Celtic Connections – A Musical Extravaganza

The annual Glasgow Celtic Connections is a Celtic music festival featuring unsurpassed Scottish talent alongside artists from around the world. The 2007 Celtic Connections, under the direction of Artistic Consultant Donald Shaw, was hugely successful, drawing crowds from all corners of Scotland as well as around the globe.

The fifteenth Celtic Connections is planned for 16th January through to 3rd February 2008 and it has been confirmed, to the organizer’s delight, that Donald Shaw will once again fill the role of Artistic Director. With his vast experience in the music world and a strong leaning toward Celtic music, Donald Shaw brings a new dimension to this popular event in Scotland.

Showcase Scotland takes place during the middle weekend of the Celtic Connections festival each year and has become the largest international gathering for the music industry in Scotland, drawing musical directors and festival programmers from around the world. The aim of Showcase Scotland is to secure performances for Scotland’s artists in as many different countries as possible. Scotland has an amazing wealth of talented musicians, particularly in traditional, roots and folk music and they want to share this with the world. Around 60 bands, musicians and songwriters are given the opportunity to perform. Showcase Scotland, together with Celtic Connections, provides the perfect opportunity to see and hear the best artists and discuss ideas with leading promoters of Celtic music. Some of the artists that have benefited from previous Showcase Scotland events include Karine Polwart, Steve Byrne, Julie Fowlis, Croft No.5, Michael Marra, Emily Smith and Aidan O’Rourke.

Celtic Connections also focuses attention on encouraging Scottish children to appreciate and enjoy their cultural heritage. With this in mind an Education Program for children forms part of the festival. This program comprising of workshops, concerts and tutorials is dedicated to fostering awareness of traditional Scottish and Celtic music through tuition on Celtic instruments (bodhran, fiddle, clarsach, tin whistle), storytelling and Scots and Irish step-dance. Since 1998 more than 100,000 children from all over Scotland have benefited from this program.

With something for everyone, it is clear to see why Celtic Connections is growing in popularity each year. With the 2008 event promising to be more exciting than ever before, make a plan to be there.