BELLEEK will remember one of Ireland’s greatest ever traditional Irish fiddle player when the ninth John Joe Gordon Traditional Music Festival takes place this weekend.

Bernie McNulty, chairperson of Belleek CCE is looking forward to the event which kicks off tomorrow (Friday).

The festival continues to recognise the legacy left behind by the master fiddle player.

John Joe Gordon was born in 1928 and passed away in 2002 – he was the youngest of seven children, born to Mary and John James Gordon, who worked a small farm in the townland of Drumcully, which lies halfway between Belleek and Belcoo.

This year will see many musical legends in Belleek including Ben Lennon, Danny Meehan, John Daly, Pat McCabe, Sean Mc Elwain and the Bofin twin brothers Kevin and Sean Abeyta.

The opening session at 9pm in McMorrows tomorrow night will see Leitrim’s finest Ben Lennon and Jim Connolly joined by Kathleen Meehan from Belcoo (one of the Mc Keaney sisters who made a recent TV appearance on TG4).

All musicians and listeners welcome to what is guaranteed to be a great start to the weekend.

Saturday is a busy day starting with a lunchtime session and fiddle masterclass in the Fiddlestone pub.

Anthony Gordon and friends will entertain downstairs while John Daly will take the fiddle masterclass upstairs.

Anthony is one of the Belleek branch weekly music class teachers and the youngest son of John Joe.

John Daly a native of Co. Cork, who spent many years in Chicago, returned to Ireland a few years ago and is now living in Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

He was introduced to Kerry fiddle player, Johnny Cronin, by his father in the 80's, and around the same time became interested in the playing of Andy McGann from New York and Longford man Paddy Reynolds.

The early Sean McGuire recordings grabbed John's interest too, and Rossinver’s Charlie Lennon ( Bens brother ) and Chicagoan Liz Carroll are currently among John's favorite composers in the Irish style. John has played concerts and conducted many workshops in Iceland, Scotland and the Shetland Islands, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. His first album, simply titled “John Daly” features old, tried and tested tunes from many years ago sitting comfortably among John's own compositions. This opportunity to learn from a master in his craft should not be missed by all improver fiddle players

At 5pm the singing session led by Rosie Stewart will take place in the cosy surroundings of the Thatch coffee shop.

There will be informal sessions in all venues throughout the weekend with Saturday night seeing a host of local and visiting musicians playing in all hosteliers in the town.

Oriel will play Belleek for the first time – they are PatMc Cabe, Sean McElwain and Richie Lyons.

Pat is a music teacher in Fermanagh and Monaghan and has played with Aileach in former years having toured in Europe and USA.

Sean has played with groups such as Teada and is a renowned performer on banjo and guitar. Richie is a much

travelled bodran player.and in great demand for both touring and recording with various artists. Oriel are travelling to Italy and Spain in 2016.

The Sunday lunchtime session in the Black Cat will get things warmed up for another day with twin brothers Kevin and Sean Abeyta on fiddles. Kevin is no stranger to Belleek having been at every JJ festival weekend to date. Also starting at 2pm a singing masterclass with Rosie Stewart will take place in the Fiddlestone – come along and learn from one of our own, who is a wonderful ambassador for traditional Ulster singing.

At 5pm there is a youth session in the Black Cat Cove with Pat Mc Cabe as special guest.This monthly session is a Fermanagh CCE County board initiative for the past two years.

The Fiddlestone Finale and Festival Raffle will kick off about 9pm for those that still have energy left to play!

All events are free except a small charge of £7 per masterclass.

John Joe’s CD, 'The Humours of Glendart', will be available for anyone who wishes to buy it.

Keep up to date with the event on the John Joe Gordon Festival facebook page and the website