Celtic Connections 2013 will be celebrating our Scottish Bard with the help of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals Programme this Friday. This year Celtic Connections will be making an extra big splash for Rabbie’s birthday and there will be three very different events taking place across the city.
The Big Burns Night will be taking place at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, where new arrangements of Burns songs will be performed by some of Scotland’s finest folk performers. Hosting the party, at one of three shows in Rabbie's honour, will be the brilliant young traditional band Breabach, who'll be joined by a stellar selection of fellow Scottish artists - plus the odd surprise international guest - performing new arrangements of Burns songs and melodies.
As well as Breabach's own Ewan Robertson and Megan Henderson, featured singers include the great Dougie MacLean OBE and Kathleen MacInnes - the latter highlighting the Gaelic melodies to which Burns often set his words - while Blazin' Fiddles contribute more of the Bard's favourite tunes, as well as string accompaniment to the songs. Scotland's own Liz Lochead will perform the Immortal Memory.
Uniting the concepts behind previous years’ Indian and Jamaican-themed festivities, Burns and Beyond, in the Old Fruitmarket, will feature ex-Gladiator and rural reggae legend Clinton Fearon and his band from Jamaica, headlining a global celebration of Burns alongside British-born sarod innovator Soumik Datta, with beatboxer and ‘vocal sculptor’ Jason Singh and jazz/folk singer Fiona Bevan.
Also on the bill are the superb Scottish/Indian quartet India Alba and top Scottish folksong combo Malinky - back together after a couple of years’ hiatus, with a new album due in 2013.
There is a chance to don your glad rags and toast Scotland's bard in style amid the sumptuous surroundings of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Friday night. A gourmet musical menu includes outstanding young Scottish traditional singer Siobhan Miller, lending her exquisitely dulcet tones to a selection of Rabbie's finest with Brian Miller. Other guests include Adam Holmes, vocalist with the band Rura, who'll be hotting up the party with their brilliantly fiery instrumentals; Sheena Wellington; Alistair Ogilvy and MC Bryan Beattie. Your ticket also includes a traditional supper of haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by clootie dumpling, with a glass of wine and of course a dram. Dancing is optional afterwards to work off the feast before carriages at midnight.