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London born, Oregon-based veteran fiddle maestro Kevin Burke heads the list of recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2016 (Traditional Music Awards) announced at a media reception in Cork this evening.   Reared in London by Sligo parents, his musical influences and recordings range far and wide in a long career that includes membership of the legendary Bothy Band, collaboration with US folk-icon Arlo Guthrie, a long-time association with Mícheál Ó Domhnaill and an early teenage stint with the Glenside Céilí Band in his native city.

Bothy Band veteran leads roll of honour in 2016 Traditional Music Awards


This year’s other Gradam recipients include a 23 year-old London-born flute-player (Young Musician of the Year); a multi- talented Tyrone man who genius single-handedly moved the guitar into the mainstream of traditional music (Lifetime Achievement); an organisation that brought the harp from the edge of extinction; a member of the current generation in revered sean-nós dynasty (Singer of the Year) and an innovative Borderland musical heritage project.    And in this special Centenary Year TG4 is also honouring an organisation whose willingness to commission archive-film documentaries about the Rising first brought a young musical arranger/composer called Seán Ó Riada to national prominence.

 The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2016 recipients is:

  • Gradam Ceoil –  Kevin Burke
  • Ceoltóir Óg  (Young Musician) –  Órlaith McAuliffe  
  • Gradam Saoil (Hall of Fame) –  Arty McGlynn
  • Comharcheol (Collaboration) –  Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky over it
  • Amhránaí na Bliana (Singer) – Pól Ó Ceannabháin 
  • Comaoin (Special Contribution) – Cairde na Cruite
  • Gradam 1916  – Gael Linn

Recipient biographies on

An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil each year.  Recipients are presented with a specially-commissioned piece by sculptor John Coll as well as a stipend.    This year’s awards will be presented at the Gradam Ceoil Concert in the Cork Opera House on Sunday 21 February and will be broadcast live on TG4.    At the concert, hosted by well-known musician/broadcasters Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Tristan Rosenstock, the 2016 Gradam recipients will be joined on stage by their special musical  guests, in a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters.

TG4 Leascheannasaí Pádhraic Ó Ciardha says that the Gradam Ceoil continues to honour major figures in Irish traditional music during their lifetime.  “We are privileged to organise and sponsor this deserved recognition for these extraordinary and talented artists who instill such pride to our culture and adorn our lives with their music,” he said.

Tickets for TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards 2015, priced €25, available from the Cork Opera House  or phone 021 4270022.

For more information check out or Facebook and Twitter @gradamceoil. #GCTG4