Celtic Connections 2024: 11 highlights of next year's festival line-up
It started life in just one venue in the heart of Glasgow but has grown to become the jewels in the city’s cultural crown and Europe’s biggest winter music festival.
More than 300 events will unfold across 25 stages when Celtic Connections returns for its 30th anniversary in January.
Bluegrass sensation Chris Thile, country star Carlene Carter, African diva Angelique Kidjo, Spanish multi-instrumentalist Carlos Núñez, American singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby, Squeeze star Chris Difford, and songwriter and activist Billy Bragg are among the special guests.
Scottish favourites include King Creosote, Eddi Reader, Justin Currie, Paul Buchanan, Dougie MacLean, Blazin’ Fiddles, Skerryvore, Talisk, Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis and Siobhan Miller.
Opening Concert, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 18 January: The Grammy-winning American musician Chris Thile, who is best known for the trailblazing bluegrass band Nickel Creek, returns to Celtic Connections to open the event with the European premiere of a new symphonic work performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with Scottish singer Rachel Sermanni among the special guests.
Red Clydeside, Royal Concert Hall, 19 January: The centenary of the birth of the revolutionary socialist politician who played a key part in the Red Clydeside movement will be marked by singers including Karine Polwart, Eddi Reader, Billy Bragg and Siobhan Miller.
DakhaBrakha, Pavilion Theatre, 20 January: The Ukrainian world music quartet mark their 20th anniversary in Glasgow after a career which has taken them around the world, including shows in Australia, the United States, Canada, Colombia and Brazil.
Roaming Roots Revue, Royal Concert Hall, 21 January: Singer-songwriter Roddy Hart will be at the helm for the annual celebration of songwriting, this time drawing from modern Scottish classics, with the help of Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble and Rod Jones and Del Amitri’s Justin Currie.
Dougie MacLean, Royal Concert Hall, 23 January: One of Scotland's most celebrated singer-songwriters will bring a host of special guests together for a celebration of 50 years of music-making.
Kinnaris Quintet, Old Fruitmarket, 26 January: The all-women folk powerhouse outfit will be joined by special guests Karine Polwart and Julie Fowlis for their biggest Celtic Connections show to date.
Scottish Chamber Orchestra 50th Anniversary Concert, Royal Concert Hall, 26 January: The 30th anniversary of Celtic Connections coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who will be joined by The Blue Nile singer Paul Buchanan, Crooked Still star Aoife O’Donovan, folk trio Lau and harpist Maeve Gilchrist.
Citadels of the Sun, City Halls, 28 January: Musical, folkloric and historical connections between India and Ireland will be brought to the fore as part of a project involving the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival.
Angelique Kidjo, Royal Concert Hall, 29 January: The five times Grammy award-winner, who has been hailed as “African’s premier diva” and one of the world’s most influential women, will celebrate a 40-year career which has embraced her West African roots, American R&B, funk, jazz and afro-beat.
Martin Green and the Whitburn Band: Split The Air, Tramway, 3 February: The award-winning brass band will be joining forces with the Ivor Novello winning Lau musician to perform new music inspired by the brass band communities.
Fara, Royal Concert Hall, 3 February: Orcadian quartet Fara will be collaborating with musicians from Caribbean, Middle East, Mali and Quebec for an international showcase which will also feature a brand new Scottish string ensemble, Thirteen North.
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