With The Ards International Guitar Festival just around the corner, Newtownards is gearing up for the full programme of events which will see the town come alive with the sounds of classical, blues, folk, jazz, bluegrass and even some rock from some of the best guitar talent around.
The Ards and North Down Borough Council festival, runs from 5 – 9 April and features something for everyone with many of the events already sold out.
On Thursday 6 April, The Festival is delighted to host Will McNichol & Luke Selby with special guests The Joseph Leighton Trio in a very special evening at Ards Arts Centre. Will Nichol has won numerous awards for his playing and composition and is a Fellow of Trinity College London and a former winner of Guitarist Magazine’s Acoustic Guitarist of the Year. Luke Selby is a sought-after session drummer who has studied with some of the finest musicians in his field, supported by emerging talent Joseph Leighton, this celebration of young guitar talent will be an evening not to be missed.
The world renowned musician Jon Gomm will take to the stage in The Queen’s Hall on Friday 7 April. The UK based guitarist who combines draw-dropping guitar skills and artistic soul to craft compositions will be supported by Becky Langan and Amrit Sond, two remarkable percussive fingerstyle guitarists, making this gig a real treat for music lovers – bound to be a festival highlight!
On Sunday 9 April, The Queen’s Hall plays host to Songbirds On Sunday, a special concert by Sarah McQuaid, one of Europe’s hardest working and most talented fingerstyle guitarists. With special guests Eilidh Patterson and Brigid O’Neill, this will be an evening of beautiful voices and magical guitar sounds bringing together and celebrating female folk and acoustic talent.
Other highlights this year include the jazz guitarist Hugh Buckley in conversation and in session with Ronnie Greer. This relaxed afternoon of music and chat will feature the acclaimed Dublin-based guitarist Hugh in conversation with jazz guitar legend Ronnie and will also feature a number of performances by Hugh and Ronnie, solo and together. This event is taking place in Ards Arts Centre on Saturday 8 April. If you fancy Sunday brunch with a difference, then the Classic Album Brunch event on Sunday 9 April might be the thing for you! Award-winning broadcaster Ralph McClean discusses the life and work of Jimi Hendrix, accompanied by clips of Jimi’s landmark guitar solo, songs and performances.
Ards International Guitar Festival is a must for the music enthusiast. For ticket details or to view the full programme please visit the website www.ardsguitarfestival.co.uk or alternatively call Ards Arts Centre on 028 9181 0803