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Celtic Connections returns with 18 days of folk, roots & traditional music
Celtic Connections makes its highly anticipated return to Glasgow today (January 17), with a stellar line-up bursting to the seams with over 18 days of unique, diverse performances.
A massive 2,100 musicians will travel to the city for the folk, roots and traditional music festival, with big names including Julie Fowlis and Mánran among the highlights.
Throughout this year’s festival, music lovers will see an abundance of Gaelic talent alongside performers from around the globe.
The fun kicks off with the Celtic Connections 20th Celebration Concert on Thursday at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, which sees performances from the likes of Sheena Wellington, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Phil Cunningham and the newly re-formed Flook.
Other highlights include the showcase of a special project between Tobar an Dualchais and the University of the Highlands and Islands, which has been set up to celebrate Scotland’s heritage of song and music. Taking place this Saturday (January 19) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, performances will come from past and current tutors, alumni and students from the internationally-renowned Skye College Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Special guest Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, of Limerick University's Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, will also be hosting a 40th birthday ceilidh that’s sure to get everyone up on their feet.
On the same night one of Ireland’s most dynamic, cutting edge bands Kila will come together with Mánran, who have taken the traditional music scene in Scotland by storm with their Gaelic/English tracks. The concert takes place at the O2 ABC venue.
Burns Night can’t pass without something special being staged at Celtic Connections and this year’s we’ve got the The Big Burns Night with acts including Breabach, Blazin' Fiddles, Dougie MacLean and Kathleen MacInnes. Scots poet Liz Lochead will also perform the Immortal Memory.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will be the beautiful setting for Andy Thorburn’s beautiful choral work Tuath du Deas (North and South) on January 27. Written in Scots, Gaelic, English and Latin for 12 singers , this piece features specially-written text by Aonghas MacNeacail, in honour of whose 70th birthday the original cast have reconvened, including Rod Paterson, Mary Ann Kennedy, Elspeth Cowie, Alyth McCormack, Christine Kydd, Mary Macmaster, Heather Macleod and Lindsey Black, Corrina Hewat and Rory Campbell.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Scots language can attend a free talk on the Origins of our Tongue (Tùsan ar Cànain) on January 30 at Glasgow City Halls, featuring a series of language specialists in a lively debate session chaired by comedian and frequent television and radio contributor, Susan Morrison.
And as well as all of this, there are plenty of workshops and taster sessions that let people get really involved in this year’s Celtic Connections.