The 18 days of entertainment will brighten up the dark, wet January nights with a mixture of concerts that include a host of one-off musical collaborations alongside talks, workshops, film screenings, theatre productions, ceilidhs, exhibitions, free events and late-night sessions.
Following last year’s 25th festival celebrations, when Celtic Connections welcomed over 2,300 artists from over 30 countries and recorded an exceptional 130,000 attendances, Celtic Connections will continue to grow and diversify in 2019.
Since the inaugural festival in 1994, when its 66 events centred around one venue and welcomed 27,000 attendees, Celtic Connections has become more adventurous, more experimental and more diverse. A huge range of musical genres are showcased across the 18 days, as well as genre-busting performances that defy any attempt at categorisation. The special commissions and creative collaborations that have made the festival so distinctive and internationally acclaimed will also continue to play a central part in Celtic Connections 2019.
The festivals’ first 25 years have witnessed the emergence of a myriad of young Scottish musicians, many going on to attain headline status - and plenty who weren’t even born when the festival began! The Celtic Connections Opening Concert will celebrate the passing on of traditions between generations, and will also mark 15 years since Harvest, 2004’s landmark opening show which teamed a battalion of then-youngsters with top Celtic soloists. The Opening Concert will welcome up to 70 emerging young talents to the stage, selected from the 45 Fèisean now held annually around Scotland, Orcadian youth music project Hadhirgaan, and Galician folk orchestra SonDeSeu. Working with the original composers, they’ll perform newly arranged excerpts of Duncan Chisholm’s 2007 Blas Festival commission Kin, Lauren MacColl’s The Seer, commissioned by Fèis Rois, and Harvest itself, along with material by Dàimh, Aidan O’Rourke, Brighde Chaimbeul and additional Pan Celtic special guests.
As usual the festival is graced with household names including Rhiannon Giddens, Cherish the Ladies, Graham Nash, Niteworks, Elephant Sessions, Bokanté, Loudon Wainwright III, Judy Collins, Ronnie Spector & the Ronettes, Kathy Mattea, Shooglenifty and Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert.
From the World music scene Celtic Connections 2019 will welcome Benjamin Clementine, Delgres, The Como Mamas, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Mariza and Bassekou Kouyate.
Last year it was announced that the programming team would expand, and a number of ghost programmers have been involved in the artistic direction of Celtic Connections 2019. The growth of the programming team has allowed for Creative Producer Donald Shaw to work on developing the festival to its fullest potential to safeguard the longevity and musical integrity of what has become such an internationally acclaimed event.
The festival will run from Thursday 17 January to Sunday 3 February 2019 and full listings can be found at www.celticconnections.com
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