Belleek remembers a great traditional fiddle player

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Bernie Mc Nulty, chairperson of Belleek CCE is looking forward to the eighth John Joe Gordon Traditional Music Weekend the first weekend in December.

This festival continues to recognise the legacy left behind by the master fiddle player. John Joe Gordon was born in 1928 and passed away in 2002 – he was the youngest of seven children, born to Mary and John James Gordon, who worked a small farm in the townland of Drumcully, which lies halfway between Belleek and Belcoo.

This year’s event will see many musical legends in Belleek – including Ben Lennon, Michael Curran (2014 All Ireland Button Accordian Champion), Caoimhe Kearins, Ronan Regan, Irene Guckian, Kevin Abeyta to name but a few.

The opening concert in the Black Cat Cove at 9pm on the Friday 5th December has Emmet O’Halloran as MC – Emmet a Co Clare button accordion player is no stranger to Belleek.

The concert has a great line up of music, song and dance which includes children from Belleek CCE (some of John Joe’s grandchildren are part of this group), 2014 All Ireland button accordion player Micky Curran and a CD launch of a newly released fiddle duet CD by Rónán Regan and Irene Guckian. ‘Drumshanbows” the name of the CD is a fun name which represents a kind of fulcrum of the musical styles of Rónán and Irene, which came about as they met and formed their musical alliance and friendship in Drumshanbo, where they both teach fiddle at the annual Joe Mooney Summer School.

The CD is a fiddle duet in the Leitrim style which includes special guests Paddy Ryan (fiddle), Mick Blake (piano), Ciaran Curran (bouzouki) and Tommy Murry (recitation).

Saturday is a busy day starting at 11.30am with Irene Guckian teaching a fiddle workshop upstairs in the Fiddlestone.

At 12.30 Ronan Regan will teach a Sean Nós dance workshop in the Wark Hall – this workshop is for all age groups both beginners and improvers alike. The singing / lilting workshop will be taught by Caoimhe Kearins from Sligo.

At 4:30pm the singing session will allow for an airing of songs learnt at Caoimhe’s workshops. There will be informal sessions in all venues throughout the weekend including Belleek’s own Christmas market (in the pottery car park).

On Saturday night there will be music in all hosteliers in the town.

The Sunday lunch time session in McMorrow’s will get things warmed up for another day while a little later (2.30pm) next door in the Fiddlestone Martin Donohoe and friends will play.

At 5pm there is a youth session in the Black Cat Cove where again Martin will be the special guest. This monthly session is a Fermanagh CCE County board initiative for the past year. Sessions to date have been held in Enniskillen but the plan is to now have them around the county hosted by one of the eight branches with Belleek being the first to do so.

The Fiddlestone finale will kick off about 9pm – it may not finish until Monday!

Most events are free but for those that have a cover charge it is only £5 / €5 .


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