Open House Festival will be hitting the road again early next year for its third annual tour, this time stopping off at three towns along the Northern Irish coast as well as a Belfast city centre church. Soul singer, Dana Masters, whose Jazz in The Walled Garden event was one of the standout hits of this summer’s month-long festival in Bangor, will be headlining the tour, with support from Irish singer-songwriter, Alana Henderson.
The tour starts in Newcastle on Thursday 2nd February, 2017, and concludes in Bangor on Sunday 5th February, via gigs in Portrush and Belfast.
Originally from the Deep South of America, Dana Masters grew up with the sounds of soul, rhythm and blues and gospel music all around her. Music took her from South Carolina to Los Angeles, where she met an Irish boy who would later become her husband. Since moving to Northern Ireland, she has performed on BBC Radio 4 and at Proms in the Park, and regularly sings with some of the finest musicians in this country including Van Morrison and Linley Hamliton.
Alana is an Irish singer-songwriter-cellist from county Tyrone, known for fusing her folk roots with a pop sensibility, fragile delicate vocals, emotive cello and disarmingly honest lyrics. In 2014, she was personally invited by Hozier to join his worldwide tour as featured cellist, vocalist and occasional support act. Alana is now back on home ground and is working on material for her debut album which will be released early-to-mid 2017.
“Dana’s gig was one of our most memorable events of this year’s August festival,” says Festival Director, Kieran Gilmore. “She stunned the audience with her beautiful voice and charmed them with her chat, and she was our number one choice to headline the 2017 tour. Securing Alana as the support act is a great coup too, as her career is on the up and she is definitely a name to remember.”
Open House likes to use unusual and beautiful venues during the Festival month, and the tour will be no different, with gigs in the recently renovated and refurbished Newcastle Community Cinema, the B1 listed Victorian Town Hall in Portrush, the listed Belfast church at 101 Donegall Street and the Marine Court Hotel in the heart of Bangor’s seafront.
Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music at Arts Council of Northern Ireland, who are supporting the tour said, “The Northern Ireland Music Touring Programme has already brought a range of impressive tours to new audiences and venues across the region since its introduction in 2014 with names such as The Quercus Ensemble, Neil Cowley Trio, David Little, Irish group Beoga, among others, taking to the stage. Our Five-Year Music Strategy outlines a firm commitment to bringing the best music, from a range of genres, to people across Northern Ireland. We firmly believe the Northern Ireland Music Touring programme helps us achieve that.”
Dates and locations:
Thursday 2nd Feb: Newcastle Community Cinema
Friday 3rd February: 101 Donegall Street, Belfast
Saturday 4th February: Portrush Town Hall
Sunday 5th February: Marine Court Hotel, Bangor
For tickets and further information, go to: www.openhousefestival.com. The Open House tour is supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.