The festival will run from Thursday 18 January to Sunday 4 February 2018. The 18 days of entertainment will brighten up this dark, cold month with a mixture of concerts that will include a host of one-off musical collaborations alongside talks, workshops, film screenings, ceilidhs, art exhibitions, free events and late night sessions.
Throughout its 25 years, Celtic Connections festival has not only grown in terms of events, stages and visitors’ attending but it has also grown significantly in terms of the music that it showcases, the genres it embraces and the international artists it welcomes. Celtic Connections 2018 will embrace music from the past to music of the present and will look ahead to the future of an increasingly experimental and exciting music scene.
With this year’s line-up and one-off collaborations the festival will show how much Scotland’s music scene has changed over the last 25 festivals, with ever increasing musical styles and cross genre fusions of jazz, classical, folk, world and electronica.
To mark 50 years, almost to the day, since Johnny Cash’s fabled gig at California’s Folsom Prison, Dale Watson & His Lone Stars will play the Main Auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with additional guests Rab Noakes, Aaron Lee Tasjan and James Grant just announced.
Shawn Colvin, Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile) and Karen Matheson have been added as special guests to The Music of Laura Nyro feat. Diane Garisto show at the Old Fruitmarket. Hosted by former Nyro backing singer Diane Garisto, this celebratory tribute will also feature a band of top-notch Big Apple session players and singers.
Following its debut at the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2015, the GRIT Orchestra will perform another world première at The SSE Hydro during this year’s festival - a grand-scale live version of Bothy Culture, the late Martyn Bennett’s second album that is celebrating its 20th release date. Alongside the hugely talented line-up that is the Grit Orchestra, this night of entertainment will feature Scotland’s finest fiddlers including Duncan Chisholm, Aidan O’Rourke, Chris Stout, Megan Henderson, Sarah Jane Summers, Charlie McKerron, Eilidh Shaw and Laura Wilkie. The show will also feature a special appearance by Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill whose performance will be inspired by his 2014 film The Ridge (which has been viewed 55 million times on YouTube) and sound tracked by Bennett’s track ‘Blackbird’.
Standing as a shining example of the fully established Celtic Connections ‘hands-across-the-genres’ ethos, electro/acoustic composer, pianist, producer and remixer Max Richter will perform his Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works which will be further brought to life by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Following their new duo album Bare Knuckle, Shetland fiddler Chris Stout and harp trailblazer Catriona McKay will host an unprecedented meeting of disparate musical worlds, highlighting their myriad of musical adventures over the past 7 years. As a duo Chris and Catriona consistently challenge what traditional music is and their performances and collaborations take the music to a whole new level. At this special Celtic Connections concert the duo will perform with King Creosote, the Scottish Ensemble and Irish accordion genius Mairtin O’Conner.
With her solo show at the festival now sold out, Cara Dillon will join guitarist, singer and songwriter John Smith in his Mitchell Theatre gig. Cara will be in illustrious company with Smith’s sidemen credits over his 11 year career including David Gray, Lisa Hannigan, Joe Henry and Joan Baez.
Joining a line-up at St Andrew’s in the Square that already features some of the best young Irish fiddlers, legendary duos Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, and trio Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle will help celebrate the Baltimore Fiddle Fair, the remarkable little festival with the big reputation from beautiful west Cork.
The much coveted Saturday afternoon Pipe Band concert, that this year will welcome Johnstone Pipe Band to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall stage, will also showcase the talents of Angus MacColl Jnr, Finlay MacDonald and Jarlath Henderson.
Returning as part of Celtic Connections 2018, the second annual National Whisky Festival of Scotland will once again descend on SWG3 for seven hours of whisky wonderland: masterclasses, food, talks and live music from some of Celtic Connections’ finest – Scott Hutchison, Croft No. 5, Siobhan Miller, Talisk and The Friel Sisters, whose Celtic Connections show has now sold out.
With tickets selling faster for the 25th anniversary festival than ever before, demand is incredibly high so audiences are encouraged to get their hands on tickets as soon as possible via www.celticconnections.com.
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