Edinburgh Tradfest launched its tenth festival programme of traditional live music, talks, podcasts, storytelling, ceilidhs, dance, workshops and new commissions taking place at various venues across the city.
Thanks to continued support from Creative Scotland, the Festival returns with a packed programme of live music events including celebrated Highland fiddle player Duncan Chisholm and his band who will open the festival on Friday 29 April.
Newly commissioned for this year is Come All Ye by Phil Alexander (Moishe’s Bagel) celebrating the impact that many immigrants have made on the cultural life of Scotland. Bogha-Frois aka ‘Queer Voices in Folk’ – a community of queer folk musicians based in Scotland will be curating a line-up of bands including Hebridean trio Hecla, and Madderam an up-and-coming five piece band and finalists at the Na Trad Awards. Bogha-Frois will also be involved in a live storytelling event (and associated workshops) at the Scottish Storytelling Centre – Queer Folks’ Tales – mixing hilarious, moving and occasionally shocking stories of LGBTQ+ lives, past and present and are included on the festival’s latest podcast series which will be released next month.
Other highlights included in this year’s programme are twice-nominated Mercury Music Prize nominee and multiple-award winner at the BBC Radio Two Folk awards Eliza Carthy performing with her legendary father Martin Carthy, a supercharged set of new tunes and old favourites from Shooglenifty, ingenious Finnish ‘nordgrass’ fiddle music from Frigg, harmonious and playful vocals from Sian (Ceitlin Lilidh, Eilidh Cormack and Ellen MacDonald), US classic banjo artist Aaron Jonah Lewis; powerful vocals and instrumental prowess from the phenomenal folk bluegrass band The Shee (Rachel Newton, Lillias Kinsman-Blake, Olivia Ross, Amy Thatcher, Signy Jakobsdottir); Project Smok (Pablo Lafuente, Ewan Baird and BBC Young Traditional Musician of the year 2020 Ali Levack) who blend traditional music with contemporary new-age pop influences to create their unique sound; and Malin makes Music (bagpipe, fiddle).
In partnership with the University of Edinburgh Celtic and Scottish Studies, the festival will present their second Rebellious Truth talk which will address gender inequality in traditional music with Úna Monaghan (harper, composer, researcher and sound artist from Belfast); and, in partnership with the Scottish Storytelling Centre various live storytelling events.
These include Hillsook Weddeen a rich and beautiful story about a Hillswick Wedding embedded in Shetland folklore performed by comedian, storyteller and filmmaker Marjolein Robertson; Stories from the Kist in Scots and Doric hosted by Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches with Tim Porteus, Jackie Ross and Jess Smith; Learning from the Kist an accompanying workshop for people interested in improving their storytelling technique led by Donald Smith and Ruth Kirkpatrick;; Edinburgh’s open-floor night Guid Crack; a new mini-festival Pomegranates exploring traditional dance the world over from the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland; and The People’s Parish Maps exhibition (15 April to 15 May) – a nationwide project led by TRACS connecting local stories, traditions and cultural memory with the distinct local voices, culture and creativity from Scotland’s 871 civil parishes.
Ros Rigby, Chair of The Soundhouse Organisation, producers of Edinburgh Tradfest said: “We’re thrilled to be announcing this year’s line-up and full programme for the festival thanks to continued support from Creative Scotland and our many funders and supporters. The Soundhouse Trustees have been highly impressed with the way Douglas and Jane-Ann have managed to adapt to presenting some events online over the past two years, but we have all really missed being able to watch live performances in venues and can’t wait to welcome back audiences from all over the UK and overseas to this year’s festival.”
“Siobhan Anderson, Music Officer at Creative Scotland said: “This year’s programme is a real celebration of the best of Scotland’s traditional talent, the rising stars of the future and the incredible musicians and storytellers that we are thrilled to see returning to Edinburgh.”
Daniel Abercrombie, Programme & Events Manager at Scottish Storytelling Centre said: “We are delighted to be presenting a rich programme of in person storytelling, music and dance events and workshops as part of this year’s Edinburgh Tradfest. Spring is in the air and there is many a tale to tell.”