Glasgow, Scotland – In a dazzling launch to Celtic Connections 2007, the ScottishPower Pipe Band and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Pipe Band will lead a mass of blazing torches from George Square to the Concert Hall on Wednesday, January 17, as Celtic Connections fans, artists and organizers take part in a torchlit procession.
The opening concert of Celtic Connections 2007 is a truly unique event, and a real snapshot of what this year’s festival is all about. Throughout its 14 year history Celtic Connections has always celebrated the links that can be created through traditional culture. This collaborative spirit is epitomized in the Hands Across the Water project – a benefit album (featuring over 100 Celtic and Americana artists) created in aid of the children affected by the 2004 tsunami.The opening concert of Celtic Connections is the first and only live realization of the Hands Across the Water album, and features a top selection of the array of international Celtic and Americana talent that contributed to the album.
The Hands Across the Water album has its roots in Glasgow. It was barely three weeks after the tsunami struck that the celebrated US fiddler Andrea Zonn found herself backstage at the Celtic Connections’ Festival Club, wondering how the vibrant collaborative spirit she saw among the musicians there might be harnessed to help victims of the disaster. Following a few late-night conversations, Zonn flew home with her first draft list of participating artists. This eventually grew to encompass over 40 top-name acts from the US, UK and Ireland, teamed up in a succession of brand-new transatlantic collaborations, recorded in 29 studios worldwide.
The concert features performances by members of Altan, Capercaillie and Solas along with Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (Danú), Beth Nielsen Chapman, The Duhks, Flook, Jim Lauderdale, Maura O’Connell, Máirtin O’Connor, Jon Randall, Darrell Scott and Andrea Zonn among other special guests.
In keeping with the concept of the original project tonight’s artists will be making a donation to Scottish International Relief and a collection on behalf of the charity will be made after this concert.