Preparations are well underway for Celtic Connections, wi the fowk an roots music festival set tae launch in Glasgow next Thursday.
This year marks its 30th edition an the 18-day event kicks aff on Thursday 19th January. It will feature some o the world’s maist celebrated musical airtists in genre-defying performances an one-off collaborations.
Organisers an contributors are full steam aheid wi arrangements for fit is set tae be a full-scale return an celebration o the Scottish music scene’s resilience in the face o adversity.
The festival will pay homage tae the last three decades, shining a spotlight on musicians an groups who hiv been involved wi the festival since the inaugural event, as weel as providing a platform for further generations o talent tae grow in decades tae come.
Around 1200 musicians will tak tae the stage for 300 events at mair than 25 venues across the city, wi shows spanning traditional fowk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul an world music between Thursday 19th January – Sunday 5th February.
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.”
He added: “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.”
Among the wall-tae-wall shows taen place across the stairt o 2023 is a show-stopping performance fae Irish six-piece contemporary ensemble NOTIFY, who celebrate their 10th anniversary at Saint Luke’s on Saturday 21st January, wi special guests Caoimhe an Séamus Uí Fhlatharta.
Support comes fae The Canny Band, whose music fuses piano, diatonic button accordion an bodhrán.
On Wednesday 25th January, the Mackintosh Church will play host tae Scottish folk singer, sangwriter an ukulele player Claire Hastings an Welsh language singer, songwriter an musician Gwilym Bowen Rhys,
This along wi Icelandic sibling trio Blood Harmony, who are makin their unmissable Celtic Connections debut wi their unique fusion o Nordic melancholic fowk an Americana.
Elsewhere, Róisín Reimagined sees award-winning Irish singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh an the Irish Chamber Orchestra team up for an exciting new projeck that combines Muireann’s exceptional vocals wi fresh orchestral arrangements o sean nós songs, breathing new life intae the noble, classical music of 16th-19th century Gaelic Ireland.
The first time anither national orchestra his played Celtic Connections, they will share the stage at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 25th January, wi Brìghde Chaimbeul, Ross Ainslie an Steven Byrnes, who will perform their new album LAS, a collaboration featurin tunes fae France, Scotland, Bulgaria an Ireland alongside self-penned compositions.
On Friday 27th January, Afro Celtic Connections will see Saint Luke’s play host tae Rise Kagona, the founder, lead guitarist an ainly remainin member o the mega-successful Zimbabwean rock band The Bhundu Boys.
Also on the bill is Diwan, faa bring an exuberant fusion of funky mbalax an Afrobeat grooves, wi undercurrents o ska, rock an Senegalese soul led by charismatic Senegalese singer Samba Sene an Chief Cheb, a celebrated African philosopher, poet storyteller an music teacher.
Een o the maist successful contemporary fowk musicians fae Finland, Maija Kauhanen will be combinin her expressive vyce wi Finnish kantele an inventive percussion on Friday 27th January.
She will perform at The National Piping Centre alang wi acclaimed traditional trio Oakes // Bews // Thorpe, an talented accordion player an composer Andrew Waite.
On Sunday 29th January, audiences at Drygate Brewery will be able tae enjoy upliftin performances fae Rozi Plain an Terra Kin. London-based fowk musician Rozi Plain will perform tracks fae her upcoming fifth LP, Prize, which continues tae display her musical growth whilst retaining the home-grown intimacy an a familial warmth she is kent for.
Local musician Terra Kin will present their debut EP Too Far Gone, which combines a love for jazz, ambient an fowk music wi a soft soulful vyce, the resultin sound defies genres an is sure tae delight audiences.
Malian husband-an-wife duo Amadou Bagayoko an Mariam Doumbia will bring their rich, radiant blend o desert blues, Afro-pop, rock, disco and hip-hop tae Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 1st February.
Since their 2004 breakthrough album Dimanche à Bamako, produced bi Manu Chao, the duo hiv grown a passionate international following, an hiv regularly appeared in Damon Albarn’s Africa Express an collaborated wi Johnny Marr, Flea an David Gilmour as weel as fellow African greats includin Toumani Diabaté an Bassekou Kouyate.
The incredible wealth an breadth o talent on display disna stop there. Saint Luke’s will also showcase the talents o Hen Hoose an Man of the Minch on Saturday 4th February.
Founded by Tamara Schlesinger (aka MALKA), Hen Hoose are an aa-female/non-binary sangwriting collective, bringing thegither an array o airtists fae across the creative industries includin Karine Polwart, Emma Pollock, Jayda an Elisabeth Elektra tae produce groundbreaking new music.
Man of the Minch is the stage name o Pedro Cameron, who has become een o the maist exciting names at the forefront o Scottish fowk music.
Performin tracks fae his debut album, The Tide is at the Turning, wi a full live band, he blends traditional Celtic sounds wi personal an profound storytelling.
Also on Saturday 4th February, The Old Fruitmarket will host Rokia Koné’s first UK live performance o her debut album Bamanan, which wis named as een o the New York Times Best Albums of 2022.
Een o Mali’s maist beloved an dynamic airtists, Rokia will share the stage wi the Togo All Stars, renowned for their spectacular live performances showcasin their distinctive blend o afrofunk an voodoo rhythms fae the musical heairt o West Africa.
Tickets for Celtic Connections 2023 are available fae www.celticconnections.com.