutopia.


25 July, 2023


Doors @ 6PM



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Belfast is synonymous with the sound of the flute. Energy and creativity are very much the hallmarks of the Belfast style. The music of this city invariably has a persistent and hypnotic pulse which draws the listener into a trance-like state, reminiscent of that cast by the chanting of Buddhist monks. Tonight’s concert features some of the world’s best traditional flute players and whistlers from Belfast and beyond and it promises to be a spectacle of brilliant solo and collaborative performances.

Michael McGoldrick – A co-founder of Flook and Lúnasa, and a linchpin of Capercaillie’s line-up since 1998, Manchester-born flute/whistle and uilleann pipes maestro Michael McGoldrick has in recent years performed around the globe in ex-Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler’s band – including a tour with both Knopfler and Bob Dylan.  

Belfast born Desi Wilkinson is a traditional musician of international repute, known principally as a flute and whistle player and a singer. He has previously recorded two critically acclaimed solo albums along with five albums with the renowned group Cran.  

Martha Guiney – County Down flute player Martha has been immersed in the traditional music scene from her childhood and has toured internationally and collaborated with many renowned artists worldwide. She has recently released her debut album, The Raven’s Call.  

Mary Bergin – ‘Just about the best Tin Whistle player this century’ is how the Irish Times referred to Mary in a recent interview. She was born into a very musical family and began playing at an early age winning many awards in Oireachtas and Fleadh Ceoil competitions, including the All-Ireland Championships at Junior and Senior level.   

Maria Rafferty has long been a stalwart of the Belfast flute community. Having studied with the McPeake School of Music, and having had the opportunity to spend many years in the company of well-known and respected musicians from the locality, Maria has a wonderful repertoire and style which she passes on to the many students she teaches in the greater Belfast area and beyond.  

Gary Duffy is a highly respected flute practitioner and contributor within the traditional music scene of Belfast and beyond. He holds a Masters and Fellowship alongside other vocational traditional music teaching qualifications.

Jude Scott is a member of the Glengormley School of Traditional Music and has attended all four previous editions of Belfast TradFest as a student learning from masters such as Harry Bradley & Kevin Crawford.

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