Edinburgh Tradfest is returning in 2019 thanks to continued support from Creative Scotland’s open funding programme and the City of Edinburgh Tattoo Culture Fund.
The festival will kick off at the Queen’s Hall on Friday 26 April with live music from anarchic Irish folk band Lankum from Dublin, whose music combines vocal harmonies, musical arrangements of uilleann pipes, concertina, Russian accordion, fiddle, and guitar, with dramatic storytelling.
Now in its seventh year, the Festival is under the new direction of Edinburgh based music promoters The Soundhouse Organisation. They will take over the reins from TRACS, who have managed the Festival since 2013.
The main music programme, which goes on sale today, runs over 11 days and brings the very best of traditional music from Scotland and around the world to the capital city.
Highlights include: What A Voice, which celebrates female tradition-bearers with music from three of Scotland’s most engaging and accomplished singers – Kathleen MacInnes, Fiona Hunter and Kaela Rowan; acclaimed folk artist Heidi Talbot presenting contemporary Swedish folk artists Väsen, French harpist, fiddler, pianist and vocalist Floriane Blancke, and one of Fair Isles’ finest musicians Inge Thomson; the fiery Scandinavian fiddles and bubbling Northumbrian pipes of Baltic Crossing; Michigan’s songbird May Erlewine; the award-winning dynamic folk quartet Gnoss; Celtic-harpist Savourna Stevenson performing with saxophonist Steve Kettley; fiddler Adam Sutherland (Croft No Five/Treacherous Orchestra/Session A9) in a double-bill with the explosively energetic Talisk – 2017’s Folk Band of the Year; bluegrass from Grammy award winner John Reischman and the Jay Birds; and Canadian supergroup The Fretless.
Douglas Robertson, founder of The Soundhouse Organisation and Programmer of this year’s Edinburgh Tradfest said: ‘Scotland’s traditional music scene is thriving. The calibre of our home-grown artists is exceptional and the demand from audiences is increasing all the time. This is why we wanted Edinburgh Tradfest to continue.
‘Thanks to our funders we’ve been able to put together a very strong programme that includes some of the very best musicians from Scotland and around the world.’
Donald Smith, director of the Storytelling Centre said: ‘Tradfest gets a fresh boost this year with Soundhouse taking the promotional lead. They are champions of Edinburgh’s music scene, and with partners such as the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Queens Hall aboard, this Festival of folk arts looks set to go from strength to strength.’
Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland said: ‘Edinburgh was at the heart of the Scottish folk revival in the 1960s. Since then, the capital’s folk scene has been nurtured by passionate and dedicated souls at the likes of Edinburgh Folk Club and TRACS. Tradfest has flown the flag for traditional culture more widely since 2013, and I’m delighted that the festival will continue under the direction of The Soundhouse Organisation, who themselves have worked wonders in keeping the city’s live music scene alive year-round.
‘Scotland’s folk and trad music sits at the core of our cultural identity and is a driving force in our dynamic music industry. It’s great to know that Tradfest will continue to showcase this brilliant music to audiences from near and far.’
The full Tradfest programme, which includes other city-wide events from different disciplines happening during the 2019 Festival, will be announced at the beginning of March.
Edinburgh Tradfest’s music programme takes place across Edinburgh in venues including Traverse Theatre, The Scottish Storytelling Centre and The Queen’s Hall.
Tradfest was originally launched in 2013, as a festival showcasing the very best in traditional arts. Its roots are in the Edinburgh Folk Festival and the festival was previously organised by TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland), who are based at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.
This year, the Festival will come under new direction from The Soundhouse Organisation and its programme will focus on traditional music and song.
To book tickets and for more information visit https://edinburghtradfest.com