ORGANISERS behind Glasgow’s renowned Celtic Connections have revealed that the music festival will be returning to the city in-person in 2022.
For the first time in two years, more than 1000 musicians will flock into Glasgow in celebration of roots music.
Festivalgoers can expect an exciting and eclectic programme of events with various acts lined up to suit all music tastes – including traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz and soul.
Talks, workshops, film screenings, theatre productions, ceilidhs, exhibitions, free events and late-night sessions will also be held at the annual event, which is due to take place from Thursday, January 20 until Sunday, February 6.
The festival will be opened up with ‘Neath the Gloamin’ Star, a concert set to characterize a ream of talent from a younger generation of musicians and songwriters.
The show, named after a beloved old Scots folk song, sets the scene as a celebration of a precious heritage that is now being taken forward into a new tradition.
Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections creative producer, said: “Celtic Connections 2022’s opening concert is a statement of the festival’s commitment to present and keep up up emerging acts, recognising what is being done by young musicians in Scotland and internationally to carry the torch for Scots folk song into the future.
“There’s no doubt that this year’s festival has an additional significance to it, and in the context of the last associate of years, we’re eager to capture the collective human experience that is at the heart of what’s been missing for people – the sharing of experiences, songs, music and stories.
“What allows Celtic Connections as a festival to develop and stand out is the idea that as musicians and audiences, we can all proportion music, learn from one another and grow – and there is much to be learned from the next generation.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Celtic Connections was held digitally last year with more than 27,000 people tuning in from over 60 countries.
This year, the event returns to its roots as Europe’s largest winter festival, delighting live audiences with moving performances for its loyal audiences to experience in person.
The line-up of great young singers includes Hannah Rarity, Jenny Sturgeon, Paul McKenna, Innes White, Steve Byrne, The Jeremiahs, Fiona Hunter and Amythyst Kiah, with a rare house band including the Alligin String Octet of Katrina Lee, Kana Kawashima, Seonaid Aitken, Kristan Harvey, Patsy Reid, Rhoslyn Lawton, Alice Allen and Julia Wagner.
This year’s opening concert, ‘Neath the Gloamin’ Star, will be a poignant moment for many, featuring a ream of talent from a younger generation of musicians and songwriters.
The next generation
This year’s Celtic Connections will present a Tradovation – a series of concerts from promising home-grown acts that seek to find innovation, inspiration and exploration within traditional music.
New commissions from musicians at the spotlight of the roots, folk, jazz and orchestral scene in Scotland are set to make for exhilarating, multi-faceted performances.
Artists include Fergus McCreadie, Matt Carmichael, RANT & The Ledger, Kim Carnie, Westward The Light, Hamish Napier & Adam Sutherland, Mairearad Green, Jenn Butterworth, Mike Vass and Charlie Grey & Joseph Peach.
Indie fans are in for a treat this January, with some exceptional and intimate shows planned throughout the city.
Highlights include a special, stripped-back show by The Twilight Sad at the Old Fruitmarket on Friday, January 21, while the same venue will great number revered Danish trio Efterklang on Thursday, January 17.
International & Americana
Celtic Connections’ strong international connections and dedication to showcasing music from around the globe will continue to be at the fore in 2022 with performers from the likes of Sweden, the US, Mali and Morocco on the line-up.
Ukrainian folk quartet DakhaBrakha, Mali musical royalty Amadou & Mariam, West Virginia’s Sierra Ferrell and Denmark’s Nordic folk outfit Stundom will all bring their rare sounds to Glasgow this winter. So too will Sweden’s Lena Jonsson, North African blues band Bab L’Bluz, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram from Mississippi and Alabama’s St. Paul and The Broken Bones.
Young Tennessean singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah will also bring her rare sound, which swings from old-time roots sounds and indie/alt-rock, to Celtic Connections audiences this January. Her musical defiance has won her three Americana Music Award nominations and huge basic acclaim. Glasgow audiences able to experience her creative roll for themselves on Friday 21 January at Mitchell Theatre. in other places, North American roots artists Allison Russell and Leyla McCalla, who along with Amythyst and Rhiannon Giddens, made up the collaborative project Our Native Daughters, will also present solo shows.
Transatlantic Sessions will characterize iconic Irish folk legend Paul Brady, along with Dirk Powell from Louisiana, Scots singer Siobhan Miller and US singer Leyla McCalla.
On Tuesday, January 25, the Royal Concert Hall will welcome Scotland Sings Nanci Griffith – a special night paying tribute to the late great country star who was held dearly in the hearts of music lovers across Scotland. Special guests will include Emily Smith, James Grant, Jill Jackson, Karen Matheson, Dean Owens and many more.
From The Tradition & Folk Fusion
This year the very best of traditional Irish music returns in the form of scarce appearances from the likes of Frankie Gavin & Mairtín O’Connor, The Sharon Shannon Quartet, Michael McGoldrick Quintet and UAINE, featuring the flowing fiddle style of Donegal’s Brid Harper.
in other places, Scottish folk favourites on the Celtic Connections bill include Orkney’s top bands Gnoss and FARA, trad-pop group Mec Lir, exciting trio Talisk and folk duo Nae Plans (Hamish Napier and Adam Sutherland), who will great number an extravaganza of duos in the City Halls on Saturday 5th February.
Fiddle virtuosos RANT will be joined by The Ledger (Gillian Frame and Findlay Napier with Mike Vass) in a special collaboration and in a nod to the 25th anniversary of the Celtic Colours festival, renowned Cape Breton band Beòlach return to the festival for a one-off show with the mighty Breabach.
famous Scots-trad outfit Mànran will play the Tramway, Dallahan will take to the Mackintosh Church stage, The Chair will bring Orkney stomp to The Old Fruitmarket and the Concert Hall’s New Auditorium will play great number to a fantastic night of piping titled The Conundrum: International Piping Night.
One of Scotland’s finest trad-fusion bands RURA will perform at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on the last weekend of the festival alongside special guests including Duncan Chisholm, Julie Fowlis, Hannah Rarity, Michael McGoldrick and Ross Ainslie.
On Sunday afternoons, the festival’s New Voices strand will champion new work by exciting youngsters Jack Badcock, Esther rapid and Ross Couper.
The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final will be broadcast live from Glasgow City Halls on Sunday 6 February as the most exciting up-and-coming Scottish traditional musical talent compete for the desired title.
Youth concerts will also be in abundance, the Danny Kyle Open Stage makes a welcome return, and a show entitled The New Tradition: Rejuvenation in the Concert Halls’ Strathclyde Suite on Saturday, January 22 will see recent graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Traditional music courses shine. Musicians from Fèis Rois will also be joined by Avanc – Wales’ first National Youth Folk Ensemble.
For the first time in its history, Celtic Connections will work with all three of Scotland’s national orchestras on a series of spectacular evenings with a bold, unifying sound at their chief.
The first of the orchestral nights on Friday 21 January sees Isle of Skye electronic Celtic fusion band Niteworks joined by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and guests Kathleen MacInnes and Gaelic vocal trio Sian, for a special night of commissioned orchestrations.
On Saturday, January 29, Scottish folk favourites Capercaillie will be joined by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, led by Greg Lawson in a world premiere of orchestrations of the band’s illustrious back catalogue.
Finally, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will join British Indian sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar on Friday, January 28 as she marks 50 years since her father, Ravi Shankar, wrote his genre-defining symphony for sitar and orchestra. Anoushka will perform Ravi’s Concerto No.3 in honour of the virtuoso, whose playing influenced musicians around the world.
Many musicians have acted out meaningful development moments in their careers at Celtic Connections and the festival is set to mark a number of musical anniversaries in style in 2022.
Among them is famous English folk singer-songwriter Kate Rusby, who celebrates 30 years as a touring artist at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on Tuesday, February 1. Expect achingly beautiful vocals at this heartfelt show. Also celebrating 30 years on the road are Scottish traditional music stalwarts, Old Blind Dogs, who will play a joyous return gig for fans at St Luke’s on Friday, February 4 in a special collaboration with Breton band Startijenn.
It’s a 20-year anniversary for Quebecois folk quintet Le Vent du Nord who, along with special guests, will bring The Old Fruitmarket to life on Friday, January 28 with their raucously unpredictable blend of guitar, fiddle, hurdy gurdy and lusty French vocals. The show, which features a dynamically modern sound, rooted in Celtic music from both Ireland and Brittany, encapsulates the festival’s cross-cultural spirit.
This year’s festival will also mark 10 years of Roaming Roots Revue – Celtic Connections’ rare Atlantic-spanning gathering of current artists. Roddy Hart will present a night to remember on Sunday, January 23, showcasing some special guests from over the last decadeincluding Justin Currie (Del Amitri), Jessica Hoop, This is the Kit, Rachel Sermanni, Phil Campbell, Heir of the Cursed, Field Music, Rab Noakes and Louis Abbot & Sarah Hayes (Admiral Fallow).
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