Top Ten Highlights — Donald Shaw, Creative Producer
1. Opening Night: The GRIT Orchestra 'The Declaration'
This event just shows what a fantastic point Celtic Connections has reached, where musicians transcend genre and educational parameters. Here we have some outstanding orchestral, jazz and traditional musicians composing for each other.
Friday 18 January, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - Book now
2. Tessa Lark, Phamie Gow & the Royal Scottish National Orchestra: 'Sky' and 'Lammermuir'
Tessa is GRAMMY-nominated world-class musician exploring the cross-over of orchestral and bluegrass, while Phamie is re-imagining her Celtic Connections commission from 20 years ago, when she was the first of our New Voices strand. The combination of these talents alongside our National Orchestra is not to be missed.
Thursday 30 January, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - Book now
3. BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of The Year 20th Celebration
This celebratory concert shows the remarkable journey traditional music has taken in the last 20 years; these musicians are part of the great renaissance of our culture!
Thursday 23 January, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - Book now
4. Nitin Sawhney
Nitin is one of the world’s greatest musicians – distinctive and versatile – and it’s his first time at Celtic Connections! We’re delighted to welcome him here as he performs the biggest hits from across his extensive career, I can’t wait to see the Old Fruitmarket filled with his unique sound.
Tuesday 28 January, Old Fruitmarket - Book now
5. Anais Mitchell and Bonny Light Horseman
Anais returns to Celtic Connections after the success of her opera Hadestown (which won eight Tony Awards!), a show which had it’s European premiere at the festival nine years ago. She is at the forefront of folk influenced Indie lo-fi Americana scene, and will be showcasing her new super-trio line-up Bonny Light Horseman, collaboration with Josh Kaufman (The National) and Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats).
Wednesday 29 January, Old Fruitmarket - Book now
6. Michael McGoldrick: Fused 20th and Dòchas
Michael McGoldrick is revered by musicians from every scene, he’s as happy playing the pure form of ancient jigs and reels as he is on world tours with Mark Knopfler. His exceptional flute ‘tone’ is his unique voice. This concert celebrates one of folk music’s seminal albums – Fused – released 20 years ago, it was a mix up of trad, hip-hop, samples, and jazz that broke the mould. Before that, support comes from Dòchas, a band who are the epitome of Gaelic traditional music and song.
Friday 24 January, Old Fruitmarket - Book now
7. Anniversary Celebration Concerts
This year’s festival sees five of the most successful acts on the trad scene celebrating big anniversaries, so it’s worth catching their headline shows as you know they’ll pull out all the stops. Skerryvore (18 Jan), Mànran (24 Jan), and RURA (2 Feb) are all celebrating 10 years, Breabach (17 Jan) celebrate 15 years, and Salsa Celtica (1 Feb) are celebrating an incredible 25 years!
8. Frigg with Ímar
These are two of the most exciting acts on the ‘new’ scene. Frigg are one of our guest country Finland best exports, and like Ímar they are vibrant, powerful and inventive. Ímar are a great example of the melting pot of the Glasgow trad scene, five musicians from very different backgrounds and birth places coming together to produce their distinctive sound.
Saturday 1 February, City Halls - Book now
9. Valérie Ekoumè and Ayman Jarjour
If you’re looking for a good dance at the festival then this is the gig for you. A previous member of Manu Dibango’s Soul Makossa Gang, Valérie believes Love is King, and expresses this through Afropop – hugely influenced by her Cameroonian roots, and early role models Miriam Makeba and Whitney Houston.
Saturday 18 January, Drygate Brewery - Book now
10. 'Return To Y'Hup': The World Of Ivor Cutler
This event celebrates the work of Ivor Cutler with an all-star line-up including Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Karine Polwart, Emma Pollock and many more. It’s another great example of Celtic Connections’ open approach to unique events with cross-fertilisation of folk and indie.
Wednesday 29 January, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - Book now