Beat Carnival Music


BEATnDRUM is our community samba band for adults and is a key player in the Afro-Brazilian drumming network in Ireland, maintaining strong links with friends and peers the length and breadth of the island. Performing many styles of Afro-Brazilian/Cuban percussion, members of Beatndrum regularly play with other large groups of specialist percussionists, such as Maracatu Ilha Brilhante, Bloco de Dublin, Maracatu Estrela do Norte and Eri Okan. Read more - including how to get involved - at our BEATnDRUM section.

Beat's 2014 Musician In Residence: Katie Richardson

Katie Richardson and keyboardist Phil D'AltonFollowing the success of our inaugural residency, the Beat Carnival has again appointed a musician in residence to work with participants in the creation of new music for the Beat Carnival's public events. Katie Richardson is a musician, composer, musical director, actress and facilitator. Known for her energetic and engaging live performances, she 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 will work with Beat Director, David Boyd, on defining the artistic identity for 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 creating a Beat Street Choir & Carnival Band and composing a new Belfast-themed song, an early version of which was debuted at our Belfast 2014 St Patrick's Day parade. 

Get involved and/or keep up-to-date with Katie's work at our Beat Musician In Residence Facebook page.

Beat's 2013 Musician In Residence: David Lyttle

Artwork for Celebrate single by David Lyttle & Beat Carnival feat. Rhea & Duke SpecialThe Beat Carnival appointed one of NI's most successful young musicians, David Lyttle, as our first Musician in Residence. Already a household name in Irish jazz, David is gaining recognition as an urban music artist thanks to his latest album Interlude, which was described as 'incredible' by the Daily Mirror and ‘exceptional’ by MOBO. He has collaborated with many top-class musicians, including Mercury-nominated Soweto Kinch, US rapper iLLspokinN (Run DMC), keyboardist Jason Rebello (Sting) and bassist Pino Palladino (Adele, D'Angelo), and is widely credited for discovering guitar prodigy Andreas Varady. David's role is to create new music performance and contribute to the artistic development of Beat’s music artists and artforms. He 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. Celebrate features 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).

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 57,000 views at present. 

Masterclasses & Residencies

We have brought many international musicians and bands to Belfast over the years to deliver masterclasses and weekend residencies and to collaborate on projects. These include Moleque Da Rua (Sao Paolo, Brazil), Grupo Bongar (Pernumbuco, Brazil), Barak Schmool (Rhythms of the City, London).

In 2013, we've followed our first masterclass with David Lyttle some by Jason Rebello (keyboards) and Steve Lawson (bass). Keep up to date with our programme on our events page here and on Facebook.


Commissioned Works

The Beat Carnival has commissioned work from many of local musicians in recent years, including Ruby Colley, Phil d'Alton and Donal Scullion.