Thursday, August 07, 2008

coming attractions: The Celtic Colours Festival 2008

Celtic Colours, now going into its twelfth year as one of the top Celtic music festivals in the world, will be focusing on connections among the Celtic nations when musician and listeners gather on Cape Breton this October.

"We tend to think of ‘Celtic’ as Scottish, Irish or Cape Breton," said Artistic Director Joella Foulds. "The early Celts dispersed to many parts of the world and they took their culture with them. While the cultures evolved and changed, there are still surprising similarities and links between them. We want to learn more about those connections and share that with our audience." In addition to artists from from all over Canada, the U.S., Scotland, Ireland, Wales, there will be musicians from Denmark, France, Spain and Cuba playing at the festival

Spanish star Carlos Nunez makes a return visit to Cape Breton to headline the opening show at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on October 10. This show will use music to explore the history of Cape Breton going back to the early visits of fishers from the Celtic areas of France (Brittany) and Spain (Galicia) through to the Irish and Scots arrival.

Across the island, from churches to firehouses, to small clubs to big school halls, forty six more shows will fill the next nine days, until the festival winds to its close with a tribute to well loved singer Rita MacNeil featuring many
of her musical friends. This will take place at the Marine Terminal -- the big fiddle -- in Sydney.

Scotland will be represented by the return of Shooglenifty, Archie Fisher and Mairi Smith as well as first time visitors, Lori Watson & Rule of Three, Inverness Gaelic Choir, Grace, Hewat & Polwart, Angus Lyon & Ruaridh Campbell, Bryan Gear and more.

Some of the Cape Breton artists who will be featured include Rita MacNeil, J.P. Cormier, Gordie Sampson, Buddy MacMaster, Jerry Holland, Beolach, Men of the Deeps, Ashley MacIsaac and Winnie Chafe. The Brock McGuire Band from Ireland will make their second visit to Cape Breton. Gaiteros de La Habana, a group of young musicians who are part of the Galician piping revival in Cuba, will be making their first visit to Canada. Popular folk singers James Keelaghan and David Francey take part of a special song writing project taking place during the Festival.

And that’s just part of it. The people, the music, the landscapes, the heritage, and the fun -- it’s all part of Celtic Colours. Full festival details can be found on the festival web site.
Whethe you go for one day of the full nine or make it part of a longer stay in Atlantic Canada, the place, the people, and the music will stay in your mind long after the last note is played.

To get a taste of the music -- and see a slide show from an earlier festival -- check out this post

Music Road: now playing: Cape Breton Radio Live take 02

and look for more about Fiddlewings the latest recording from Manus McGuire of the Brock McGuire Band, coming up here at Music Road.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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