Ash Reynolds
Areas of Work
  • Community arts - performance & facilitation
  • Textile & fabric crafting
  • Costume & prop making
  • Themed event decor
  • Recycling for art-based play facilitation
  • Window display
  • Mural and backdrop projects
  • Large-scale puppet & mask making

Ash Reynolds is a freelance artist with 10 years' experience working in Northern Ireland. After graduating with qualifications in art and design, Ash started work as a community artist and facilitator. One of her larger projects was working on the Special Olympics opening ceremony in Dublin in 2003. Ash was involved both as a performer and as an arts workshop facilitator, teaching and helping the ceremony participants to create and make their own costumes and props for the event.

Ash continues to work as a performing and visual community artist for various community organizations as well as the commercial sector. Aside from the Beat Carnival, her clients include Open Arts, The Crescent Arts Center, The National Deaf Children's Society, New Lodge Arts, Arts Care NI, Knockbracken Hospital, The Fostering Network, Belfast City Council, Young at Art and New Lodge Arts.

Ash Currently lives in Belfast with her son and spouse.

Beat Musician in Residence 2013: David Lyttle
Areas of Work

As the Beat Carnival's Musician-in-Residence:

  • Composition/songwriting/arrangement
  • Music performance
  • Music production
  • Specialist masterclass provision

David Lyttle began performing professionally at the age of four in his family folk group the Lyttle Family and has gone on to be described by Irish music magazine Hot Press as a 'one-man industry' for his work as a performer, producer and record label owner. His collaborations in jazz, hip hop and dance music range from jazz legend Jean Toussaint to Mercury-nominated rapper Soweto Kinch to key Irish singer/songwriter Duke Special. His latest album 'Interlude' was first heard on BBC Radio 1's Introducing and has been praised by press from the Daily Mirror to MOBO, gracing radio playlists around the world. Brought to millions by its Channel 4 album advert campaign with HMV, it features David on keyboards, bass, drums, cello and vocals, alongside some of his heroes, contemporaries and family, including Mercury-nominated Soweto Kinch, vocalist Rhea, keyboardist Jason Rebello (Sting) and bassist Pino Palladino (Adele, D'Angelo).

Beat Carnival appointed David Lyttle as Musician in Residence 2013 to create new music performance and contribute to the artistic development of Beat’s music artists and artforms. David kicked off his residency with a jazz drumming masterclass at the Beat Carnival Centre, before settling in to write and produce a summer track for the Beat, featuring our in-house samba band, Beatndrum, as well as Rhea on vocals and a fantastic spoken-word segment about Northern Ireland from one of NI's top stars, Duke Special. 

The single was commissioned to raise the profile of the Beat Carnival whilst raising funds for our continued work, and marks an expansion into new genres for us as part of our commitment to artistic development and creative innovation. As well as being featured on BBC ATL, BBC Arts Extra and RTE 2XM, it gained extensive commercial radio play across the Republic of Ireland (Beat 102 103, Spin, Red FM), with some spot plays by local stations Cool FM and Blast 106.

Celebrate is available to buy on iTunesAmazon and Beatport

The music video, which was directed and produced by NI's Adam Patterson and which was created with the help of a talented group of local volunteers, was shot in the Beat Carnival Centre and at various locations around Belfast. The video went viral in its first week on YouTube, with over 56,000 views at present. 

Beat Musician in Residence 2014: Katie Richardson
Areas of Work

As the Beat Carnival's Musician-in-Residence:

  • Composition/songwriting/arrangement
  • Music performance
  • Music production
  • Choral direction

Beat Carnival’s Musician In Residence 2014 is musician, composer, musical director, actress and facilitator Katie Richardson. Katie will work with Beat’s Director, David Boyd, on defining and strengthening the artistic identity and range of Beat’s carnival music and will create new music that complements, contributes to and expands Beat’s carnival events and other music programmes. Katie is composing a Belfast-themed song and overseeing formation of a Beat Carnival Band and Street Choir, which will play a key role in Beat's carnival events programme. 

Known for her energetic and engaging live performances, Katie has performed with many bands including her own, Katie and the Carnival and Goldie Fawn, and collective The Salt Flats. She has made many TV, radio and festival appearances and has worked and shared a stage with the likes of Van Morrison, Foy Vance, Matt Cardle, Misha B, Duke Special, The Inishowen Gospel Choir, Emmy the Great, Thomas Truax, Nell Bryden, Open Arts Choir, Hothouse Flowers and Jesca Hoop. Katie has performed in venues all over the UK and Ireland as a soloist, session singer and choral singer in several award-winning choirs. 

Katie has composed music for various theatre companies and organisations, including Tinderbox Theatre Company, Red Lemon Productions and the MAC. She composed a live soundtrack for Beat Carnival production Journey to the Land of Giants in 2012 and has written a diverse range of music for many community arts projects around Ireland.

Katie works as a facilitator in music, drama and visual arts for many Northern Irish organisations and with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Keep up to date with her work with Beat at

Christina Nelson
Areas of Work
  • Dance
  • Drama

Christina is a well-known local professional actress. She has worked with numerous theatre and education companies including award-winning Replay Productions, The Sneezing Chickens, and Big Telly. She is a founding member of Big Fish Theatre Company, specialising in children's and street theatre. Her work in facilitating dance and drama throughout Northern Ireland brought her to the Beat Initiative. Carnival gave the opportunity to work on large-scale, multi-arts performance on the street and on stage. Christina's tireless work brings imaginative opportunity, encouragement and confidence to people of all ages and abilities.

Christine Boyle
Areas of Work
  • Costume design
  • Costume making
  • Teaching (dressmaking and tailoring)

Christine graduated in 1996 with a BA Hons in Fashion and Textile Design. During a three-year period with Adria/Charnos Hosiery she became involved in community arts (with New Belfast Community Arts Iniative). As a freelancer, Christine designs, sources fabrics, trims and personnel, and makes costumes for carnival arts. She teaches dressmaking and tailoring at Belfast Metropolitan College and is a freelance costume maker for theatre and film. She was a costume maker for the first three series of hit HBO show, Game of Thrones.

You can see examples of Christine's work on her website:

Damian Mills
Areas of Work
  • Carnival & event concepts, planning, design & implementation
  • Bespoke carnival performances, teaching and leading large parades to small scale events
  • Percussion education - a teacher's teacher in Brazilian and ensemble drumming
  • Project management
  • Event administration/budgeting
  • Networking and sector development for carnival arts & carnival drumming
  • Session percussionist

For 18 years Damian has been learning Brazilian drumming; he says he will never stop learning. He joined the Beat as a music artist in 1994, having picked up workshop skills whilst teaching circus for three years. In 2004, he created the Beatndrum samba band for the Beat Carnival. Since then, and through working with the Beat on numerous national and international projects, he has become recognised as a leading developer of cutting-edge percussion performance, specialising in carnival drumming. He has extensive experience in scoring and teaching music for small- and large-scale percussion ensembles, and always seeks to integrate new sounds and new ideas into the heart of Northern Irish drumming. 

Damian draws on collaborations with artists and musicians nationally and internationally to create new, high-quality performance opportunities. His background in psychology and his many years of teaching percussion throughout Ireland and the UK have given him a deep understanding of rhythm education within groups. Damian says he is "always seeking new paths to original, interesting and inclusive art, so that others may have fun, be enthused and get creative to the highest levels".

Ed Reynolds
Areas of Work
  • Prop painting
  • Illustration
  • Mural art
  • Caricature
  • Music performance

Having played music professionally with his old band, Pelvis, in Dublin for 10 years, Ed Reynolds decided to unplug his amplifier, unpack his paint brushes and start painting again. His art took him to New Zealand where he painted and performed music for almost two years. He returned to Ireland in 2006 and soon moved to Belfast, where he met some Beat folk. He has been working on and off with the Beat ever since, painting props at the Beat and designing and illustrating photo boards and cladding for a lot of our ‘makes’ that go out on carnival day.

Ed works as a freelance artist and has led many "Re-Imaging Communities" programmes throughout Northern Ireland since 2007. These visual arts projects involve the design and installation of several large community based murals, facilitating workshops with community groups and the removal of sectarian murals. The work is approached with consideration to those involved and with a respect of their views, traditions and expectations. 

Ed says he "believes in creativity and imagination and the benefits and inspiration they brings in their visibility". He enjoys the interaction with others in the creative process and always encourages creativity. 

See Ed's work at

Helen Hall
Areas of Work
  • Dance performance
  • Dance & creative movement facilitation
  • Choreography
  • Creating dance for film
  • Circus skills

Helen has been involved with the Beat for over four years, working as a performer and facilitator of carnival-style dance. Through the Beat, Helen has worked with numerous community groups and also led and choreographed for the Beatndance performance group. Helen has training in numerous styles of dance, including contemporary, jazz, hip-hop and ballet. Through the Beat she has received training with renowned carnival dance performers and choreographers such as Marianna Pinho, Jackson Pinto and dance master Anderson Nogueira. The styles learned have included samba reggae, samba and maracatu. She has also studied visual arts and has been able to develop her skills by taking part in some of the Beat's puppet-making projects. Helen has performed at many carnival and dance events and was part of a group of Beat artists who created and performed with life-size puppets in Bologna as part of international arts event, BelBoBru. She been part of project based-training with Candoco Dance company, Blue-Eyed Soul Dance Company and international dance practitioners Marc Brew, Caroline Bowditch and Nadia Adame. This training has been part of the Luminous Soul dance project of which Helen am a member.

Jazzmin McClure
Areas of Work
  • Performer in theatre and dance
  • Facilitator in movement and drama
  • Dance group co-ordinator
  • Carnival performance artist
  • Choreographer
  • Basic circus skills
  • Stilt walker

Beat Dance Co-ordinator Jazzmin is currently in her final year at Queens University, having previously completed a HND in Performing Arts at Belfast Metropolitan College. Whilst performance is a passion of hers, she has more recently been involved in dance and drama facilitation.  This has taken her to theatres across Ireland, working with a range of companies, including PBM and New Lodge Arts. 

Jazzmin has been a part of the Beat team from a very young age, having originally joined as a member of the Carnival Creations group (now BeatStyle), at just 9 years old.  She has now been a part of the Beat's facilitation team for four years, teaching performance and dance to young and old. With the Beat, Jazzmin has had the opportunity to travel to the UK to take part in carnivals and events. She has also taken masterclasses in maracatu, which she now teaches within the Beat.     

John Quinn (aka Wee John)
Areas of Work
  • Float/Prop Construction
  • Metalwork
  • Artistic/technical design
  • Street theatre
John’s travels throughout the world have inspired his unique vision as a carnival artist. He is a skilled metalworker, artistic and technical designer and maker. He has been involved with Beat from its early days. John has worked and toured in Europe, Australia and Cambodia (to name a few!). As well as a carnival maker, he is a well-known performer. ‘Wee John’ is one of the most successful and versatile circus/street-theatre performers from Northern Ireland. ‘Wee John’ has a strong sense of community and a commitment to teaching, facilitating and passing on his skills to others from all backgrounds in NI and across the world.
Kathryn Boyle
Areas of Work
  • Fine art
  • Illustration
  • Sculpture
  • Prop design, build & painting
  • Float design, build & painting

Kathryn is an artist, illustrator and sculptor based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She graduated from the University of Ulster with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine and Applied Art in 2006. Kathryn creates illustrations in black ink and in watercolour pencils, and brings her characters to life by making them into 3D models with their own handmade clothes and accessories. 

Kathryn's been involved with Beat Carnival for four years as a multi-talented production artist, creating 'Big Head' puppets and polystyrene sculptures and building and painting floats and props for our carnival parades.
Check out Kathryn's fantastic work at her website and blog
Llinos Griffiths
Areas of Work
  • Costume design
  • Costume sourcing
  • Costume making
  • Dying and distressing/breakdown of fabric

Originally from South Wales, Llinos graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2006 gaining a degree in theatre design. Since then she has specialised in costume for stage and screen, designing and working on a wide variety of productions for a plethora of companies across Wales. For the past eight years she has also designed and taught for National Youth Theatre Wales and National Youth Dance Wales.

Since relocating to Belfast in 2008, Llinos has worked with various establishments, designing and making on a variety of productions. These include The Beat Carnival, Premier Circus, Belfast Community Circus, Maiden Voyage Dance, The Sonorities Contemporary Music Festival and The Queens Quarter Weekends.
Llinos is passionate about all aspects of the costume design process, having worked on everything from opera to puppetry. She currently works primarily with carnival, circus and dance and has been fortunate to have worked with choreographers such as Errol White, Luke Murphy, Filipe Van Huffel, Dylan Quinn, Suzzannah McCreight and, most recently, Theo Clinkard.
Matt Vernon
Areas of Work
  • Street percussion teacher, band leader and performer
  • Outreach projects/programme coordinator
  • Commercial events coordination/management, crew
  • Artist booking and liaison
  • Customer liaison
  • Carnival artist, prop building and decoration
  • Puppet builder and performer
  • Drum builder
  • Stilt walker
  • DJ

Matt’s primary art form is percussion; he has a lead role in musical direction and tuition of Beat’s main street percussion programs, regularly teaching to around 50 individuals on a weekly basis. He has also developed strong skills and competences in float and prop construction. Originally a landscape gardener with an interest in chainsaw carving, he has developed his woodwork skills to designing and making his own drums.

Matt has been involved with the Beat for over eight years as a volunteer, facilitator and carnival artist. Over the years Matt has taken all opportunities for training with the Beat and has consequently worked with some of the most respected percussionists and carnival organisations from across Europe and further afield. These have included Sam Alexander, Maracatu Estrella do Norte (London), Mestre Chacon Vianna, Maracatu Nacao Porto Rico (Brazil) and Monobloco (Brazil), Les Grandes Personnes (France). He has performed at many carnival and festival events throughout Ireland and in several European countries as well as studying and performing Maracatu percussion and dance in Olinda, Brazil. Matt leads the Beat Carnival's in-house samba band, Beatndrum.

Like Beatndrum on Facebook
Connect with Matt on LinkedIn

Mike Smith
Areas of Work
  • Prop/float/costume creation
  • Puppet-making
  • Puppeteering
  • Set dressing

Originally from Aberdeen, Mike's been living and working in Belfast since 2001. In his many years with the Beat he has created costumes, props and floats, and has become a key artist on our outreach team. He has trained with and collaborated with arts companies including Kinetika (London), Sarruga (Spain) and Shademakers (Germany). He was the lead Befast puppet maker in the Belbobru European project. In 2008 he was the puppet coordinator on award-winning kids' TV programme Sesame Tree. He has worked on many other events and carnivals including the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony 2003, Belfast City Council's Enchanted Evenings, venue dressing and commissions for Young at Art and carnival and prop making for Streetwise Circus. 


Rosie Moore
Areas of Work
  • Textiles
  • Costume design
  • Fashion design
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Fashion & textiles education
  • Tour guiding – social history & textiles
  • Music & singing

Rosie works with The Beat and other organisations facilitating workshops as an artist in the community. She has designed and made costumes for theatre, carnival, film and panto, as well as other projects such as dance competitions and historical events.

She is based in a studio in The Mill in Conway Street Belfast, a refurbished flax spinning mill, where she gives guided tours and is involved in the curating of the mill art gallery and textile museum. She also gives presentations and talks at events and group meetings.

Her fashion designs are sold in retail outlets, including The Rusty Zip, as well as at various fairs and markets. She is a part-time Fashion & Textiles tutor for Stranmillis College, and when she has time she sings and performs at markets, fairs and other social occasions. You can find out more about Rosie’s work on her website

Sally Young
Areas of Work
  • Large-scale puppet making
  • Prop making
  • Costume making
  • Early years art facilitator
  • Recycled/environmental material artist

Sally graduated from Queens University and Jordanstown University with a BA Hons degree in Fine Craft Design, Certificate in Community Development and a MSc in Womens Studies. Sally has been engaging with local communities, facilitating workshops and providing excellence in Arts design since 1991. Sally has worked as a freelance community artist throughout Northern Ireland since graduating in 1991. Most recently Sally completed a 2-week residency with the Zinneke Parade in Brussels. She has been involved in all aspects of Beat’s work on voluntary, freelance and an employed basis for more than 10 years.

A large part of her own commissioned work is schools-based with Artworks, delivering arts-themed EMU projects throughout Northern Ireland. On a voluntary basis, she sits on the committee for the Belfast Pride and is actively involved in organising the annual Pride Festival.

[Photo credit: Community Arts Partnership]

Stephen Bamford
Areas of Work
  • Design
  • Float construction
  • Carpentry
  • Polystyrene sculpture
  • Prop making
  • Painting and finishing
  • Event crew
Stephen is a Belfast-based artist who works mainly in scenic construction and prop making for theatre and outdoor events. His involvement with the Beat began in 1998 as a volunteer artist for the Belfast Carnival Picture This. Since then, Stephen has worked on many Beat events as an artist and float builder as well as event crew.
Stephen's scenic construction work has led him to build theatre sets for many Northern Irish theatre companies including Primecut Productions, Ransom Productions, Greenshoot productions, Tinderbox and Replay. During a spell in London, he worked as a scenic carpenter for the Royal National Theatre and the English National Opera. He has also designed stage sets for Cahoots NI, The Rainbow Factory, Belfast Circus School and the Verbal Arts Centre.
Most recently, Stephen worked as Design Coordinator on the spectacular Land of Giants, staged on Belfast's Titanic Slipway, and on Walk the Plank's production Return of Colmcille for Derry City of Culture 2013.