World Music with Baaba Maal, Accordion Masters and Karan Casey Highlights January 21 at Celtic Connections 2008

Celtic Connections 2008 opens its doors to world music, inviting Senegalese music star Baaba Maal. Accordion fans will be treated to an accordion fest with some of its top performers. Another focal point will be former Solas vocalist Karan Casey.

January 21 program:

Iain Anderson In Conversation
Donald Smith & Anne Lorne Gillies
Mon 21 January, 12:30pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall

BBC Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson hosts an eclectic mix of local figures as well as musicians performing at the festival for a lunch time blether.

Danny Kyle’s Open Stage hosted by Gibb Todd
Mon 21 January, 5pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall

Hosted by Danny Kyle’s good friends Gibb Todd and Liz Clark, the Open Stage is a chance to see new musical talent as they try to win a coveted support slot at next year’s festival – and all absolutely free!
In partnership with the Evening Times

Baaba Maal with the Jenna Cumming Trio
Mon 21 January, 7:30pm
£22, £20
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Main Auditorium

Continuing this year’s celebration of great international voices, Celtic Connections 2008 presents one of world music’s most transcendent stars, Senegalese singer-guitarist Baaba Maal. Born at the crossroads of Saharan and southern Africa, Maal grew up absorbing a wealth of diverse influences, from the intermingled traditions of his homeland to soul, blues, jazz, funk and reggae, a breadth of vision brilliantly reflected in his music.

His forthcoming ninth album forges new links between African and contemporary urban sounds, in collaboration with Philadelphia hip-hop crew the Roots amongst others, while he’s accompanied tonight by his regular 15-piece band Daande Lenol (Voice of the People).

Inverness-born Jenna Cumming is one of Scotland’s most highly regarded young Gaelic singers. Originally introduced to the tradition by her mother, Chrissie MacVicar, also a noted singer, Cumming has won several major awards in recent years, and released her warmly-praised debut album, Kintulavig – named for her mother’s birthplace in Harris – in 2006. She appears tonight with her trio including Mary Ann Kennedy and Aaron Jones.

Teddy Thompson with Support
Mon 21 January, 7:30pm

After winning widespread praise in both the folk and mainstream media for the evocative, insightful songwriting featured on his first two albums, 2000’s self-titled debut and its 2006 follow-up, Separate Ways, Teddy Thompson – son of folk-rock legends Richard and Linda – recently revisited the music that first inspired him, with his latest release, ‘Up Front & Down Low’, comprising a set of classic country covers.

This is no slavish imitation exercise, however, with tracks like George Jones’ ‘She Thinks I Still Care’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘My Blue Tears’ highlighting Thompson’s eloquent interpretative gifts amidst artfully fresh arrangements.

Accordion Hell
Mon 21 January, 8pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite

Persons of a sensitive disposition regarding the squeezebox should certainly take warning from the title of this unique show, but for admirers of the instrument in its various sizes and guises, tonight promises pure nirvana.

A diabolically talented line-up of accordion virtuosos from Scotland, Ireland, England and the US, between them covering a rich panoply of styles and traditions, includes Karen Tweed (the Poozies/Swäp), Phil Cunningham, Maria Kalaniemi, Sandy Brechin, Angus Lyon, Dermot Byrne (Altan), Andy Cutting (Kate Rusby Band) and Mick McAuley (Solas). With all the participants having contributed material to the set-list, the program will focus on newly-arranged collaborations.

Tom Paxton  with Karan Casey
Mon 21 January, 8pm
City Halls, Grand Hall

Honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the North American Folk Music Alliance and the Radio 2 Folk Awards, US singer-songwriterTom Paxton  ranks among the wisest, wittiest and most enduring voices of his generation. An early champion of original songwriting amidst the traditional folk revival of the 1960s, author of such classics as ‘Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound’, ‘Ramblin’ Boy’ and ‘The Last Thing On My Mind’, Paxton has seen his work covered by artists from Willie Nelson to Placido Domingo, but remains his own most winning interpreter.

Described by the Herald as ‘The most soulful singer to emerge in Irish traditional music in the past decade’, ex-Solas vocalist Karan Casey allies her delicate yet passionate tones to an expanding range of traditional, contemporary and original material.

She’ll be airing new tracks from her imminent fourth solo album, accompanied by Kate Ellis (cello), Caoimhín Vallely (piano), Robbie Overson (guitar) and Liz Knowles (fiddle).

Songs of Scotland
A Celebration of Norman Buchan’s "The Wee Red Book" hosted by Doris Rougvie
Mon 21 January, 8pm

Over the last two years the Songs of Scotland series has looked at different regions of Scotland and the songs that have emerged from these areas.

For the 2008 festival the series looks at different themes that occur in Scots song, mixing Gaelic and Scots, and how they have inspired songwriters and singers throughout generations.

Each of the ten themes will showcase a selection of songs, so each night will see the audience taken on a journey of discovery through different languages, dialects and stories, all linked with one common theme.

Celtic Connections Festival Club hosted by Gibb Todd
Mon 21 January, 10:30pm
Central Hotel

Get ready for some late night music. The late night club ensures there is even more music to enjoy after all the gigs are over. Join local and international artists as they make special unbilled appearances or join in one of many sessions happening in the bars.

With food and drink in plentiful supply you can happily keep going into the early hours of the morning whilst witnessing some of the best musical collaborations of the festival.

Master of ceremonies, Gibb Todd returns to present each act on stage and Doris Rougvie hosts The House of Song in a peaceful oasis away from the main stage.

The 15th Celtic Connections festival takes place over 19 days in January and February in 14 venues across Glasgow, Celtic Connections is the UK’s premier Celtic music festival, with over 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops.

Tickets can be booked:

In person Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3NY
City Halls and Old Fruitmarket
Glasgow, G1 1NQ
By phone 0141 353 8000

For further information  check