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Celtic Connections 2012

The first week in January is rarely fun. No matter how much you may profess to hate Christmas, there’s lots to do. People to see, places to go and presents. The telly is better, the pubs are warmer, the drink more plentiful. Work is calmer, people are nicer.

And then it’s finished. And you have nothing – nothing – to look forward to.

Well thank God for Celtic Connections, Glasgow’s annual festival of all that’s good in folk, roots, world, traditional, indie, blues and jazz. The 19th Celtic Connections festival will see around 2100 artists from around the world taking part in 300 events in 20 venues across Glasgow over 18 days. There is, almost literally, something for everyone.

So why not see  if there is anything of interest, and if so, get along. Let’s face it, you’ve nothing else in the diary!

Programme highlights include Béla Fleck and the original Flecktones, The Aaron Neville Band, Bruce Hornsby and guests, Jack Bruce (Cream) with Lau, a Woody Guthrie Centennial, Orchestra Baobab, The Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band, Song for Ireland, a one-off reunion gig with Glasgow’s The Big Dish, and Floating Palace featuring KT Tunstall.

An all-star line-up will assemble to celebrate the life and music of Gerry Rafferty, in a show curated by his daughter Martha Rafferty and long-time friend Rab Noakes, featuring The Proclaimers, Barbara Dickson, Maria Muldaur, Ron Sexsmith and more.

Spearheading the festival’s political strand is a celebration of the Woody Guthrie Centennial with his granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Coming together for the first ever live performance of the The Woody Guthrie Project are Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket), Anders Parker and Will Johnson (Monsters of Folk).

Also part of the political strand, the festival will host a UCS Work In 40th Anniversary Celebration, marking 40 years since the conclusion of the historic Upper Clyde Shipbuilder Work In.

The festival celebrates the vibrancy of the folk and trad scene with performances by Shooglenifty, Session A9, Blazin’ Fiddles, Treacherous Orchestra, Salsa Celtica, Dónal Lunny, Cherish the Ladies, Matt Molloy Trio and more.

Celtic Connections will launch in spectacular fashion with Béla Fleck and the reunited original Flecktones performing with an array of special guests for the opening concert.

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Cedric Watson, Moussu T, Pura Fé and John Trudell will bring a touch of soul, gospel and blues to Glasgow.

Omar Sosa, Emir Kusturica & the No Smoking Orchestra, Vieux Farka Touré, Faiz Ali Faiz, Orchestra Baobab and Sol i Serena add a world music flavour to the festivities.

New venues for the 2012 festival include the Mitchell Theatre, Brel, St Mary’s Cathedral, Platform and Apollo 23 – the new home of the Celtic Connections Festival Club.

Book tickets here

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