Scotland’s annual folk, roots, indie and world music festival kicked off in Glasgow yesterday. Over 2,100 musicians are visiting 20 venues across the city for the 300 concerts, ceilidhs, art exhibitions, workshops and free events. As well as a traditional music revival, there’ll be the Senegalese supergroup Orchestra Baobab, Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure, Fado star Ana Moura and Faiz Ali Faiz from Pakistan.
The workshop programme means that festival-goers can have a go at almost any instrument they like, whether it’s the accordion, fiddle, ukulele, djembe or Irish pipes. You can even take your baby along to a Gaelic lullaby workshop if you like. If you’re a bit more advanced and would like to explore arrangement ideas and techniques that form traditional music, there’ll be a Traditional Strings Weekend Masterclass at the Fiddle Village, starting Jan 28.
The festival lasts until February 5 and will host some of our favourite artists. Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops will show off their recently expanded African-American string-band at the O2 ABC Glasgow tonight, and will be joined onstage by the Punch Brothers.
To get some kora action, head down to St Andrew’s in the Square on 26 Jan, where Senegalese griot singer and kora player Solo Cissokho will reunite with young Irish fiddle trio Fidel. Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara will also team up with the Michael McGoldrick Quartet to forge yet even more links between African and Celtic music for this event.
To kick off February, Isla St Clair has been added to the line-up for The Singing Land at the Old Fruitmarket on the 1st. She’s won several awards during her career, as well as being voted Best Female Folk Singer by the NME. Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure will be supported by Bwani Junction at The Arches on Feburary 5, who’ll be using a bit of reggae, Afro-beat and indie-pop in their music as usual. On the same night, Floating Palace will be at O2 ABC Glasgow, which will bring together KT Tunstall, Martin and Eliza Carthy and Howe Gelb for a musical collaboration.
There’s so much to choose from! Let us know which acts you’re looking forward to.