The annual John Joe Gordon traditional music festival takes place this weekend (December 13-15) in Belleek.
The opening concert at 9pm in the Black Cat Cove on Friday night features many musical legends including Ben Lennon: Darren Breslin, 2008 All Ireland Champio:, Rosie Stewart and four of her sisters (the McKeaneys) Lydia Warnock, this year’s All Ireland and Fiddler of Dooney Champion; and Belleek’s own Fil (Philomena) Campbell who received nationwide critical acclaim for her TV series Songbirds. Emmet O’Halloran will be master of ceremonies for what promises to be a great night. Admission is by donation, with all door / raffle takings going to Action Cancer.
The 40 yearss of Comhaltas in Fermanagh photographic display can be viewed throughout the weekend. This is a wonderful collection of nostalgic images which also includes pictures of this year’s County Fleadh.
Saturday is a busy day with workshops, a singing session and music in all venues ,including Belleek Pottery foyer throughout the afternoon. Both workshops will be held upstairs in the Fiddlestone Pub. The fiddle workshop, taught by Lydia Warnock, starts at 11am followed by a singing workshop, taught by Roisin White at 2pm.
A singing session hosted by Roise Stewart follows at 4.30pm. Special guest at this session is Oonagh Mc Ardle from Dromore, this year’s 15/18 All Ireland Champion. So if you’d like to learn a new song or just to sit back and listen, Belleek is the place to hear some of Ireland’s finest this Saturday.
Material of all artists will be for sale throughout the weekend - including John Joe Gordon’s CD “The Humours of Glendart”.
There will be sessions in all pubs Saturday night.
On Sunday visiting musicians will play at a private function for the residents of Shannagh Nursing home. At 2pm Kathleen Meehan, Jim Connolly and Kevin Abeyta from Inishbofin, Galway will play in Mc Morrows.
Ceol na Manach will launch their DVD in the Black Cat at 4pm. This DVD relives the spectacle of the night in October, where they performed to a full audience at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen. This youth group with members from the Belleek, Derrygonnelly and Derrylin areas is a reflection of the strong musical heritage in County Fermanagh. At only £10, this DVD would make an ideal Christmas present for all traditional music lovers.
There will be many impromptu sessions in all pubs throughout the weekend with the finale in the Fiddlestone Sunday evening at 8pm – if other years are anything to go by, this session will continue to the wee hours of Monday morning.
All events are free with a small cover charge for fiddle and singing workshops. Sso come along and enjoy the wealth of high profile musicians and singers that will be in Belleek this weekend.