Donegal accordion maestro Dermot Byrne has been named Gradam Ceoil TG4 2013, Traditional Musician of the Year.
Born and reared in Buncrana in the north-east of the county, his roots stretch to the Teelin Gaeltacht in the south-west and his musical tastes range far and wide.
He has been one of the country’s top box players since his teenage years. A long-serving member of the internationally renowned group Altan, Dermot also performs regularly with the top names in traditional music and has released a number of very successful solo recordings.
This year’s Gradam recipients range over a wide spectrum of talents. Those also honoured include: legendary Donegal fiddler and composer Tommy Peoples (Cumadóir TG4 - Composer); West Kerry singer and musician Séamus Ó Beaglaoich (Amhránaí TG4 - Singer); Michael Tubridy from Ennis, Co. Clare who was a founder who was a founder member of The Chieftains (Gradam Saoil TG4 -Hall of Fame); Dónal McCague, a young fiddler from Monaghan (Ceoltóir Óg TG4 - Young Musician); and Na Píobairí Uilleann, a pioneering organisation that has almost single-handedly revived the fortunes of an instrument that was in terminal decline (Gradam Aitheantais TG4 - Special Contribution).
This year’s awards will be presented at the Gradam Ceoil Concert in the UL Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday 30th March.
At the concert, hosted by Aoife Ní Thuairisg and Páidí Ó Lionáird, the 2013 Gradam recipients will be joined on stage by their special musical guests. It will be recorded for broadcast on TG4 on the following day Easter Sunday March 31st and promise a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters. This year’s concert is being organised to celebrate The Gathering Ireland 2013 and will showcase the impact that Ireland’s finest musicians have had on the world.
Tickets for the Gradam Ceoil concert can be obtained by telephone from 061 331549 or on www.uch.ie