Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (January 2024)

CMAT has been nominated for a BRIT Award.

Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (January 2024)

A round-up of recent appointments and awards in music, compiled by Shannon McNamee, with news from the Brit Awards, NÓS, the Clarsach Society and the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, Sligo Jazz Project, Opera North, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The BRIT Awards
Irish singers CMAT and Jazzy have been nominated for this year’s BRIT Awards. These are the highest profile music awards in the UK and will take place on 2 March in the O2 in London. CMAT has been nominated for the International Artist of the Year Award, alongside Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Kylie Minogue, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, Caroline Polachek, Burna Boy and Asake. Jazzy’s song ‘Giving Me’ has been nominated for the International Song of the Year Award, alongside ‘What Was I Made For’ by Billie Eilish, ‘Paint the Town Red’ by Doja Cat, ‘Stick Season’ by Noah Kahan, ‘(It Goes Like) Nanana’ by Peggy Gou, ‘Flowers’ by Miley Cyrus, and more. 

Other categories in the BRIT Awards include Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and Alternative/Rock Act. 


Sligo Jazz Project Artists in Residence 2024
The Sligo Jazz Project has revealed its Artists in Residence for the 2024 Sligo Jazz Summer School, taking place from 23 to 28 July. Elio Villafranca, the Cuban-born pianist and composer, will be the main Artist in Residence. Villafranca has collaborated with jazz luminaries such as Pat Martino, Terell Stafford and Wynton Marsalis, and has performed with orchestras including the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra.

Elio Villafranca (photo: Kasia Idzkowska)

The 2024 Young Artist in Residence will be Scottish pianist and composer Fergus McCreadie, winner of the 2022 Jazz FM Instrumentalist of the Year. 

Fergus McCreadie

Other faculty members of this year’s Summer School include Korean drummer Sun-Mi Hong,  Italian guitarist Eleonora Strino, UK guitarist Tom Ollendorff, pianist and last year’s Young Artist in Residence, Nils Kavanagh. The School is currently open for bookings.


2023 Iain MacLeòid Young Composer Award
The Clarsach Society and the Edinburgh International Harp Festival have announced Dundalk musician Donnchadh Mac Aodha as the recipient of the 2023 Iain MacLeòid Young Composer Award. His winning piece, Ambaist, will premiere at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival this April.

Donnchadh Mac Aodha

Mac Aodha is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at University College Cork. He plays traditional and classical music and incorporates both into his work, as well as the Irish language. Previous compositions by Mac Aodha have earned awards at the New Ross Piano Festival and the West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition. 

The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award is an annual competition for composers aged between 16 and 30 years old.


2024 NÓS Awards
Irish-language culture site NÓS has announced the shortlist for the 2024 NÓS Awards, with the event scheduled to take place on 9 February at the Black Box in Belfast. The awards will feature over 20 bands and musicians, nominated across seven categories including Song of the Year, Album of the Year (Contemporary Music), Album of the Year (Traditional Songs), and Band/Musician of the Year. The shortlisted artists come from a range of genres including rock, rap, reggae, ambient music, sean-nós and trad-electronic. 

Cork/Conamara experimental band Trá Pháidín have been nominated in the Album of the Year (Contemporary Music) category for their record An 424, along with The Beautiful Road by Rónán Ó Snodaigh and Myles O’Reilly, while Anamnesis by harper and singer Síle Denvir and sean-nós group Bláth na hÓige’s self-titled debut have been nominated for the Album of the Year (Traditional Songs) award. Kíla, Kneecap and experimental group IMLÉ are shortlisted for the Band/Musician of the Year award; Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin is nominated for the Song of the Year for ‘Brigid Buach’, as well as ‘cé mo dhuine si​ú​l sa hi​-​vis’ by Trá Pháidín; and Bláth na hÓige and piper Muireann Ní Shé have been nominated for the Newcomers of the Year – Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí Award, named after the late broadcaster.

Muireann Ní Shé

On the night there will be performances by IMLÉ, funk-jazz fusion band Grooveline, Belfast trad-rock band Huartan, singer and flute player Múlú, and Irish-language rap artist Torby. Tickets are priced at £15. For bookings, and to see the full shortlist, visit

Opera North Resonance Residency 2024
Opera North has announced the artists selected for its 2024 Resonance Residency. The residency aims to support professional musicians in Northern England, offering them a week to develop new projects, experiment with ideas, and present work-in-progress performances. The artists work across the genres of folk, jazz, soul, electronic and improvisation and include singer and multi-instrumentalist Ellen Beth Abdi, DJ Balraj Samrai, guitarist and songwriter Rory A. Green, producer Jonas Jones and folk singer Satnam Galsian. They begin their residency in Leeds this month. 

Ellen Beth Abdi

Beth Abdi will use the residency to explore themes of gender, race, and Afrofuturism; Samrai will focus on the complexities of migrant experiences; Green will compose music that highlights mixed-race experiences; Jones, also known as Stolen Velour, will focus on songwriting, addressing mixed heritage and identity issues; and Galsian’s focus is to reinterpret Punjabi folklore through a feminist lens.

The residency runs from January to April.


Secretary General of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, has announced the appointment of Feargal Ó Coigligh as the new Secretary General of the Department. This appointment sees Ó Coigligh moving from his current role as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Feargal Ó Coigligh

Ó Coigligh’s background includes overseeing housing policy and coordinating the Housing-for-All initiative. He has also managed water services and Uisce Éireann. From 2015 to 2018, as Assistant Secretary for Culture and Arts, he supervised the Decade of Centenaries and the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. His tenure also included managing Heritage policy and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. 



In other recent news, RTÉ Radio 1 has announced the shortlisted artists for the Folk Awards, the RTÉ Choice Music Prize award nominees have been announced, and 15 finalists were announced for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition

For December appointments, see here.

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Published on 24 January 2024

Shannon McNamee is Assistant Editor of the Journal of Music.

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