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Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara




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Get connected Following its success last year, Celtic Connections announces a programme with a distinctively cross-cultural flavour. Words: Anna Millar

C eltic Connections launched with a suitable level of expectation this fortnight and it doesn’t look set to disappoint. Comprising 1500 artists, 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, workshops, free events and late-night sessions, the programme of events will take place over 18 days in 14 venues across Glasgow.

Now in its 17th year, January’s line-up will boast the usual array of folk, roots, traditional, world, classical, jazz and indie offerings. Highlights include The Chieftains with special guest Ry Cooder, former 10,000 Maniacs singer Natalie Merchant, Horse and Buffy-Sainte Marie. Connections’ favourites Carlos Núñez, Bobby McFerrin, Peatbog Faeries and Seth Lakeman will also make a return. Some of the finest Americana and country will rock up for the festival, including Beth Nielsen Chapman and Holly Williams (the granddaughter of country music pioneer Hank Williams).

As usual, collaborations will play a key part in proceedings, this time with a staging of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Long Gone Lonesome, based on the life of reclusive Shetland fisherman turned country music sensation Thomas Fraser.

Elsewhere, an ensemble cast will pay tribute to folk icon Nick Drake in Way to Blue The Songs of Nick Drake, a show curated by legendary producer Joe Boyd.


the programme, the influence of Celtic traditions on cultures around the world will showcase heavily, an element recognised in the line-up of artists from Japan, Brazil, India, Africa, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, Serbia and Romania.

In keeping with the collaborative vibe of the festival, Indian percussion virtuoso Trilok Gurtu, Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and Indian singer Shankar Mahadevan (known most recently for his work on Slumdog Millionaire) will join forces. Dance lovers shouldn’t be disappointed either, following Celtic Connections’ announcement that they will stage a celebration of Romany gypsy music and dance, with 20 of Europe’s gypsy musicians The Legendary Gypsy Queens and Kings taking to the stage at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

As part of their commitment to fostering new talent, the Danny Kyle Open Stage and BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final will continue to showcase fresh talent in 2010, with 2007 Danny Award winners The Chair performing a headline gig in the ABC. Celtic Connections 2010 runs from Thu 14–Sun 31 Jan. Tickets can be bought at or by calling 0141 353 8000.

THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL Book Festival has announced former List editor Nick Barley as its new Director. Barley replaces Catherine Lockerbie, who left after her nine- year tenure at the end of August. Following his time at the List, Barley took up the post of Director of The Lighthouse in Glasgow in 2006.

BAFTA NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED Peter Capaldi (pictured), Richard Jobson and Armando Iannucci are just some of the names nominated at this year’s BAFTA Scotland Awards. The awards, to be held at the Glasgow Science Centre on Sun 8 Nov, will see Capaldi fight it out with Stephen McCole and James Anthony Pearson for Best Actor; Richard Jobson, Iannucci and Caroline Paterson battle over Best Director, while the much coveted Best Feature Film will go to either New Town Killers, Kurdi or Crying With Laughter.

A RECENT SURVEY by the Association of Independent Festivals shows that the Belladrum Festival leads the field among the UK’s independent festivals when it comes to the amount per head its audience puts into the local economy. Belladrum, which took place in August this year, sold out for the first time in the event’s history. THE DOUGIE MACLEAN festival Perthshire Amber is set to return for its 5th year from 30 Oct–8 Nov. This year’s line-up includes MacLean himself, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Malinky, and more. See www.perthshirea

TUNE IN Tune Up, the Scottish Arts Council initiative devised to take musicians to the more remote, rural parts of Scotland, is back. The first of two seasons will run until 22 Dec, and features artists such as Edwyn Collins and Frightened Rabbit (pictured).

WWW.LIST.CO.UK Visit us daily for arts & entertainment news 22 Oct–5 Nov 2009 THE LIST 7