Class acts marking significant anniversaries at Blas 2015

photo of fiddlers
The Kiltearn Fiddlers

Issued by Blas Festival

Three of the top performers at the 2015 Blas festival will be marking significant milestones in their musical careers with the award-winning Kiltearn Fiddlers, Fèis Spè and ‘Acid Croft’ pioneers Shoogenlifty all celebrating a quarter of a century as entertainers.

Two of the three are testimony to the Fèis movement, which has enabled hundreds of musicians and singers from through the Highlands and Islands to embark on significant musical careers, bringing the best of Highland and Gaelic culture to a wide audience.

The award-winning KIltearn Fiddlers emerged from the Fèis Rois Traditional Fiddle Classes, in 1990. Leader Alpha Munro formed the group to improve their performance skills, expertise and confidence and to promote Scottish Traditional Music in the local area. In this, their 25th anniversary year, they will be recording a new CD to join their existing recordings and appearing at Blas 2015 on the opening night, Friday 4 September at Evanton with guests Lauren MacColl, Graham MacKenzie, Katie MacKenzie – all of whom have a strong connection with Fèis Rois – and a group of the current young people the Fèis is supporting.

Fèis Spè works in the large area covered by the Cairngorms National Park and runs a successful year-round programme of classes, workshops and events in addition to the annual Fèis each October. Fèis Spè has epitomised the success of the Fèis movement with a steady stream of high-class performers emerging from the traditional skills classes. A few of them will be appearing at the 25th anniversary concert at Blas 2015 to be held at Carrbridge on Friday 11 September - Sandra Robertson, Hamish Napier, Fraser Stone and Mhàiri Hall - as well as Capercaillie and Session A9 fiddler, Charlie McKerron and the young people currently participating in Fèis Spè activities.

Shooglenifty are also 25 years young this year. Shooglenifty’s skill at fusing exquisite traditional sounding tunes to devilishly dirty rhythms is unsurpassed and still shines brightly. Thanks to their extensive globetrotting adventures, their rich back catalogue of influences flows from everywhere from Rajasthan to Russia, Borneo to Brisbane, Ghana to Glenfinnan. They will bring that to bear as they celebrate their quarter century along with Niteworks and Hò-Rò at the Ironworks in Inverness on Saturday 5 September.

Established 11 years ago as a result of The Highland Council’s desire to create a festival that would match the vitality of Cape Breton’s Celtic Colours, the Blas festival is now an international event showcasing Highland culture and its continuing success has been welcomed by the Scottish Government and Highland Council.

Blas 2015 will take place at venues across the Highlands and Argyll between 4 and 12 September.

Tickets for all Blas events can be bought online, or by phone, with details on the festival’s website blas-festival.com where further information is available on the full programme of events.

28 Jul 2015
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