Gaelic musicians will be at the heart of the action this week at Celtic Connections as a number of exciting Gaelic strand shows take place across Glasgow.
The gigs are part of a jam-packed and vibrant programme of events taking place at Celtic Connections 2022 until Sunday 6 February, which showcases the brightest and best of traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul, indie and world music in Glasgow.
Gnoss: The Light of the Moon and Mairi McGillivray will kick off the Gaelic strand at The Mackintosh Church on Thursday 3 February. Singer Mairi McGillivray puts her own twist on Gaelic songs and other traditional styles. The young Islay native graduated with a First from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2020 and won a prestigious Danny Kyle Award in 2021.
Mother Tongue: Kathleen MacInnes, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich and Cynefin will take place at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite on Thursday 3 February. The event marks the start of the UN Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022 – 2032) and will see Gaelic, Welsh and Irish musicians coming together to explore songs of world, land and people in their mother tongue.
Heidi Talbot and Dirk Powell with Kim Carnie will take place at The Mackintosh Church on Saturday 5 February. Gaelic singer Kim Carnie will take to the stage to perform a stellar set which will feature new material. The talented musician has performed on some of Scotland’s biggest stages and her transcendent vocals have featured across film and computer game soundtracks, including Outlaw King, Black Mirror and The Bard’s Tale.
Kathleen MacInnes, from South Uist, will showcase her incredible Gaelic singing talents, which have earned her international acclaim. Her ‘peat smoked’ vocals have been featured on tracks with the likes of Gaelic-electro band Niteworks, Arabic music specialist Tareq al Naseer and jazz duo Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock. West Kerry musician Breanndán Ó Beaghlaoich will be sharing the slides, polkas, songs and slow airs that run through his veins and Cynefin is the creative vision of west Wales native Owen Shiers, giving a modern voice to Ceredigion’s rich yet neglected cultural heritage.
Drygate Brewery will welcome native Gaelic speaker and Isle of Skye piper Brìghde Chaimbeul to the stage as part of a show titled In the Tradition. Audiences will be able to enjoy her playing, rooted in her language and culture, before Dubliners and Irish Gaelic duo Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin (voice and flute) and Ultan O’Brien (fiddle and viola) headline the special evening.
Sing Me a Story – Cuir Seinn ri Seanchas, part of the Celtic Connections ‘Whisper the Song’ series of events celebrating Scotland’s Year of Stories, will take place at Mitchell Theatre on Friday 4 February. The magical evening will celebrate the Highlands and Islands’ storytelling tradition and the spectacular music that goes along with it. An all-star traditional lineup of Allan Henderson, Margaret Stewart, Ewen Henderson, Sileas Sinclair, Ewan Robertson and Duncan Chisholm will accompany tales of fairies, hidden treasure and bòcain.
Hebrides five-piece Eabhal will perform traditional songs alongside contemporary and self-penned tunes for audiences at Oran Mòr on Saturday 5 February, while celebrated multi-instrumentalist and Gaelic folk singer Julie Fowlis will join RURA on stage at the Theatre Royal the same evening.
Fèis Rois with Avanc will continue the Gaelic festivities on Saturday 5 February at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite. The event is a joint celebration between multi-award-winning Gaelic arts body Fèis Rois and Welsh folk development charity Trac Cymru. The Gaelic element will see Fèis Rois’ outstanding young musicians get audience members’ toes tapping with their brilliant instrumental performances.
Rounding off the Gaelic strand is Sian with Michael McGoldrick Quintet and Leyla McCalla at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, New Auditorium on Saturday 5 February. Sian is made up of three of today’s most talented young Gaelic singers – Ceitlin Lilidh, Eilidh Cormack and Ellen MacDonald, who will perform with a full band featuring guitarist Ross Martin, Euan Burton (bass), Fiona MacAskill (fiddle) and Signy Jacobsdottir (percussion). The group, which has been likened to indie folk trio The Staves and has connections to Lewis, Skye and North Uist, will perform a stunning set, featuring tracks from their self-titled album which was released in 2020.
Donald Shaw, creative producer of Celtic Connections, said: ‘We’re delighted to have such an incredible line up performing across our Gaelic strand of events this year. Gaelic music, culture and language has always been an important part of the festival and we’re so glad to continue that tradition.
‘We hope these performances will showcase the level of talent that the Gaelic music scene has to offer and that Gaelic speakers and non-Gaelic speakers alike will enjoy the fresh and dynamic takes on traditional sounds.’
Tickets for Celtic Connections 2022 are on sale now at www.celticconnections.com.