2,100 musicians from across the globe will take part in 300 events at venues throughout Glasgow for one of the leading annual festivals of world, folk and roots music, Celtic Connections.
18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late night sessions and a host of special one-off musical collaborations will once again light up the Scottish winter when Celtic Connections returns from 19 January – 5 February.
In 2017, the festival will be celebrating inspiring women artists, there will be a focus on artists who have lived through times of intense personal hardships and found success through their music. It will also mark the 150th anniversary of Canada, and the 70th anniversary of Independence for India and the founding of Pakistan. The best of Americana and Traditional music are as always at the heart of Celtic Connections, and in 2017 Celtic Connections celebrates Brazil as the festival’s partner country.
Among the many fantastic shows is World Beat Bothy featuring Niteworks, Inyal and Hamilton de Holanda & Baile do Almeidinha on 28 January at the Old Fruitmarket.
Two parts cutting-edge Scottish trad/fusion, plus one part thrilling Brazilian virtuosity, equals Celtic Connections’ biggest ever live club night – dancing shoes emphatically recommended.
Skye-rooted quartet Niteworks are well kent for inciting festival and dancefloor euphoria, splicing traditional tunes and instrumentation with symphonic synths, colossal beats and vibrant guest vocals.
While 2015’s debut album NW won aptly rave reviews, the full Niteworks phenomenon must be experienced live. Inyal are a brand-new Glasgow-based outfit, inspired by both that city’s genre-blurring folk community and the fabled LA beat scene to put a radically fresh spin on Gaelic traditions, layering subtle electronics and twisted grooves with live bagpipes and fiddle.
An unrivalled exponent of Brazil’s mandolin-like bandolim, Hamilton de Holanda mixes traditional choro dance tunes, samba, jazz, rock and pop with electrifying technical dexterity, performing here with his band from a weekly residency at Rio’s legendary Circo Voador venue. At St Lukes on 2 February experience Federation of the Disco Pimp (ft. Scope) with Fat Suit.
This special collaboration slams together the best of Scottish funk and the leading innovators of Scottish hip hop, uniting the award winning funk outfit Federation of the Disco Pimp, fresh from the release of their 2016 album Tough Enough, Gaelic Singer of the Year G-Croft, and rising hip hop star Scope for a thrilling and electric one-off show. Fat-Suit is on a collective journey through music, using jazz as the point of departure to explore a myriad of soundworlds and textures.
Giving voice to her fellow misfits and rejects from mainstream US culture, Hurray For The Riff Raff is the eponymous manifesto of Alynda Segarra, a young Bronx-born singer/songwriter of Puerto Rican descent, now based in New Orleans who will be performing Drygate Brewery on 20 January. Originally drawn to music by the riot grrrl movement, she deploys diverse Americana styles to frame forthright contemporary lyrics.
A one-time teenage prodigy, Texan-born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz – still only 25 – now ranks among today’s most lauded and creative Americana artists. Armed with a degree in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music, Jarosz mines deep traditional roots on her new fourth album Undercurrent, transmuting these influences into artfully progressive, emotionally complex original songs. You can see her at City Halls on 22 January.
With her spectacular performance at the Olympics’ closing ceremony, paying tribute to her late great compatriot Carmen Miranda, Roberta Sá became the breakout star of Rio 2016. Already adored at home, for her delectably sensuous voice and sophisticated treatments of traditional Brazilian sounds, she’s now taking Europe by storm with her 2015 album Delírio, self-styled as “a declaration of love to Brazilian music” and live shows including at her Celtic Connections show on 27 January at Drygate Brewery.
The ultimate embodiment of Mexicans’ longtime love-affair with Morrissey’s music – ascribed by frontman Camilo Lara to mutual proclivities for tragic melodrama, dark humour and sexual ambiguity –Mexrrissey gloriously transcends tribute-band flattery with alchemical Spanish translations of the classic Moz canon, newly arrayed in mariachi, danzón, mambo and ranchera sounds, reinforced with red-blooded rock muscle. Catch this global phenomena at the O2 ABC Glasgow on 22 January.
Delving into more expansive and experimental territories, Glasgow’s C Duncan released his second album The Midnight Sun in late 2016. Blending electronic elements and sweeping synth sounds with his signature layered vocals and dreamy instrumentation, the follow up to his Mercury Prize nominated debut Architect has won huge praise from the likes of The Guardian, The Sunday Times and Mojo. Immerse yourself into his live Celtic Connections performance on 26 January at Saint Lukes.
There is also a packed line up throughout the festival of shows at The Hug and Pint, including Mark W Georgesson, ex Strawberry Switchblade Rose McDowall, Southern Tennant Folk Union, Blair Dunlop and RM Hubert.
For more information and to buy tickets visit www.celticconnections.com – £5 student tickets are currently on offer for the following shows: Slobodan Trkulja & Balkanopolis and Tantz & Kuchke on 27th January at O2 ABC, Damien Dempsey and Hermitage Green on 1st February at O2 ABC and Eliza Carthy & the Wayward Band and The Eskies on 2nd February at the O2 ABC. These tickets are available from the Box Office at the Buchanan Street entrance of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.