Contenders revealed for 20th Scots Trad Music Awards

Festivals in Shetland, Speyside, Braemar and Lewis, community halls in Knoydart and Findhorn and a tearoom in Glasgow will be among the contenders for honours when a celebration of Scottish music and song returns next month.

The Scots Trad Music Awards will be returning to the Caird Hall in Dundee next month.
The Scots Trad Music Awards will be returning to the Caird Hall in Dundee next month.

Singers, musicians, bands, composers, films and events will be in the running when the Scots Trad Music Awards is staged at Dundee's Caird Hall on 4 December.

The MG Alba-backed event, which will be live-streamed on BBC Alba, will be marking a double-celebration. The awards, also known as Na Tradds, are being staged for the 20th time and in full-scale for the first time since Covid restrictions were lifted.

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Nominees for the coveted event of the year crown include the Hebridean Celtic Festival on Lewis, the folk festivals in Braemar, Newton Stewart and Shetland, Speyfest in Moray, and Piping Live in Glasgow.

The Scots Trad Music Awards will be staged for the 20th time next month, at the Caird Hall in Dundee.
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Speyfest’s founder James Alexander, a renowned fiddle player and teacher, who died earlier this year, will be honoured at the awards ceremony with a performance by his former pupils.

The Tchai-Ovna House of Tea in Glasgow’s west end is nominated for club of the year for its regular music nights and will be compete against the folk clubs in Aberdeen, Ardersier, Kirkcaldy and Milngavie.

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Venue of the year contenders include Knoydart Community Hall in Inverie, in the West Highlands, Perth Concert Hall, The Tolbooth in Stirling and Findhorn’s Universal Hall.

Festival favourites Elephant Sessions, Mànran, Skerryvore, Talisk and Trail West are all nominated for the hotly-contested best live act prize.

Elephant Sessions will be performing at next month's Scots Trad Music Awards. Picture: Colin Cameron

Elepant Sessions also be performing at this year’s awards ceremony, as are Fara, with both bands competing for the album of the year prize.

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Other best album contenders include Talisk, Kim Carnie, Siobhan Miller, Trip, Hannah Rarity, Rory Matheson & Graham Rorie, Brighde Chaimbeul, Ross Ainslie & Steven Byrnes, and Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan.

Fara are also in the running to be named best folk band, along with Breabach, Dallahan, Eabhal and Kinnaris Quintet.

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Andrew Waite, Brighde Chaimbeul, John McCusker, Megan Henderson and Ryan Young will compete for the musician of the year crown.

Orcadian band Fara will be performing at next month's Scots Trad Music Awards in Dundee.

Alastair McDonald, Beth Malcolm, Scott Gardiner and Shona Donaldson are in the running to be named best Scots singer, while Anne Martin, Fiona Mackenzie, Marcas Mac an Tuaimeir and Ruairidh Grey are shortlisted for best Gaelic singer.

Isla Ratcliff, Lewis McLaughlin, Malin Lewis, Roo Geddes & Neil Sutcliffe, Sarah Markey and Valtos will compete for the best up-and-coming artist title.

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Best composer contenders incude James Duncan MacKenzie, Mohsen Amini, Tina Jordan Rees, and Rachel Newton & Lauren MacColl for their Heal & Harrow project, which was inspired by the victims of the persecution of witchcraft in 16th and 17th century Scotland.

Awards founder Simon Thoumire said: “In difficult times, bands are getting back out on the road and filling venues across the world, bringing joy to people.

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The Scots Trad Music Awards will be returning to the Caird Hall in Dundee next month.

“It’s great to be back to celebrate this and showcase all the work that has been taking place to fill people’s lives with music, whilst also remembering that we need to support our clubs and venues.”

VisitScotland director Rob Dickson said: “Our outstanding trad music scene offers visitors an extra layer of authenticity during their stay in Scotland – something we know is important to them - and remains a thriving, exhilarating experience embraced by Scots of all ages.”

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