Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Wed 21 Jan
Mariza’s contemporary update on the classic Portuguese form known as ‘Fado’ has captured the imagination of an audience well beyond the hard-core aficionados of the genre. She was born in Mozambique, but was still a baby when her family uprooted to Lisbon, where her parents ran a restaurant and hosted fado singers.
She grew up loving both the singing and the 12-string Portuguese guitar which is such an essential element of fado. As a teenager she tried funk, soul and jazz, but returned to her original love in her early 20$.
Fado (which means ‘fate’) became particularly identified with the repressive Salazar regime. It has been likened not only to the blues, but to other ‘national’ forms like flamenco or tango. For Mariza, that identification lies in emotion.
‘They all stand on emotions. Fado is full of passion, sorrow, jealousy, grief and satire as well. Fado is a feeling in your skin, in your body.
KAREN TWEED’S MAY MONDAY Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Fri 16 Jan
Accordionist and lecturer at Newcastle's folk music degree course. Karen Tweed once noted that 'Scandinavian music is becoming the new Irish.‘ Well. she would say that. wouldn't she — she now lives there. The Poo/ie's accordion ace moved over to Sweden last year — she also plays in the Anglo/Swedish quartet Swap — and wasted no time in getting a ‘solo' album (May Monday) together with some great musicians. including JPP and Aldaraga/ keyboard star Timo Alakotila. And that's what she's bringing to Celtic Connections.
‘In Glasgow we'll do all the stuff on the album. plus quite a few other things. We've got a slightly different line up — Maria Kalienemi (the Finnish accordion virtuosO) won't be able to make it. and Danny Thompson's going to take over on bass — because the band's too big to tour easily. People have previous commitments. But it's still a great line-up'
Among those taking part are Roger Talroth on guitar. Paul Jayasinha on flugelhorn. and Marion Gobel on cello. 'Timo wrote the string arrangement.‘ explains Tweed. “and it's been great fun to use a classical string quartet with Swedish musicians playing Irish music.‘ (Norman Chalmers)
Karen Tweedy crosses Scandinavian music with Irish
You feel the rhythm. You feel my feelings. That’s what happens. Fado it’s my opinion of fado. Most people must be improvised, because you feel different every day.’
Both her image and her music are of the Salazar regime, and not a reshaping fado for a contemporary audience in Portugal, and in the global ‘world music’ marketplace. But she retains a deep connection with the roots of the music.
‘I believe that you must respect the traditions of fado, and then do
Fate in her own hands: Mariza brings fado to a younger audience
what you feel. This is not new fado,
of my age were not connected with the music. They felt it was the music
cultural thing. My clothes caught the attention of younger people who thought fado singers just wore black, and didn’t go out wearing jeans and sneakers. Now they think fado is part of their culture.’
The only musician inspired by policemen?
COLIN REID Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Tues 20 Jan
Belfast fingerstyle guitarist Colin Reid has been a regular at Celtic Connections in recent times. and returns this year with another ambitious project. his Quintet No 2. inspired by the iconoclastic Irish writer Flann O'Brien‘s comic novel The Third Policeman.
It follows in the wake of Icarus, a New Voices commission at Celtic Connections in 2000 for string quartet and guitar. inspired by the story from Greek mythology. This time around. the instrumental muSic will be interspersed with readings from O'Brien‘s novel by acclaimed Irish actor Stephen Rea.
‘Acoustic guitar, violin and cello is my regular line-up with my own band. and for this I've added piano and another cello. Electric guitar was my instrument for years. but I reached a point where I was getting fed up to the back teeth of playing electric. and the acoustic thing really grabbed my attention.
‘I love the fact that I don't need a band or big orchestrations or whatever to make music. but I also have the flexibility to add all of that if I want. The other reason, of cOurse. is that I just love the sound of the instrument — there is just something special about wood and strings.’
NOLLAIG CASEY AND ARTY MCGLYNN WITH MAIRE NI CHATHASAIGH AND CHRIS
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Thu 15 Jan
A few years ago now. when Nollaig Casey and Arty McGIynn first played Glasgow as a duo. the audience was half full of musicians. while the remainder came simply to hear beautiful music.
Peerless players both. they each have an unmistakable. unique style and tone — and, in a way that looks back to earlier centuries. a defiantly personal vision of musical expression that remains ‘Irish'.
MCGIynn revolutionised the use of the guitar in traditional music. and has been the backbone of more bands than you can shake a fretboard at — including Planxty. De Dannan. and Patrick Street. and years with Van the Man — while Nollaig has paralleled her trad music background (she plays piano. can birI a reel out of the whistle and uillean pipes. and is a gorgeous singer in Gaelic) with a degree in music and a career in symphony orchestra. film and television.
She maintains a twenty-year working relationship in Donal Lunny‘s projects. and has recorded with everyone from Mary Black to Elvis Costello.
But Casey and McGlynn‘s two albums together remain landmarks of taste and touch. And. in a deft piece of Celtic Connections programming. Nollaig's sister Maire Ni Chathasaigh and partner Chris Newman (ex-Boys of the Lough) bring their virtuoso harp and acoustic guitar along to share the gig.
8 22 .Jan 900-". THE LIST 43