Thursday, January 28, 2021

Celtic Connections 2021 Continues: What's on 27 January through 1 February

Traditionally, at Celtic Connections there would be more than 100,000 listeners enjoying the work of more than 300 artists across Glasgow city centre at this time of year.

As with most things to do with music, things are different this year. Different, yes, but equally interesting. Roots music from acid croft to Sudanese blues, generous helpings of music in Gaelic and Scots, song and tune from rising stars and established creators: it’s all continuing as Celtic Connections heads into the closing days of its 2021 edition.

Tickets, both all access passes and individual tickets (you can view events for 7 days after first broadcast) are still available and there are several no cost events too, including a programme for small children and one that is dementia friendly.

Highlights of what’s on offer 27 January through 1 February:

“Authentic, electrifying and unlike anything you’ve seen before... that’s the way we do it in the Western Isles” is how the Stornoway based trio Peat & Diesel describe themselves. A fisherman, an electrician and a delivery driver who only got a band together so they could play a couple of gigs down the local pub have been taking their rip roaring approach to wider stages-- this time, to Celtic Connections on 27 January.

Later that evening, festival favourites Cherish the Ladies offer their take on the music of Ireland.

From the Wild Atlantic Way in County Clare Joanie Madden on flute, whistles, and harmony vocals, Mary Coogan on guitar, Mirella Murray on accordion, Kathleen Boyle on piano, Nollaig Casey on fiddle, and Lunasa’s Trevor Hutchinson on upright bass recorded a special socially distanced concert for Celtic Connections. Kate Purcell, Don Stiffe, Bruce Foley, and Seámus Ó’Flatharta add their voices and David Geaney and Seámus Ó’Flatharta bring dance to a programme that is both innovative and classic. Sharing the evening’s bill with Cherish are the Scottish quartet Charlie Grey, Sally Simpson, Owen Sinclair and Joseph Peach, who are Westward the Light.

Remember the pipers of Tryst, who walked up Buchanan Street to open the festival? They’re back as part of of an evening featuring varied forms of piping. In their set the ten pipers of Tryst showcase new music inspired by the piobaireachd tradition. Also on the evening Finlay MacDonald brings together a local showcase of music focusing on the innovative Scottish and Irish bellows-piping traditions, and piping from BBC Young Traditional Musician of the year 2020 Ali Levack shows up as part of at set from Project SMOK, a trio who are at their most comfortable pushing boundaries across musical genres.

Transatlantic Sessions is always a top ticket at the festival; this long running collaboration between artists from both sides of the Atlantic features continuing participants including Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick, James Mackintosh, Jerry Douglas, John Doyle and Donald Shaw and an always a changing cast of artists joining them. This year festival favorites Euan Burton, Julie Fowlis, and Kris Drever will join from Scotland with Molly Tuttle, Tim O’Brien, Alison Brown, and Stuart Duncan chiming in from Nashville. Word comes that recorded performances from earlier years of Transatlantic Sessions will also be in the mix.

Finishing off the evening of 29 January, a journey to Quebec brings in music from Le Vent du Nord , Grosse Isle. and De Temps Antan.

At the weekend, workshops continue, as does Claire Hastings’s programme for under fives and their parents, along with radio broadcasts of the Danny Kyle Open Stage concerts on Celtic Music Radio. Presented by Liz Clark, DKOS has adapted to an online format in style: six acts from the festival long event go to through to the final broadcast on 31 January. Exploring ideas of home and place, Steven Blake’s New Voices commission uses found sounds and samples to weave lush textures around a simple piano spine.

Another final takes place at the weekend: the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2021 concert. Six finalists will offer sets -- there’s no charge to view this concert -- with song, harp, pipes, piano, and fiddle. Among Young Trad winners in earlier years are Gillian Frame, Robyn Stapleton, Emily Smith, Anna Massie, and Benedict Morris; many finalists have gone on to fine careers in music as well.

Innovative music drawing from varied roots traditions fills the bill on Sunday evening. Dean Owens’s gift for storytelling and the landscapes of the American southwest fuse in a set of music from his most recent recording. Originally from the high desert of Northern New Mexico, multi-instrumentalist Cahalen Morrison returns to the festival as a solo act with Americana based music. Rhiannon Giddens has electrified Celtic Connections audiences with her voice, banjo, and fiddle solo and in performance with the Celtic Blues Orchestra. She returns in creative collaboration with Italian pianist and percussionist Francesco Turrisi. Bringing creativity from Scotland to the evening is top singer and guitarist Kris Drever, who is a fine songwriter as well an a gifted interpreter of the music of others.

On Monday evening, it is the Western Isles and Gaelic language and music to the fore. A night of music and song from North Uist, celebrating the island’s musical talent and heritage, will see top artists including Julie Fowlis and Ellen MacDonald, the Taigh Chearsabhagh House Band featuring Padruig Morrison, Anna Black and Seonaidh MacIntyre, up-and-coming talents Eilidh Lamb, Robert John MacInnes, Doireann Marks and Fionnlagh Mac a’ Phiocair, and the legendary Duncan MacKinnon presenting a programme entirely in Gaelic bringing to life the language and culture which of the Outer Hebrides. This evening is presented by Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre in partnership with the Centre for Island Creativity.

There’s more to discover as you explore Celtic Connections 2021’s digital first festival. Festival organizers and production crew from Beezer Studios in Glasgow are doing excellent work in support creativity and presenting the work of musicians. Celtic Connections is delivered by the charity Glasgow Life and is funded by Glasgow City Council, Creative Scotland and The Scottish Government Festivals EXPO Fund.

Tickets, schedules, and more information at the Celtic Connections website

You may also wish to see
At Wandering Educators From Glasgow, virtually: Celtic Connections begins
Music, Heart, Hope: Celtic Connections begins
Celtic Connections 2021: what’s coming in the first 6 days

-->Your support for Music Road is welcome and needed. If you are able to chip in, here is a way to do that, through PayPal. Note that you do not have to have a PayPal account to do this. Thank you.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by Kerry Dexter at


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home