Buncrana fiddler and Magee lecturer, Dr. Liz Doherty, has spoken of her pride at seeing one of her protégés, Jack Warnock, selected alongside the leading names of folk, acoustic and roots music in the BBC Folk Music Awards, which will take place in Belfast tonight.
The 20-year-old maestro from Maghera who studies Irish and Music in Derry has been nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk category in the awards which will be hosted by Julie Fowlis and Mark Radcliffe at the Waterfront Hall.
Dr. Doherty said: “It is fantastic that Jack has been nominated for this year’s BBC Young Folk Award.
“He is a brilliant young musician and it has been wonderful to see him develop over the past three years here at Ulster University. While Jack came into the University already a fine player, he stood out from the start by demonstrating a real hunger to learn more, to grow as an artist and to properly engage with the realities of pursuing a career in the music industry.”
The County Derry multi-instrumentalist will be in stellar company among such luminaries of the folk firmament as Cara Dillon, Julie Fowlis, Eliza Carthy and Lankum among others. For Jack it’s a huge privilege to be part of a ceremony that will be feature performances from both Dónal Lunny and Paul Brady and the induction of the late Nick Drake into the awards’ Hall of Fame.
Said Jack: “When I found out that I had been nominated for BBC Radio 2s Young Folk Music Awards, I was over the moon. I’m really looking forward to the award ceremony on the April 4; with fantastic artists like Paul Brady performing and many others.”
Jack has already established a name for himself; having played in both the National Concert Hall, Dublin and the Royal Albert Hall.
Commencing his career at the age of 7 years old when he started playing the piano, he took up mandolin and guitar when he was 15, before winning An Ré Nua in the lead up to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2013.
“I chose to study for a Degree in Irish with Music at Magee because I always enjoyed learning and speaking Irish. I also sing in Irish sometimes so when I discovered there was a course based on the two subjects I loved, I couldn’t resist!
“I have made lots of friends while studying at Magee and through studying Music. I have gained many opportunities to play at different events, and last year with three other students travelled to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia to perform as Liz Doherty and the Doc Flock.”