Ireland’s Irish language TV station TG4 has established a wonderful reputation for presenting a wide array of traditional music shows and documentaries, and also for granting the highest awards for artists in the traditional music awards known as the Gradams.
Following close on the heels of another amazing performance at Celtic Connections in Glasgow in January, Chicago native Liz Carroll has won another accolade for the publication last year of 185 of her own compositions in her book “Collected.” She was chosen Composer of the Year, and isthe first American-born artist to gain a TG4 Gradam.
Each year TG4 selects six categories of honorees. The network also specially commissions a statue by John Coll and a cash honorarium. The awards show is broadcast on Easter Sunday.
Winning the top award as Musician of the Year or Gradam Ceoil is the Clare concertina maestro Noel Hill, who makes his home in the Connemara Gaeltacht. The venerable Leitrim fiddler Ben Lennon was selected to join the Hall of Fame or Gradam Saoil.
The Singer of the Year or Amhranai is Kerry songbird Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, who performs with Danu and teaches at the University of Limerick.
Padraic Keane, a young piper from Galway and son of Tommy Keane and Jacqueline McCarthy Keane, continues a family tradition as he was designated the Young Musician of the Year or Ceoltoir Og.
Professor Micheal O’Suilleabhain, director of the Irish World Music Center at the University of Limerick, was recognized for all his work fostering young musicians at the university and elsewhere by bestowing the Musician’s Award or Gradam na gCeoltoiri for this year.
All of these honorees will be brought to the Wexford Opera House for the live concert on April 2 for a TV show that will air on April 24.
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned