For anyone not familiar with Celtic Colours International Festival it is a nine day festival which takes place between 10th-18th October on Cape Breton Island. It is famous throughout the Celtic music world and is attended by musicians from across the globe. The festival celebrates the cultural heritage of the island in the form of concerts, dances, workshops and community suppers and more.
This year’s 18th Annual festival is themed around family and friends so they’ve chosen two friends whose friendship goes way back to kick things off: Ally Bain and Phil Cunningham. They will be sharing the opening show with two of Cape Breton’s finest fiddle players: Ashley MacIssac and his cousin Wendy. There will also be other guests including The Campbells of Greepe from the Isle of Skye who will be sharing their tremendous wealth of Gaelic songs.
Cape Breton fiddle player Natalie MacMaster who is also a cousin of Ashley MacIssac will be playing a special closing show with Sharon Shannon from Ireland (read our 2012 interview with Sharon here). She is also the niece of renowned Cape Breton fiddler Buddy MacMaster who will be honoured at this year’s festival and who celebrates his 90th Birthday during the festival.
Scottish fiddle player Adam Sutherland who is best known for playing in The Treacherous Orchestra, Session A9, Peatbog Faeries and Croft no. Five will be working with young musicians to bring together a collaborative show called Tunes for All Time.
A large number of artists are also returning to Celtic Colours including Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Tim Edey, Tony McManus and David Francey. Each year two artists are selected to be artists in residence, one local and one visiting. This year they are two dancers: Nic Gareiss from Michigan and Mac Morin who has combined an early talent for dancing with a career as a pianist, championing the Cape Breton piano style and taking it to the next level. They are both involved in some great collaborative performances during the festival.
As you’d expect there a large number of Cape Breton bands as well as new bands, get a flavour with this special festival preview video:
Vist their website for the full lineup and more details: