Showing posts with label roots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roots. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

CELTIC CONNECTIONS OPENS!

 

Alongside the usual varied musical selection, visitors can enjoy ceilidhs, workshops, talks, exhibitions and more over the 18 days.

The festival will run from Thursday 19 January to Sunday 5 February 2023. Follow the conversation   at @ccfest.

Europe’s premier winter music festival, Celtic Connections opens in Glasgow today, Thursday 19th January, showcasing performances from some of Scotland and the world’s brightest emerging musical talent alongside stalwarts of the scene and returning favourites, and runs to Sunday 5th February. Thousands of musicians from across the world - USA, Ireland, Mali, Morocco, will perform across Glasgow over its two weeks as it celebrates 30 years of pushing the boundaries of traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul and world music.

With thousands of visitors passing through the doors of Celtic Connections each year, the festival’s contribution over the last three decades to Scotland’s cultural landscape and international reputation, and the Glasgow economy during the dark month of January, cannot be understated. Since the festival’s inception in 1994, the number of events staged at Celtic Connections has quadrupled and the number of venues has grown 25-fold. 

Education program. Since its learning programme was established in 1999, more than 200,000 children and young people have taken part in its cultural events. This year sees the return of its educational arm in earnest, with three free school concerts and 44 workshops set to be delivered to school children throughout Glasgow.

 

The festival’s legacy for championing emerging talent with the much-loved Danny Kyle Open Stage and has showcased 146 finalists comprising 440 artists and the festival’s New Voices strand, which allows young musicians to develop and perform brand new compositions, will this year top 76 stunning commissions. Celtic Connections is also supported by a team of 100 volunteers.



**Tonight’s 30
th opening concert Glasgow Royal Concert Hall will celebrate Celtic Connections’ rich history with artists who have featured over the last three decades. The once-in-a-lifetime line up includes Basco, Duncan Chisholm, Fergus McCreadie and Matt Carmichael, Karine Polwart, Kathleen MacInnes, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Maeve Gilchris, Peat & Diesel, Rachel Sermanni, Sierra HullScottish Dance TheatreTRIP, and The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.  They are joined by a special big band, originally brought together for the 2021 digital opening night - Duncan LyallSorren MacleanFraser FifieldPatsy ReidGraham MacKenzieLaura WilkieMichael McGoldrickHannah FisherRoss AinslieAnna MassieGreg Lawson,Alice AllenAlyn CoskerJames Mackintosh.

Mercury-nominated jazz pianist and Scottish Album of the Year Fergus McCreadie and acclaimed harpist Maeve Gilchrist team up with Mr McFall’s String Quartet for a performance at The Mackintosh Church, while Ian Carr & The Various Artists and Madeleine Stewart Trio at Drygate Brewery.

This weekend’s packed schedule includes festivals legends Saltfishforty along with award-winning Scandinavian band BascoTreacherous Orchestra, alongside VÍÍK, who combine Scandinavian song tradition, progressive jazz and alternative rock. Colonel Mustard and The Dijon 5 , and the legendary John McCusker will celebrate 30 years with a host of special guests at City Halls.

*Highlights  include - Shetland musicians Jenna Reid and Harris Playfair, celebrating the upcoming release of their long-awaited duo record; When Mountains Meet / Jub Milain Pahaar: A musical adventure from Scotland to Pakistan combines Scottish and South Asian influenced music, storytelling, and striking visual images to recount the true story of Anne Wood as she sets forth on a voyage from the Scottish Highlands to the Himalayas.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s Strathclyde Suite will host dementia-friendly concerts, with Josie Duncan and Owen Sinclair, and Robyn Stapleton and Claire Hastings showcasing the power of music and its ability to kick-start the brain and unlock memories. 

Afro Celtic Connections - Saint Luke’s play host to Rise Kagona, with lead guitarist of the Zimbabwean band The Bhundu Boys, Diwan, who bring an exuberant fusion of funky mbalax and Afrobeat grooves, with ska, rock and Senegalese soul led by Senegalese singer Samba Sene, and Chief Cheb, a celebrated African philosopher, poet storyteller and teacher.

Tramway will host the world premiere of Moving Cloud – a collaboration of contemporary dance and traditional music created by Celtic Connections and Scottish Dance Theatre, with a new score performed by a 14-piece folk ensemble  with TRIP and Sian along with Greg Lawson and Alice Allen

Celtic Odyssée perform atz Glasgow Royal Concert Hall along with the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, with 18 artists from the eight European Celtic nations coming together in a celebration of a shared heritage. Musical Director is Breton piper Ronan Le Bars, along with Denez Prigent (Brittany), Karen Matheson (Scotland), Karan Casey (Ireland), Cerys Hafana (Wales), Fransy Gonzàlez (Galicia), Sylvia Quesada (Asturias), Lauren Chandler (Cornwall), Finlay MacDonald (Scotland) and many more. They will share the stage with Scottish fiddle-led four-piece FARA, who will bring their unique mix of intricate fiddle harmonies and skilled storytelling.

Troubadour Jim Malcolm, trad singer Susie Malcolm, their daughter, Beth Malcolm, and fiddle legend Pete Clark will celebrate Burns Night with an evening of song at The National Piping Centre, while record label Last Night will host a show at Oran Mòr, celebrating three of the label's most recent successes: wojtek the bearSister John, and Album Club.

James Grant and The Hallelujah Strings will perform at the beautiful Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum this year, not once but twice, after a second date was added due to demand. Audiences will be treated to James’ signature rich vocals and outstanding guitar work, his incredible back catalogue performed alongside the Hallelujah Strings, a 14-piece string section led by Greg Lawson.

The festival will draw to a close on Sunday 5 February when the hotly contested BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition reaches its conclusion, while Transatlantic Sessions celebrates its 20th year of showcasing the shared traditions of Scotland, Ireland and the US, and the GRAMMY Award-winning Fantastic Negrito plays tracks from his new album, supported by talented Nashville-based singer-songwriter and performer Tommy Prine.  

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “Sharing our music and our arts is a vital part of our human existence – it allows us to feel rooted in place and connected to one another, enriching our lives in the process. Over the last 30 years, this is what Celtic Connections has always been about. As we take a moment to recognise and appreciate what we’ve managed to achieve over the last three decades, we go into this year’s festival with feelings of immense determination, pride and gratitude.

“As ever we’re incredibly excited to be welcoming people from across Scotland and the world to Glasgow to enjoy the very best in Celtic, folk, roots and world music. I know our musicians and everyone involved in the festival is ready to make this another incredibly special one in the calendar. With an incredible array of entertainment on offer, audiences can expect to be amazed wherever they find themselves across the city. It’s amazing how when the atmosphere in a venue is so warm and the music so restorative, you don’t notice the January rain or the wind outside.”

Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “The curtain rising on Celtic Connections’ showcase of outstanding musical talent from Scotland and all over the world, with its vibrant programme of wonderful live performances in our city’s venues, is always exciting.  And it’s a particularly special occasion this year as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the festival and acknowledge the huge contribution it has made over three decades to Glasgow’s rich cultural offer. 

“The richly deserved, exceptional reputation Celtic Connections has earned as Europe’s leading traditional music festival - and the event’s great importance to the city as a much-loved highlight that attracts thousands of visitors, enriching the lives of local, national and international audiences - is something that Glasgow takes great pride in. We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone taking part in this year’s festival.”

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “Celtic Connections shines a bright cultural light in the winter darkness and I’m delighted the Scottish Government is able to support this year’s 30th anniversary event. This year’s stunning line up of musicians reflects the huge amount of talent we have in Scotland and also the festival’s standing internationally as world-famous artists travel to Glasgow to take part in the celebrations.”

Tickets for Celtic Connections 2023 are available from www.celticconnections.com.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Celtic Connections 30th 2023!


Transatlantic Sessions
19th January – 5th February 2023.   @ccfest

Celtic Connections music festival returns this January with one of its most diverse and exciting programs.


The festival is one of the world’s largest winter festival celebrates roots, folk and world music returns this January for its uplifting warm music nights! With outstanding musicianship, challenging collaborations, innovative composers, alongside musical traditions and heritage, Gaelic song and famous orchestras.


1200 musicians will take to the stage for 300 events at more than 25 venues across the city, with shows spanning traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul and world music. 

Its good to see the new generations coming up and given a bigger platform at Celtic Connections. There is a growing confidence in Scotland’s arts and media, and its traditional music scene – which is world class. Celtic Connections plays an integral role as our major folk and roots festival the past 30 years. 

Violinist Duncan Chisholm - “We’re at a point now that is the most exciting, for traditional music here, that there has ever been. Our music is spinning off in all sorts of directions. It is definitely in a much better place than it was when cc started 30 years ago, and I think that is to do with the festival itself.”

The Opening Concert celebrates both past and new artists, international and local, collaborative and cross-genre spirit - with Karine PolwartSierra HullBascoPeat & DieselTRIPMaeve GilchristRachel Sermanni and Michael McGoldrickHannah FisherRoss AinslieAnna Massie, Alyn CoskerJames MackintoshDuncan Lyall and Sorren Maclean.


Duncan Chisholm
Aly Bain
Martha Wainwright


Transatlantic Sessions celebrate 20th Anniversary with all-star line-up - Martha Wainwright, Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlai, Capercaillie’s Karen Matheson and Amethyst Kiah. Plus house band of Celtic & Americana talent – Phil Cunningham, John Dole, Michael McGodlrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, James Mackintosh and Daniel Kimbro and masters of ceremonies Sherland fiddler Aly Bain and dubro master Jerry Douglas.


PLUS favourites - Irish-American Cherish the Ladies, Scots strings Blazin’ Fiddles, trad fusion powerhouse Treacherous OrchestraColin Hay, Australia’s Grammy-winning Men at Work, Quebec’s Vent du Nord. Piper Ross Ainslie & American roots musician Dirk PowellThe Song Circle show with Mary Chapin CarpenterKarine Polwart, Julie Fowlis & Robert Vincent at Theatre Royal. Duncan Chisholm and Kim Carnie at the concert hall.


And the live mic at the Danny Kyle stage the Late Sessions and Folk club and much more. Showcase Scotland will see Brittany showcased, to advance opportunities, along with Wales, celebrates the folk traditions of two of Scotland’s closest Celtic cousins. 

The festival encourages both innovation and traditions, quality musicianship and authenticity. To follow a natural artistic path, to be genuine. Along with welcoming our important connections from elsewhere. Scots have been one of the most travelled nations and they took their music across the world – particularly to America. 


**Tickets for Celtic Connections 2023 at www.celticconnections.com.


Blazin Fiddles
Audience Old Fruitmarket



Braebach

 Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “It feels remarkable that in just a matter of days the 30th edition of Celtic Connections will kick off in Glasgow, celebrating all genres of music, a variety of world cultures, and bringing communities together from across the globe. A huge amount of work and preparation has gone into this year’s festival; it is testament to the strength and tenacity of the Scottish music industry, which has successfully overcome an incredibly tough period."

“We are so appreciative of the musicians and artists who have contributed in all manner of ways to Celtic Connections over the past three decades, and we will pay homage to them throughout the 2023 festival, as well as looking forward towards a bright and hopeful future. We look forward to seeing venues full, artists doing what they do best and the musical community thriving right across the city in a week’s time.”

Sunday, 27 February 2022

CELTIC CONNECTIONS highlights 2022

 

Covid has given us time and also new appreciation of those crucial human connections. 

In-person performances at Europe’s premier winter music festival Celtic Connections came to a close last night (Sunday 6 February) after almost three weeks of world-class concerts, exhibitions and screenings.

The 29th edition of the UK’s premiere celebration of roots music was hybrid this year with both in-person and online concerts.  For the 18-day festival and staged around 60 in-person concerts, a number of intimate filming sessions and a quality digital offering.

More than 500 artists were involved across the festival in shows that brought in more than 23,000 attendees to 18 venues right across Glasgow - from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and The Old Fruitmarket, the Mackintosh Church, Tramway.

The online programme, which runs until 16th February, has enjoyed thousands of viewers from 31 countries - Japan, South Africa and Israel, with more than 700 minutes of exclusive programming to be enjoyed.

The Showcase Scotland international partner for Celtic Connections 2022 was Wales, with leading musicians performances over the closing weekend. Showcase Scotland took place online for a second year, so Wales will return in 2023 for a full in-person partnership, alongside Brittany. Both leading and emerging talents. 

Old Fruitmarket
Rura
Siobhan Miller
Anoushka Shankar 

The 2022 highlights included a torch-lit Shetland viking march through the streets of Glasgow, a spell-binding performance from Anoushka Shankar accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, several foot-stomping sell-out trad gigs and a unique strand of shows celebrating Scotland’s Year of Stories.

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “Having been faced with such uncertainty at the turn of the year, we feel very fortunate to have preserved an 18-day festival and to have met disruption with innovation and creative solutions at every turn. It’s been a joy to provide a global platform for musicians and performers and to share our love and passion for performance with the world, while keeping those involved safe.  “We have showcased uplifting performances from some of folk’s brightest talent and brought that hugely sought after live-gig experience to thousands of festival attendees - all with a renewed sense of optimism and vigour. Thank you to everyone who stuck with us to make this year’s festival possible. We look forward to returning bigger and better again for our 30th year in 2023.”

John McCusker, Phil Cunningham, Ali Bain
N’famady Kouyaté
Paul Brady
Sarah Jarosz

**Selected Celtic Connection shows are available to enjoy as part of an online pass until Wednesday 16 February.

Rescheduled concerts – Niteworks  Isle of Skye electronic Celtic fusion band - 22nd June / Scottish folk favourites Capercaillie - 23rd June, plus the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Celtic Connections will return for its 30th anniversary  19th January to 5th February 2023.  

Celtic Connections began in 1994 when it offered 66 events at one venue. It has since grown more adventurous, experimental and diverse each year, with an unwavering ambition to showcase the very best traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul, indie and world music and nurture unique local, national and international cultural partnerships.

 www.celticconnections.com.

Viking Torchlit parade to open Celtic Connections




Rura at Celtic Connections 2022

 


For RURA’s Celtic Connections gig on the final Celtic weekend it was clear the band were glad to be back performing to a live and packed theatre audience. Their past gig in 2020 at their sold-out Old Fruitmarket gig was a rousing and energetic affair, when the band celebrated their ten years together.


Rura are multi-instrumentalists and play keys, pipes, guitar, bass, bohran, flute and drums. The band – Steven Blake (Pipes & Keys), Adam Brown (Acoustic Guitar), David Foley (Bodhran & Flute) and Jack Smedley (Fiddle) – and were joined by James Lindsay (Bass), Mark Scobbie (Kit), Sorren Maclean (Electric Guitar). Plus tonight a String section of Seonaidh Aitken, Megan Henderson (Violins), Pasty Reid (Viola) Alice Allen (Cello); 


Tonight there was a expectant hum in the packed venue. This concert was the launch gig for the band’s new 2022 EP Our Voices Echo, in which they have collaborated with several top talents of the Scottish folk world – Duncan Chisholm, Julie Fowlis, Ross Ainslie, Michael McGoldick, and Hannah Rarity. 

Rura electrified the Theatre Royal Glasgow with their full wall of sound and lively performance led by fiddle player Jack Smedley and dynamic rhythm guitarist Adam Brown. The band began with a set of their tunes from their 2018 In Praise of Home





Fiddle-player Duncan Chisholm who has been popular for offering  his tunes in idyllic settings during Covid, praised the band, saying he had listened to Rura’s Praise of Home during the lockdown and that it had helped him when the going was tough. Chisholm played on the haunting A’ Mhairead Og, followed by a Runrig song Chi Mi’n Geamhradh and Running the Cross, composed by Chisholm. 


Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis sang a poignant Dh’èirich Mi Moch Madainn Cheòthar, backed by soaring flute and fiddle. Michael McGoldrick performed on flute a joyful Famous Last Words (Donald Shaw). Ross Ainslie was upbeat on whistle on Floyd To Ke Anlong and on pipes for Peel Pier Fear, followed by The Wrangler

While rising talent Hannah Rarity brought the cast and audience together for an uplifting grand finale of Take This Heart Of Gold (Andrew Marlin). For the encore the band played Horizons.  


The band are multi-layered and enriching, with fast-paced fiddle, pipes and rhythm guitar, both refined and dynamic, no easy task! Rura is an award-winning, ceilidh band and join the ranks of those top Scottish touring bands. They have appeared on the BBC’s Hogmanay Live and played the main stage at many festivals.  



Sunday, 20 February 2022

Transatlantic Sessions at Celtic Connections 2022

 



The Transatlantic Sessions concert celebrates the important connections between Scots, Irish and American traditional music. Those sometimes forgotten stories of emigration across the rough seas in often small wooden sailing ships, with so many hopes and dreams of building a better life and enjoying democratic freedoms – and they took their old ballads and tunes with them. Sometimes they had no choice. 

And it’s important to remember. 

 

Fiddler Ali Bain toured in the States, decades back, and after he enjoyed his special collaborations there, he was a part of setting up Celtic Connections 29 years ago in 1994. Normally Celtic Connections welcomes 80 musicians from America – festival director Donald Shaw said, “but due to all the Covid restrictions for this year only five Americans were able to make it across and they are all on stage tonight!” 



Paul Brady


The TS 2022 included veteran, long standing members along with new faces, From the States and US roots music we were treated to the talent of is a Grammy-award winning American singer songwriter Sarah Jarosz. She has a quiet stillness and one of those hypnotic voices that pulls you in. She sang Orange and Blue, Blue Heron, Hometown and Dylan’s Ring them Bell. 

Siobhan Miller

Sarah Jarosz


New faces also included, Haitian-American musician Leyla McCaila sang Merci Mon Dieu with her cello and is an earthy and soulful singer (previously with the band The Carolina Chocolate Drops)  Award-winning and talented Scots singer songwriter Siobhan Miller sang traditional songs May Morning Dew, Honest Man and her own song Drifting and was clearly thrilled to have joined this elite band!

 

Long standing member Dirk Powell from Kentucky, he is a leading expert of Appalachian music. He performed songs of his family’s inspiring history; Bright Light of Day, Waterdown and Walking Through Clay, He said its important to tell our stories and spoke of his grandfather carving his name on an old tree with his young hopes. 

 

Popular Irish musician Paul Brady was another highlight and performed a top class show finale when he sang Concert Going, and Harvest time. Followed by a grand finale which was as always of exhilarating Scots tunes. 
A special mention for the talents of the band’s outstanding musicianship, they don’t come any better than this!

 


Highlights from the wide variety of styles – Dirk Powell’s Waterdown, Sara Jarosz’s vocals along side Douglas’s dubro and Daniel Kimdro on double bass. And of course Ali Bain’s accomplished Shetland fiddle – Phil told how his musical partner Ali, after 35 years playing together, told him how talented he was!

Long may we be treated to such accomplished musicians! I hope there will be some recordings of the Transatlantic sessions to enjoy on YouTube! I highly recommend checking out.  

 

**The Transatlantic Sessions band is led by musical directors of Shetland fiddle legend Aly Bain, accordion legend Phil Cunningham and dobro genius Jerry Douglas, the line-up includes John DoyleDaniel KimbroMichael McGoldrickJohn McCuskerDonald Shaw and James Mackintosh

 

“Part melting pot, part jam band. .  spinetingling and rollicking” (The Guardian)

 

 Dirk Powell is an American fiddler, banjo player from Kentucky and a leading expert of Appalachian music. He has won several Grammys.   

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Celtic Connections welcome return!

 

Alligan String Octet



 
Celtic Connections brought light and joy to Glasgow’s iconic venues

Glasgow came to life over the weekend with the welcome return of the winter Celtic Connections festival. Audiences enjoyed a busy weekend of performances as part of the 29th offering of Europe’s premiere winter festival took place at the Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, Tramway, the Mackintosh Church, Old Fruitmarket, and St Luke’s.

Stand-out events included the renowned British-Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar performing her father Ravi Shankar’s iconic Concerto No.3 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, foot-stomping gigs from festival favourites Mànran and Mec Lir and a sell out show with the energy of Talisk. 

Scottish singer songwriter Kathryn Joseph was joined by the 20-strong Tinderbox Collective - an exciting cross-genre line-up of young musical talent with professional collaborators, 

 

While the festival’s partnership with BEMIS Scotland culminated in a stunning 

Tramway show, headlined by young energetic Guinean artist N’famady Kouyaté.


Hannah Rarity


I'm looking forward to the second Celtic Connections weekend!
- 3rd February at St Luke’s the ever popular Blue Rose Code and at the historic Macintosh church Gnoss


- 4th February, Adam Holmes at Drygate and Sharon Shannon New Auditorium Concert hall.


- 5th February, Rura Theatre Royal, Old Blind Dogs at St Lukes.


- 6th February, Transatlantic Sessions, Royal Concert hall



Anoushka Shankar