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TG4 announces recipients of the 24th Gradam Ceoil Awards



Date Posted: September 7, 2021

TG4 announces the recipients of the 2021 Gradam Ceoil Awards which pay homage to musicians who have advanced, strengthened, and preserved traditional music in Ireland. The awards ceremony, now in its 24th year, will air on TG4 on Halloween night to celebrate TG4’s 25th birthday from the Whitla Hall in Queens University Belfast at 9:30pm.

The 2021 Musician of the Year will be awarded to Angelina Carberry. Angelina was born in Manchester but is living in Longford since the 1990’s, where her family are from. Angelina started playing traditional music on the tin whistle, but quickly followed in the footsteps of her grandfather Kevin and took up the banjo. The Carberry clan are renowned musicians, her father Peter plays the button accordion, his uncle Peter the uilleann pipes, his son Noel also the uilleann pipes and Peter’s grandsons Diarmuid and Kevin also play the uilleann pipes. Though her style echoes that of her grandfather, Kevin, who was a well-known player at Longford céilís and house dances, Angelina has developed a light-handed, sparkling touch on the banjo.

She was also a member of the renowned, all-female band, the Bumblebees. The group, which included last year’s Gradam winner, harper Laoise Kelly, accordionist Colette O’Leary, with Angelina on banjo and mandolin.

From Tulla in east county Clare, fiddle player, Sorcha Costello will be awarded the title of Young Musician of the Year. Sorcha’s musical lineage is peerless; her mother Mary MacNamara is a renowned concertina player and her grandmother Ita’s musical pedigree reached back generations.

Steve Cooney will be awarded Composer of the Year. Born in Melbourne Australia in 1953, he came to Ireland in 1980 and maintains his connections with the Aboriginal culture there, into which he was initiated. He has ancestral links with Tipperary, Cavan, and Galway. Steve Cooney is best known for his development of an influential style of guitar accompaniment to traditional Irish dance music which he developed in West Kerry and for which he won the National Entertainment Award with Séamus Begley in 1997.

Tyrone’s Niall Hanna is this year’s Singer of the Year. His grandfather Geordie Hanna, Geordie’s sister Sarah Anne O’Neill, and the extended Hanna and O’Neill families ensured he was immersed in music from a very early age. Niall has embraced the wider Ulster traditional song repertoire while also developing his own song writing talents. His sense of place and family strongly influence his musical journey, and his solo work and various musical collaborations continues to bring Ulster music and song to a wider Irish and International audience.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Cork native Seán Ó Sé who first rose to fame as a singer, singing and recording the most popular song An Poc Ar Buille, with Seán Ó Riada and Ceoltóirí Chúlainn back in the 60’s. Since then, his voice has been recognised as one of the great voices of this country and cannot be surpassed while singing.

The Glengormley School of Traditional Music is awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award for 2021. Over its twenty-year history, this essential hub has nurtured countless musicians, many of whom have gone on to work professionally. The summer courses in Donegal bond young people socially and musically and instils in them a deep passion for music-making.

The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2020 recipients reads as follows:

  • Ceoltóir na Bliana/Musician of the Year: Angelina Carbery
  • Ceoltóir Óg/Young Musician of the Year: Sorcha Costello
  • Cumadóir na Bliana / Composer of the Year: Steve Cooney
  • Gradam Saoil/Lifetime Achievement: Seán Ó Sé
  • Amhránaí na Bliana/Singer of the Year: Niall Hanna
  • Gradam Comaoine/Outstanding Contribution: Glengormley School of Traditional Music

Gradam Ceoil TG4 is the premier annual traditional music awards scheme and academy. An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients each year. It is not a competition. The Gradam Ceoil recipients are presented with a specially commissioned piece by leading sculptor John Coll as well as a small stipend.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, tickets will not be on sale to the public for this concert.

TG4 Director GeneralAlan Esslemont, says: “Gradam Ceoil TG4 is celebrating its 24th year this Halloween night which coincides with TG4’s 25th birthday. The awards pay homage to those who have done so much to advance and strengthen traditional music in Ireland and around the world. This year, we dedicate the awards ceremony to Mary McPartland whom we remember fondly. Mary initiated the Gradam Ceoil awards 24 years ago. I would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners. We are delighted to award them the highest honour in Irish music. Gradam Ceoil TG4 will take place in Belfast for the fourth year running, a successful collaboration with Belfast City Council, ILBF, Red Shoe Productions and TG4.”

Northern Ireland Screen’s Head of the Irish Language Broadcast FundÁine Walsh says: “Northern Ireland Screen’s ILBF was delighted to support Gradam Ceoil TG4 for the past 4 years, it was wonderful to see this musical jewel in TG4’s schedule broadcast live from Belfast. Gradam Ceoil TG4 quickly became a staple event with the live show and fringe festival providing a fantastic platform to celebrate Northern music and talent. We will watch the final show from Belfast confident that Gradam has left a strong musical legacy in its wake.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “This is a fantastic event which showcases the very best in traditional music and song, and we’re delighted to play host once again in the final year of its residency here in Belfast. As a music city, we take great pride in our musical heritage and traditional music is a key part of that. The ceremony is a fantastic celebration of this genre and is held in high esteem across Ireland and beyond. It promises a spectacle of live performances, showcasing world class talent right here in Belfast. Warmest congratulations to each award recipient.”


Tá buaiteoirí Ghradam Ceoil na Bliana 2021 fógartha ag TG4, gradaim trína léirítear urraim do cheoltóirí a bhfuil an ceol traidisiúnta tugtha chun cinn, neartaithe agus caomhnaithe acu in Éirinn. Tá sé 27 bliain ó reáchtáladh searmanas bronnta na ngradam den chéad uair, a chraolfar ar TG4 ar Oíche Shamhna chun 25 bliain ó cuireadh tús le TG4 a cheiliúradh. Is in Whitla Hall in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste a bheidh an searmanas ar siúl.

Bronnfar Ceoltóir na Bliana 2021 ar Angelina Carberry. Rugadh Angelina in Manchain ach tá sí ina cónaí sa Longfort ó na 1990idí, áit ar as a muintir.

Is ar an bhfeadóg stáin a thosaigh Angelina ag seinm ceol traidisiúnta ach ní raibh sé i bhfad gur thosaigh sí ar an mbainseó, mar sheinn a seanathair Kevin roimpi.  Tá clú agus cáil ar mhuintir Carberry ina gceoltóirí, seinneann athair Angelina, Peter, an bosca cnaipí, seinneann a seanuncail, Peter, chomh maith lena mhac Noel agus a gharmhic Diarmuid agus Kevin, na píb uilleann.  Cé go bhfuil stíl a seanathar, Kevin, a raibh aithne mhaith air ina cheoltóir ag céilithe agus ag damhsaí tí sa Longfort, le brath ar stíl Angelina, tá a stíl mheidhreach bheoga féin freisin aici ar an mbainseó.

Bhí sí ina ball freisin den ghrúpa ar mná ar fad iad na rannpháirtithe, na Bumblebees. I measc cheoltóirí an ghrúpa bhí buaiteoir Ghradam na bliana seo caite, an cruitire Laoise Kelly, an boscadóir Colette O’Leary, agus Angelina ar an mbainseó agus ar an maindilín.

Bronnfar Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana ar an bhfidléir Sorcha Costello as Tulach in oirthear chontae an Chláir. Tá oidhreacht shaibhir ceoil i muintir Shorcha; is í Mary MacNamara a máthair, bean atá aitheanta as bheith ag seinm ar an gconsairtín, agus téann ginealach ceoil a seanmháthar Ita i bhfad siar.

Bronnfar Cumadóir na Bliana ar Steve Cooney. Rugadh Steve Cooney in Melbourne san Astráil in 1953, tháinig sé go hÉirinn sa bhliain 1980 agus tá ceangal fós aige le cultúr na mBundúchasach ann, a ghlac isteach le Steve féin. Tá ceangal ag a shinsir le Tiobraid Árann, leis an gCabhán agus le Gaillimh.  Tá aithne ar Steve Cooney as an stíl tionlacain ar an ngiotár a d’fhorbair sé in Iarthar Chiarraí do cheol damhsa traidisiúnta na hÉireann, stíl a bhfuil an-tionchar aici ar cheoltóirí eile, agus ar bronnadh an Gradam Siamsaíochta Náisiúnta air féin agus ar Shéamus Begley ina leith sa bhliain 1997.

Is ar Niall Hanna Thír Eoghain a bhronnfar Amhránaí na Bliana.  Tá Niall báite sa cheol ó bhí sé an-óg – rinne a sheanathair Geordie Hanna, deirfiúr Geordie, Sarah Anne O’Neill agus muintir Hanna agus muintir O’Neill cinnte dearfa de sin. Ghlac Niall go fonnmhar le stór amhrán traidisiúnta Uladh i gcoitinne, fad a bhí sé ag cur lena chumas amhráin a chumadh chomh maith. Téann mórtas áite agus mórtas muintire go mór i gcion ar cheol Niall, agus tríd a shaothar aonair agus na tionscadail éagsúla ceoil ina mbíonn sé páirteach, bíonn ceol agus amhránaíocht Uladh á gcur chun cinn aige os comhair lucht féachana agus éisteacha níos leithne in Éirinn agus ar fud an domhain mhóir.

Bronnfar Gradam Saoil na bliana seo ar an gCorcaíoch ó dhúchas Seán Ó Sé a bhain cáil amach ar dtús ina amhránaí. Ba é An Poc Ar Buille, a chan sé agus a thaifead sé le Seán Ó Riada agus Ceoltóirí Chualann sna 60idí, an t-amhrán ba cháiliúla dá chuid. Ó shin i leith, glactar leis go bhfuil a ghlór ar cheann de na glórtha is binne in Éirinn, glór nach a bhfuil a shárú le fáil agus é i mbun na fonnadóireachta.

Bronnfar Gradam Comaoine na bliana 2021 ar The Glengormley School of Traditional Music. Ní féidir an méid ceoltóirí a cothaíodh sa mhol riachtanach seo le fiche bliain anuas ó bunaíodh é a chomhaireamh, agus d’éirigh le go leor acu dul leis an gceol go gairmiúil. Leis na cúrsaí samhraidh a bhíonn ar siúl i nDún na nGall, tugtar deis do dhaoine óga bualadh lena chéile go sóisialta agus ceangal a dhéanamh tríd an gceol, agus cothaítear dáimh ar leith leis an gceol iontu.

Is é seo a leanas an liosta iomlán de bhuaiteoirí Ghradam Ceoil TG4 na bliana 2021:

  • Ceoltóir na Bliana: Angelina Carbery
  • Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana: Sorcha Costello
  • Cumadóir na Bliana: Steve Cooney
  • Gradam Saoil: Seán Ó Sé
  • Amhránaí na Bliana: Niall Hanna
  • Gradam Comaoine: The Glengormley School of Traditional Music

Is é Gradam Ceoil TG4 príomhscéim agus príomhacadamh bliantúil na ngradam ceoil traidisiúnta.  Is painéal moltóirí neamhspleách a roghnaíonn na buaiteoirí gach bliain.  Ní comórtas é.  Bronnfar píosa dealbhóireachta leis an dealbhóir mór le rá, John Coll, a coimisiúnaíodh go speisialta, ar na buaiteoirí chomh maith le suim bheag airgid.

Ní bheidh an pobal ábalta ticéid a cheannach don cheolchoirm seo de bharr shrianta Covid-19.

Dúirt Alan EsslemontArd-Stiúrthóir TG4: “Beidh Gradam Ceoil TG4 24 bliain ar an bhfód Oíche Shamhna na bliana seo, an oíche chéanna a bheidh TG4 féin 25 bliain ar an bhfód.  Léiríonn na gradaim ómós do na daoine sin a bhfuil an oiread déanta acu ar mhaithe leis an gceol traidisiúnta a thabhairt chun cinn agus a neartú anseo in Éirinn agus ar fud an domhain. Is i ndilchuimhne ar Mary McPartland a bheidh searmanas gradam na bliana seo. Ba í Mary a chur tús leis an nGradam Ceoil an chéad lá riamh 24 bliain ó shin.  Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le buaiteoirí ghradaim na bliana seo.  Tá ríméad ar TG4 an onóir is mó i gceol na hÉireann a bhronnadh orthu.  Is i mBéal Feirste a bheidh Gradam Ceoil TG4 ar siúl arís i mbliana, an ceathrú bliain as a chéile, comhpháirtíocht idir Comhairle Cathrach Bhéal Feirste, ILBF, Red Shoe Productions agus TG4 a bhfuil ag éirí thar cionn léi.”

Dúirt Áine Walsh, Ceann Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann: “Bhí an-áthas ar ILBF Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann tacaíocht a thabhairt do Ghradam Ceoil TG4 le ceithre bliain anuas, ba iontach an rud é an tseoid cheoil seo i sceideal TG4 a bheith á craoladh beo ó Bhéal Feirste.  Ní raibh sé i bhfad gur gnáthimeacht a bhí i nGradam Ceoil TG4 anseo, thug an seó beo agus an fhéile fringe ardán den scoth do cheol agus do dhaoine cumasacha an Tuaiscirt.  Beimid lánmhuiníneach, fad a bheidh an seó deiridh ar siúl ó Bhéal Feirste, go mbeidh lorg láidir ceoil fágtha ina dhiaidh.”

Dúirt Ardmhéara Bhéal Feirste, an Comhairleoir Kate Nicholl: “Is imeacht iontach é seo a cuireann ardán ar fáil do scoth na gceoltóirí agus na n-amhránaithe, agus tá ríméad orainn go bhfuilimid arís chun an chónaitheacht seo a óstáil, don bhliain dheireanach i mBéal Feirste.  Inár gcáil mar chathair cheoil, tá an-mhórtas orainn as an oidhreacht cheoil atá againn agus is cuid mhór den oidhreacht sin an ceol traidisiúnta.  Déantar comóradh iontach ar an seánra ceoil sin leis an searmanas a bhfuil ardmheas air ar fud na hÉireann agus níos faide i gcéin.  Tá an chuma air go mbeidh scoth na dtaibhléirithe beo ar siúl le linn an tsearmanais, ina gcuirfear tallann den chéad scoth ar stáitse anseo i mBéal Feirste.  Comhghairdeas ó chroí le gach duine a bhfuil gradam bronnta orthu.”

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