Celtic Connections celebrated a brilliant19th festival in 2012 when over 100,000 music fans enjoyed over 300 events across 20 Glasgow venues. There was a diverse range of performances to enjoy and take part in with concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops taking place across the city across 18 days.
Over 2100 artists from around the globe descended on Glasgow. Highlights of the 2012 festival included a poignant tribute to Gerry Rafferty which brought to together an all-star cast including his daughter Martha and long time friend and collaborator Rab Noakes. Other special guests included The Proclaimers, Ron Sexsmith, Barbara Dickson and Jack Bruce.
There was also a celebration of the centenary of Woody Guthrie with his granddaughter Sarah Lee performing with her husband Johnny Irion. A spectacular collaboration between Jack Bruce and Lau was a sell out success. Other highlights included performances by Bruce Hornsby, Average White Band and Hue & Cry, James Vincent McMorrow and Treacherous Orchestra.
The 2012 line-up explored the connections between Celtic music and cultures across the globe. The festival brought musicians from all over the world to Glasgow with acts from as far afield as Australia, Greenland, Mexico, Mali, Pakistan, Serbia, Palestine, Senegal, Cuba, as well as across Europe, the USA and Canada.
Bring It All Home – Gerry Rafferty Remembered
Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra
Average White Band
Bonnie Prince Billy
Béla Fleck and The Flecktones
James Vincent McMorrow
"the Celtic Connections effect: people are prepared to take the quality of the festival on trust and step out to hear...music that is new to them and sounds worth a try, or promises a combination of influences and talents that intrigue...This is what festivals are supposed to be all about and, in Celtic Connections, Scotland has a damned good one..." The Herald Arts Magazine
"...a global smorgasbord of artists from every corner of the musical map." The Times
"an embarrassment of musical riches" STV
Celtic Connections started in spectacular style in 2012 with the European debut of the reconvened Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. In May 2011 the band released their dazzling new album Rocket Science which celebrated the gloriously kaleidoscopic sound of pianist/harmonica player Howard Levy’s reunion with the band’s prime mover, banjo wizard Béla Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten and percussionist/Drumitarist Roy ‘Futureman’ Wooten. In addition to the Rocket Science material performed in this show stopping concert they connected with some special Celtic guests, including Irish songstress Kathleen MacInnes and uilleann piping legend Michael McGoldrick.
Once again the festival drew to a close with the ultimate back-porch session, the ever-popular Transatlantic Sessions. The show featured a star-studded line up fantastic singers and instrumentalists collaborating in an outstanding festival finale. Artists taking part in this sell-out success included Maverick’s front man Raul Malo, Wailin’ Jenny’s Ruth Moody, Irish balladeer Declan O’Rourke and Scottish favourites Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson. The stateside posse featured Tim O’Brien and Bruce Molsky. Musical directors Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas led the ever-stellar house band, including John Doyle, Russ Barenberg, Danny Thompson, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw and James Mackintosh.