A Co Galway accordion player and singer is set to receive the Young Musician of the Year award at the ‘Oscars of traditional music’.
Conor Connolly, from Clarinbridge in South Galway, will be presented with the prestigious award in Belfast this month at Gradam Ceoil TG4 2019.
His music and song is rooted in Galway, with some of his main accordion influences being Joe Cooley, Charlie Harris and P.J. Conlon, as well as Tony Mac Mahon.
His music is also full of heart and soul, with a great understanding and respect for the tradition and the players he learnt from.
Conor has already played with some of the most renowned traditional musicians around and is well respected by them, as well as being highly regarded amongst his peers.
A world-class line-up of top trad talent has been announced for the live concert and awards show, which is returning to Belfast for the second year.
The ceremony will take place at the Waterfront Hall on Sunday 17 February.
Headlining the bill is legendary traditional Irish band, Four Men & A Dog, who formed in Belfast in the nineties and rose to popularity across the globe with their eclectic and vivacious blend of trad, fused with a wide spectrum of other genres.
All-Ireland céili band champions, The Thatch Céili Band, pivotal members of the Irish diaspora in London, will also perform on the night.
The highly anticipated live awards show, which will be hosted by TG4 presenter, Doireann Glackin and Belfast-based musician, Dónal O’Connor of well-known band, Ulaid, will also feature live performances from all the Gradam Ceoil 2019 recipients, who will be recognised for their talent and contribution to traditional Irish music.
Further TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2019 recipients include: Musician of the Year, Catherine McEvoy; Lifetime Achievement, Nicky & Anne McAuliffe; Singer of the Year, Thomas McCarthy; Outstanding Contribution, Brendan Mulkere; and Musical Collaboration, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill.
2019 Gradam recipients, who represent the crème de la crème of traditional music and song, will be joined in live performances on stage by their own special musical guests, including Irish fiddler Paddy Glackin, Michael McCague and multi-instrumentalist Sinéad Egan, to name but a few.
Conor Connolly will be accompanied by musical friends Andrea Palandri and Michael McCague.
A range of VIP guest presenters will also take to the stage; last year, actor Stephen Rea and President Michael D. Higgins were amongst the VIP guests at the event.
Previous Gradam winner and master accordionist Joe Burke, who will present the Young Musician award to his prodigy, Conor Connolly, will also perform in the show’s finale.