Thursday, March 06, 2014

Celtic Connections 2014

by Kerry Dexter

Celtic Connections: each year in January, this major music festival fires up concert halls. clubs, theaters, and other performance spaces across the city center of Glasgow with music that includes both the Celtic side of things and music that reaches out into the connections of music across the world.

Through the hundreds of gigs on offer, it is always an individual journey of what music to take in. Several highlights of the 2014 edition of Celtic Connections for me included

Hearing classical violinist Nicola Benedetti talk about -- and play -- collaborations with Scottish musicians including Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, andJulie Fowlis, which they have been working on for an album that native Scot Benedetti plans to release this summer

Seeing fiddler Duncan Chisholm bring his straight from the Highlands of Scotland music to the stage of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall that same evening, and knowing he was part of the opening concert at the first Celtic Connections festival twenty one years back

It wouldn’t be Celtic Connections -- or Scotland -- without the pipes. One of my favourite pipers this year was James Duncan Mackenzie, playing both traditional music and his own compositions as part of a concert at The Mitchell, and sharing stories of the tunes with a lively wit

Speaking of lively wit, that was as much in play as was world class music and dance as Cherish the Ladies with bandleader Joanie Madden

brought the heritage of Ireland to the stage of the Royal Concert Hall, to the delight of a sold out house. Among the guests was singer and songwriterCathie Ryan, who along with Madden and guitarist Mary Coogan was part of the group’s first appearance at Celtic Connections twenty years ago.

Photographs are by Kerry Dexter. They were made with permission of the festival, the artists, and the venues involved, and are copyrighted. Thank you for respecting this.

There will be more to come of windows into the sights and sounds of Celtic Connections 2014 here along the Music Road. You might also like to see

Celtic connections: twenty years of extraordinary music
Cherish the Ladies: storytellers in music
Celtic Connections 2013: Images

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Anonymous Sheryl said...

Sounds like a very special festival. How fortunate you were to see and hear it, Kerry.

11:41 PM  

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