Celtic Connections 2013 - 17th January – 3rd February
Posted: Monday 29 October 2012
20th ANNIVERSARY LINE-UP ANNOUNCED
Celtic Connections will celebrate 20 years as a cornerstone of Scotland’s cultural calendar with a stellar programme announced today by Artistic Director Donald Shaw which will celebrate the ethos and artists that have seen the festival become a global phenomenon. Some of the biggest names in folk, roots, world, traditional, indie, blues and jazz will perform in Glasgow between 17th January and 3rd February next year.
Scottish fiddler extraordinaire Duncan Chisholm, who was the first musician ever to perform at Celtic Connections in 1994 with his band Wolfstone, will be in attendance along with singer songwriter Sorren Maclean. Sorren is in the early days of his musical career and will be performing in the New Voices programme at next year’s festival. Also helping launch the programme was banjo and fiddle player Celine Donoghue, who has been an inspirational part of the Education Programme at the festival. Tickets for Celtic Connections go on sale at 9am on Thursday 25 October on the newly launched website www.celticconnections.com
Among the artists appearing at Celtic Connections 2013 are The Mavericks, Transatlantic Sessions with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Old Crow Medicine Show, Salif Keita, Kate Rusby, Carlos Núñez & the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Amy Helm, Dougie MacLean, Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, Fiddlers Bid, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Aimee Mann, Caravan Palace and Bellowhead.
20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
The 20th Celtic Connections festival will have a retrospective feel looking back over the success of the last 20 years and the ethos and artists that helped shape it. The Opening Concert at Celtic Connections 2013 will epitomise this with an array of artists taking part who have performed throughout the last 20 years. As the festival has grown, many of the featured artists have grown up with it, or reached new audiences via its stages. Over the years they have joined the intricate, ever-expanding and increasingly globe-spanning network of musical relationships forged and renewed each January. This celebratory concert also reflects back on the Scottish and traditional-based sounds that have always been Celtic Connections’ primary inspiration. Performers include Sheena Wellington, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Capercaillie, the newly reformed Flook, Cara Dillon, Chris Stout, Dick Gaughan, Finlay MacDonald, the Scottish Power Pipe Band and a specially-convened festival string ensemble helmed by Greg Lawson.
Alongside the array of artists performing at the Opening Concert who have been involved with the festival since its inception there are many artists returning in 2013 that performed at the maiden festival in 1994.
Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady is one such artist and he will be returning to the festival to perform highlights from his recent anthology Dancer in the Fire which features 22 of his favourite tracks from his 45-year back catalogue of sophisticated songcraft and adventurous, stylistic range. Also on this double bill is Heidi Talbot, who performed at the first festival with Cherish the Ladies. Heidi has built an international audience for her enthralling voice and singular interpretative finesse with her new album Angels Without Wings. She will be accompanied by John McCusker, Ian Carr, Ewen Vernal, Phil Cunningham, Julie Fowlis and Louis Abbott.
As one of the first performers at the festival, Galician piping superstar Carlos Núñez requires no introduction. This fascinating performance will be alongside ex-Albion Band member, turned early music specialist, recorder virtuoso Philip Pickett. Scottish and Irish tunes’ prominence in the 16th century mix is the Celtic Connection behind this sparkling concert.
The New Voices strand has traditionally brought together creative musicians and allowed them to experiment and showcase their new work within this established series. Since its inception in 1998, New Voices has showcased 70 new commissions and given audiences the chance to hear new work from brilliant young composers. To celebrate these connections at the heart of the festival for so many years there will be a reprise of Duncan Lyall’s Infinite Reflections and Angus Lyon’s 3G.
BIG NAMES AT THE FESTIVAL
A number of big names are eager to come along and help celebrate the 20th Celtic Connections festival in style. Americana string band Old Crow Medicine Show will be lighting up The Barrowland Ballroom with their boundless energy and spirit. Old Crow's classic single Wagon Wheel received the RIAA's Gold certification for selling over 500,000 copies in late 2011.
After their reunion earlier this year The Mavericks will be showing off their famous no-borders fusion of country, garage, Latin, soul and torch-song sounds with fresh passion and deep-dyed maturity.
Celtic Connections shares its 20th anniversary with folk aristocrat Kate Rusby who is celebrating two decades in the music business this year with her 11th album 20. Kate’s new album comprises newly-recorded favourites from throughout her much-garlanded career.
Known as “the golden voice of Africa” Salif Keita will be set to impress with his cross-fertilisation of his native griot traditions and other West African sounds with pop, jazz, Latin and Islamic influences. Keita’s music has evolved from largely electric, synth-based fusions to the soulfully rootsy, organic approach of his latest acclaimed album, 2010’s La Différence.
Amy Helm will be leading a tribute to her late father Levon Helm who passed away earlier this year. Levon achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band.
Ireland’s Cara Dillon will give a beautiful performance with the consistently world class BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. This special concert will feature gorgeous new arrangements of songs from across her gem-studded back catalogue.
Celtic Connections will welcome Córdoba-born, Latin Grammy-winning maestro Vicente Amigo for the world première performance of his new flamenco/Celtic project Tierra. Performing alongside Vicente is Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker, Guy Fletcher, Danny Cummings and Ewen Vernal.
Little Feat rank among rock’n’roll’s great survivors. Their Southern-fried gumbo of blues, funk R&B, country and multi-guitar fireworks will be sure to delight both their loyal army of fans and new admirers.
Celtic Connections 2013 will be showcasing a very special Transatlantic Sessions to celebrate the festival’s 20th year. It’s been something of a landmark year for the Transatlantic Sessions, which followed up its longest sellout tour to date, around the UK and Ireland in early 2012, with its first ever performance in the US, a centrepiece of Celtic Connections’ showcase programme at September’s Ryder Cup Handover Ceremony in Chicago, heralding the contest’s coming to Scotland in 2014. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter will make her Transatlantic Sessions debut. Creator of a slow-seasoned, richly hybrid sound sometimes dubbed “new world blues”, singer and guitarist Eric Bibb was a natural choice for this year’s line-up having collaborated on his 2012 release Deeper in the Well not only with the Transatlantic Sessions’ joint musical director Jerry Douglas, but another returning regular, multi-instrumentalist and all-round Southern roots authority Dirk Powell, in whose Louisiana studio Bibb’s album was recorded. Also performing from Stateside are Crooked Still vocalist Aoife O’Donovan, currently winning rapturous plaudits for her solo work, and multi-talented old-time virtuoso Bruce Molsky. Home-grown guests include the golden-voiced Teddy Thompson, who continues to carve out his own acclaimed style of highly literate, subversively catchy roots-pop, and bewitching Scottish folk singer and songwriter Emily Smith, whose latest album is due in 2013. Douglas’s co-director Aly Bain helms the customary all-star house band.
FOLK AND TRAD AT THE HEART OF THE FESTIVAL
At the heart of the festival is the vibrant folk and traditional music scene, with some of the UK and Ireland’s finest musicians set to raise the roof this January and February. Artists include Scottish folk rockers Skerryvore, Irish quintet Goitse and folk singer and guitarist Nic Jones will be performing alongside his son Joseph and Belinda O’Hooley. Gaelic infused folk/rock band Mànran will also be returning to this year’s festival alongside Irish folk band Kila. Young Highland hotshots RURA will be taking to the stage supported by singer-songwriter Norrie MacIver and his band. The 2009 Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Rua Macmillan and his band will be headlining at the Oran Mór.
Scottish Fiddler Duncan Chisholm will be performing his spellbinding Strathglass Suite in the beautiful surroundings of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Solas will be performing Shamrock City which is a body of music both honouring the Irish experience as the backbone of the US industrial revolution and addressing current debates over immigration. This performance will feature archive and newly-shot film footage from Butte, Montana, nicknamed Shamrock City.
One of today’s most incisive, articulate and exquisitely expressive singer-songwriters Karine Polwart will be performing songs from her fifth album Traces which has been greeted with critical acclaim since its release earlier this year.
Brooklyn based fiddler Jeremy Kittel is a fast-rising star of contemporary Celtic music whose headlining performance will be sure to showcase his bold, yet sensitive, traditional arrangements.
Once again, the festival spotlight shines on Gaelic talent. The life and songs of the great Gaelic singer Flora MacNeil will be celebrated in a night hosted by her daughter, singer and clarsair Maggie MacInnes and features some of her most iconic songs, performed by the Boys of the Lough, Karen Matheson, Ireland’s Peadar Ó Riada, and the Cúil Aodha choir, among other special guests – none more special, of course, than the lady herself.
COLLABORATION AND CAMARADERIE
The festival’s famous spirit of camaraderie will once again bring together high profile artists from the worlds of folk, roots and rock for a string of unique collaborative shows.
A resplendent example of local music attaining global calibre, the all-Orcadian line-up and repertoire of The Gathering will showcase several generations of Orkney’s richly distinctive folk culture. The line – up includes veteran moothie ace and storyteller Billy Jolly, folk ace Kris Drever, award-winning fiddler Kristan Harvey, accordion legend Billy Peace and most of the eight-man musical juggernaut The Chair, all brought together in superb style by musical director and fiddler Douglas Montgomery.
Dán is a project that combines the talents of 14 contemporary Celtic musicians – acclaimed bands Kan and Guidewires, Gaelic singer Alyth McCormack and the all-star Breton quartet of Jacques Pellen, Janick Martin, Etienne Callac and Geoffroy Tamisier. This new collaboration seeks to rekindle ancient links and forge brand-new ones between the kindred cultures involved with this performance.
Co-founder of The Incredible String Band, Mike Heron will team up with Glasgow’s own Trembling Bells to perform new arrangements of ISB classics along with other anthems of the era, a programme originally devised for Heron’s 70th birthday in 2012.
When the now internationally-renowned Skye college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig first opened its doors in 1973, the Gaelic landscape was a very different place. The language’s ongoing revival, not least through music, can be substantially traced to this trailblazing institution’s work. The performance includes a vast cast of past and current tutors, alumni and students – including Julie Fowlis, Alasdair Fraser, Fergie MacDonald, Dàimh, Christine Primrose and Margaret Stewart – plus very special guest Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, of Limerick University’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, and promises to be one mighty 40th birthday ceilidh.
The rich local traditions and beautiful landscapes of the Dingle peninsula, in Ireland’s County Kerry, have long been a magnet for musicians. The Heart of Dingle is the culmination of a sharing of styles and repertoire between Scottish and Irish musicians including several specially-written tunes and an extended suite composed by Edinburgh fiddler Marie Fielding. The star-studded performance also features guitarist Donogh Hennessy, bassist Trevor Hutchison, singer Pauline Scanlon, accordionist Tom Orr, pianist Gordon Midler, singer and multi-instrumentalist Méabh Begley, fiddler Jeremy Spencer and accordionist Damien Mullane.
WORKING WITH OTHER FESTIVALS
Celtic Connections 2013 will bring a taste of other events to the festival.
Since its inception in 1997 Celtic Colours in Cape Breton has been one of Celtic Connections’ closest kindred festivals, building on the island’s unique Scottish and Gaelic heritage. This Cape Breton ceilidh will showcase some of its leading contemporary stars including Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIssaac.
Following its successful debut as a week-long city-centre event last March, the Glasgow St Patrick’s Festival will host a collaborative concert to showcase the UK’s Irish musical diaspora, featuring 13 musicians from four different cities. A Glasgow contingent of eight, largely drawn from the Comhaltas/St Roch’s Ceili Band ranks, might seem like an unfair home advantage, but there’s little doubting that London-born accordion firebrand Damien Mullane (with ex-Lunasa guitarist Donogh Hennessy), Leeds guitar/piano/fiddle duo Chris O’Malley and Des Hurley, and Manchester singer-songwriter, fiddler and tin whistle ace Grace Kelly will collectively hold their own.
THE INDIE STRAND
With the influence of folk on the indie scene the most prominent it has been for years, Celtic Connections once again features a top line-up of indie and rock artists in 2013.
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire return to Celtic Connections 2013 to launch their brand new EP. Ahead of their eponymous album release in Spring 2013, the band will showcase an excitingly diverse collection of songs that bear witness to their year spent ensconced in a London studio with producer Danton Supple (Coldplay, Morrissey). Having been touted as one of the best bands in Scotland to see live Three Blind Wolves will be supporting. Their hugely anticipated first full-length album Sing Hallelujah for the Old Machine is due in early 2013.
Celtic Connections is delighted to be welcoming the shape-shifting outfit This is the Kit who make hushed, homespun, autumnal music that is layered around lead Kate Stables’ enchanting vocal and inventive wordcraft. Also on this double-bill will be Moulettes whose combination of celestial harmonies, sartorial eccentricity, distinctive instrumentation and sundry prog, pop, gypsy-jazz, funk and classical elements are sure to provide for a concert to remember.
In 2013 Aimee Mann will celebrate 20 years since her first solo release Whatever. Her performance is sure to showcase the qualities that underpin her music’s enduring potency: an unflinching fascination with human dysfunction, contradiction and frailty, together with trenchant lyrical economy and sophisticated pop savvy.
Dublin native Glen Hansard will be returning to Celtic Connections after being here last in 2010 as half of The Swell Season, alongside Czech fellow singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová, his co-star in hit indie movie Once, which also landed the pair an Oscar for Best Original Song. Earlier this year Hansard released his debut solo album, Rhythm and Repose, which has an eloquence and intensity which will be matched by his compelling live performances.
A WORLD OF MUSIC
The festival once again celebrates the connections between Celtic traditions and cultures across the globe.
The Sahara Soul Project is a defiantly inspiring collaboration which will unite artists from three of Mali’s different musical cultures. With his band Ngoni Ba, Bassekou Kouyaté is a modern-day pioneer of the ngoni, the banjo’s forebear instrument, boldly exploring new creative realms from his Fula tribal roots in southern Mali. From the country’s opposite end, young Tuareg outfit Tamishek have been hailed as worthy successors to Tinariwen, delivering a hypnotic blend of desert blues, dub beats and psychedelic rock, while the griot-descended Sidi Touré, from the currently beleaguered ancient northern city of Gao, interweaves old and new songs in the Songhai folk tradition.
A hugely influential giant of African music, Ethiopian multi-instrumentalist and composer Mulatu Astatke will be gracing the Celtic Connections stage. Mulatu enjoyed his original heyday during the 1960s and 70s, in both New York and Addis Ababa, pioneering the fusion of American jazz, funk and Latin sounds with his native traditional scales and melodies. Supporting Mulatu is flautist Lucas Santtana who has been hailed as a one-man Brazilian music revolution, cross-matching classic and contemporary styles with live and sampled sounds including reggaetón, electronic, classical music, indie-rock and tecnobrega.
The magnificent, otherworldly soundscapes of dissonant diaphonic harmonies of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares helped kick-start the whole world music movement 25 years ago and their performance at this year’s Celtic Connections will prove that they remain just as thrilling entertainers today.
After Mariza, 27-year-old Carminho looks set to become Portugal’s next major international fado star. She sings with a raw intensity and exquisite tenderness that carries a knockout emotional charge which will be sure to impress audiences at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
AMERICANA, COUNTRY AND BLUEGRASS
Some of the world’s most exciting Americana, country and bluegrass talent will visit Glasgow this January. Oklahoma native JD McPherson’s deceptively sophisticated songwriting will add a smart contemporary spin to the raw, booty-shaking rockabilly of his music.
US singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell will be performing tracks from her 2012’s Young Man in America which is a stunningly eloquent exploration and interrogation of her nation’s past and present.
American singer-songwriter and fiddler Sara Watkins, of Nickel Creek fame, will be showcasing her second solo album Sun Midnight Sun. Audiences will be treated to Sara’s assertive stylistic range which takes in souped-up classic pop, grungy rockouts and gritty electronic textures as well as her home neo-bluegrass territory.
Texas born Sarah Jarosz will be wowing audiences with a style of singing that transcends the boundaries between folk and pop. Nominated for a Grammy Award for her song ‘Mansinneedof’ this young American talent is sure to impress.
Canadian trio The Be Good Tanyas will be performing highlights from the comeback album A Collection (2000-2012) These three females will be sure to impress with their slow-burn vocal chemistry and handcrafted blend of old-time influences which will magically infuse in a seamless repertoire of traditional, contemporary and original material.
With 2013 marking 25 years since the Cowboy Junkies’ Trinity Session album, a seminal early harbinger of the entire alt country movement, the band’s enduringly restive, exploratory spirit has most recently borne fruit in the Nomad Series, four themed albums ranging from darkly acerbic to inventively experimental, from country-folk ethereality to squally grunge-rock.
BLUES, JAZZ AND ELECTRO SOUNDS
A top line-up of blues, jazz and electro musicians will be lighting up the Glasgow winter next year. German cult heroes Mardi Gras.BB’s nine-strong band of massed brass, electric guitars, vocals, percussion and DJ will evoke the film noir atmosphere and lindy-hop/jump-jive dance crazes of 1940s New York.
The all-star sextet Heritage Blues Orchestra draw on the full panoply of American blues, from African-derived field hollers to New Orleans razzamatazz; soul and gospel fervour to fiery jazz workouts. Their music simultaneously celebrates this fertile history while refashioning the genre anew.
It was back in 1964 that The Animals became only the second British invaders after the Beatles to top the US charts, with ‘House of the Rising Sun’. Featuring founder member John Steel and veteran stalwart Mick Gallagher, The Animals remain famed for their hard-rocking rhythm’n’blues. For this Old Fruitmarket show they will be joined by iconic guitarist Steve Cropper, the all-round living legend of American soul.
Careering to the forefront of the burgeoning electro-swing vogue Caravan Palace have become a veritable sensation in their native France. ABC audiences will be sure to enjoy the band’s core fusion of gypsy-jazz, swing and high-octane electronica.
The eponymously-led US roots outfit Woody Pines have already added a sizeable Scottish following to their extensive home fanbase, combining country blues, ragtime, early jazz and jug-band styles with modern-day vaudeville showmanship and superb technical prowess.
BURNS AT THE FESTIVAL
There will be a number of events to celebrate our Scottish bard on Burns day which would not have been possible without the support of EventScotland’s Scotland’s Winter Festival programme.
There will be The Big Burns Night where new arrangements of Burns songs will be performed by some of Scotland’s finest folk performers including Breabach, Blazin Fiddles and Dougie MacLean.
Rabbie Round the World will be a global celebration of Burns featuring India’s Jason Singth (beatboxer) and Soumik Satta (Sarod) with Clinton Fearon and band from Jamaica and a number of special UK guests.
The Celtic Connections Burns Supper will be served in the beautiful surrounding of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with music and song from Scotland’s finest performers.
THE NEW FACES OF FOLK
Fostering new talent and facilitating musical creativity is a core tenet of Celtic Connections. The Danny Kyle Open Stage, sponsored by the Evening Times, and BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final will continue to introduce and celebrate fresh talent in 2012.
This year’s New Voices commissioning strand, sponsored by the Sunday Herald, will see Sorren Maclean and Rona Wilkie premiere new works.
Over the middle weekend of the festival, over 200 music industry delegates from around the world will descend upon Glasgow to experience some of Scotland’s finest musical talent. Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections – the largest gathering of the international music community in Scotland – provides Scottish acts with the valuable opportunity of performing in front of promoters, record labels and agents from around the world. The Showcase Scotland international partner in 2013 is England, with six of the nation’s finest acts performing.
With 11 band members who hail from virtually every corner of the country and who incorporate jazz, funk, classical and music-hall into their lively take on traditional English tunes and songs, Bellowhead have done much in recent years to reinvigorate the English music scene and increasingly, beyond it too. Their multi-award winning re-workings of traditional ballads, broadsides and sea shanties have helped earn them a well-deserved reputation as one of the best live bands on the circuit in any genre. Midland born and London based singer-songwriter Sam Carter’s robust vocal stylings and virtuosic guitar playing places him in a lineage that includes such singular and illustrious talents as Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson and Nic Jones. Though a proud daughter of and frequent visitor to the Peak District, Bella Hardy, has recently relocated to Edinburgh. Her pure and bell like voice and her interpretation of English folk as well as accomplished original songs have bewitched festival and folk club audiences for several years. Flamboyant young singer, guitarist and concertina player Lucy Ward’s take on folk song is influenced by her Derby roots and the timeless quality of her idol, renowned singer June Tabor, but Lucy has most definitely carved out a striking and individual niche in her own right. From Bristol in the West Country hail Spiro, an instrumental band comprised of five outstanding musicians who blend traditional folk with classical and jazz influences in complex and highly imaginative ways. Fronted by the incendiary fiddle playing of BBC Radio 2 ‘Musician of the Year’ and the man known as The Newcastle Fiddle Player and The Tom McConville Band is one of the most highly respected four-piece bands operating on the traditional music festival circuit today.
FREE CONCERTS & WORKSHOPS FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN
Crowned Best Educational Event at the 2011 Scottish Event Awards, the Celtic Connections Education Programme enters into its 16th year in 2013. Over 5,000 children will enjoy three free schools concerts in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in January. For many of the children in attendance, this will be their first experience of live music. Although the 2013 festival’s schools concert programme is still to be announced, pupils can look forward to seeing highly acclaimed festival artists, with previous year’s school concert line-up featuring Mánran, Bobby McFerrin, Naturally 7, Laura Veirs and Treacherous Orchestra amongst others. A further 2,000 children will benefit from free in-school workshops led by professional Celtic musicians.
Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections, said:
"For the 20th anniversary we will be celebrating the artists and ethos that have made the festival such a success. We have some big names coming along to help us celebrate in January but there will also be some unique collaborative performances. At no other festival do musicians embrace the opportunity to collaborate with acts from different countries and musical genres quite like they do at Celtic Connections. As ever in our 20th year trad and folk will be at the heart of the festival but other musical genres such as world, jazz, blues, electro, Americana and Country will also be showcased.!
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said:
“Celtic Connections began as a small winter festival programmed to fill a scheduling gap in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s normally quiet post Christmas period. Twenty years on and it has firmly placed Glasgow on the world music map and became a leading light in Scotland’s cultural calendar. The festival attracts people from all over the world and therefore contributes to a hugely positive economic impact not only for Glasgow but for the whole country.
For more information, please visit: www.celticconnections.com or call 0141 353 8000 for box office.
- Acoustic (1)
- Alternative (3)
- Americana (2)
- Choral (3)
- Classical (90)
- Community (3)
- Country (24)
- Big band (8)
- Big band & swing (3)
- Bluegrass (1)
- Dance (9)
- Days Out (35)
- Easy listening (6)
- Electro (1)
- Folk & world (14)
- Gospel (3)
- Hip hop (10)
- House (5)
- Indie (20)
- Jazz (54)
- Jazz & Blues (13)
- Kids (8)
- Metal (40)
- Music (694)
- Opera (11)
- Pipe band (3)
- Punk (18)
- Rap (8)
- Reading (3)
- Rock (16)
- Rock & pop (1025)
- Talks & Lectures (11)
- Tribute (13)
- West End Festival (2)
- Workshops (10)
- World (9)