Celtic Connections 2007 Celebrates Gaelic Roots

Karen Matheson
Karen Matheson

Glasgow, Scotland – Scotland’s Celtic Connections festival will celebrate the country’s own roots with a range of Gaelic bands and singers performing at this year’s event.

A highlight will be the first performance in Glasgow for thirty years by the legendary cult Gaelic folk group Na h-Òganaich. They are widely credited with influencing many musicians who followed in the footsteps of their three seminal records, including Capercaillie and Runrig. This concert will be in association with An Lòchran, Glasgow’s Gaelic arts organization.

One strand within the festival is that of regional music specific nights will be devoted to the music of Tiree, Barra and Orkney and will aim to explore and celebrate the proud local culture of each region. Each concert will feature both solo and ensemble performances from local music talent such as Maggie MacInnes, Cathy Ann McPhee and James Graham.

In a similar vein, David Allison marries vintage film of Scottish island life with atmospheric live soundscapes in Island Tapes.

The Celtic Connections Youth Concert will have a strong Gaelic theme as Fèis Rois take centre stage alongside Comhaltas and the Celtic Connections Youth Orchestra.

This year the festival also introduces a series of Ceòlraidh concerts which aim to nurture the brightest young talents by allowing them to perform alongside an idol or mentor that each has chosen. Among others, Jenna Cumming will perform with founder of the Gaelic supergroup Cliar, while Mary Ann Kennedy and Norrie MacIver will be paired with Julie Fowlis.

The first ever Celtic Connections performance at City Halls will be a unique celebration of Scotland’s Music and will feature the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The evening will have a Gaelic flavor as the orchestra will perform Edward McGuire’s masterpiece Calgacus, depicting the Celtic leader’s resistance to the Roman Empire and featuring The Whistlebinkies‘s Rab Wallace on Highland Bagpipes and will also accompany Gaelic singer James Graham.

The festival will feature new and established talent as the Skye-based Scots/Gaelic singer Maeve MacKinnon will present her debut album, and Karen Matheson of Capercaillie fame will focus on the Gaelic material which has been dear to her heart since childhood.

Celebrated Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis will appear in a number of concerts from fronting her five-strong band Dòchas to her own gig, which will feature tracks from her second
album, due out in March.

Another of the crop of outstanding Gaelic voices will be Kathleen Maclnnes; her
performance will include tracks from her highly acclaimed new album Og-mhadainn Shamhraidh.

The most authentic and ancient traditions of Gaelic Scotland, Ireland and Wales will come together in a night of Spirit, Salm and Sacred Song. The vitality of links between Scotland and Ireland will also be celebrated in the Donegal Connections concert, which will feature some of Donegal’s most famous musical exports including Tommy and Siobhan Peoples; and Triona and Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill.

Iarla Ó’Lionáird
Iarla Ó’Lionáird

The innovative seannós singer Iarla O Lionáird will again bring a taste of Ireland with songs from his latest album, Invisible Fields and well-known band Clannad will reunite for their first live UK show in ten years.

Finally, the traditional Gaelic singer from the Island of Lewis, Ishbel MacAskill, will host an overview of the festival with her two Sunday afternoon concerts being labeled Celtic Connections answer to pick n mix.

More information at: www.celticconnections.com.