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Edinburgh Tradfest launches full programme for 2019

Now in its 7th year, Tradfest, held at various locations across the city, mixes the very best in traditional music, world cinema celebrating folk culture, and storytelling.

This year’s music programme kicks off on 26 April at the Queen’s Hall with anarchic Irish folk band Lankum and continues for the next 11 days with – What A Voice, celebrating female tradition-bearers with music from three of Scotland’s most engaging and accomplished singers – Kathleen MacInnes, Fiona Hunter and Kaela Rowan; the fiery Scandinavian fiddles and bubbling Northumbrian pipes of Baltic Crossing; Johnny Campbell and the Brothers Gillespie in concert at Leith Depot; the May Erlewine trio from Michigan; the award-winning dynamic folk quartet Gnoss; Celtic-harpist Savourna Stevenson performing with saxophonist Steve Kettley; fiddler Adam Sutherland in a double-bill with the explosively energetic Talisk; a celebration of Gaelic Spiritual Music, in memory of John Macleod, in Gloir at the Usher Hall; acclaimed folk artist Heidi Talbot presenting – contemporary Swedish folk artists Väsen, (French harpist, fiddler, pianist and vocalist Floriane Blancke, and one of Fair Isles’ finest musicians Inge Thomson); bluegrass from Grammy award winner John Reischman and the Jay Birds; and Canadian supergroup The Fretless.

Further music events happening in other venues across the city include Dave Burland at Edinburgh Folk Club; a knees-up Family Ceilidh at the Storytelling Centre and Live Music Sessions every weekend.

Luath Press returns this year with two events: Stones of the Ancestors: Stewart McHardy and Douglas Scott where audiences discover what Scotland’s prehistoric monuments can tell us about the culture of our country; and Scotia Extremis: Editors Brian Johnstone and Andy Jackson bring together a wide range of Scotland’s best-known contemporary poetic voices to celebrate the country’s culture and personality through spoken work.

Tradfest is also delighted to partner with the Folk Film Gathering, a celebration of the myriad ways in which world cinema has engaged with folk culture in different places and times. Highlights (all at the Filmhouse) include: a screening of one of Norway’s greatest silents Laila (1929) with a live score by award winning folk duo Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält; a selection of short folk films by Wishaw’s under-sung queer avant-garde pioneer Enrico Cocozza at the 2019 Film Ceilidh, with music by Alun Woodward (The Delgados); Danny Glover in African-American masterpiece Sleep With Anger; Alexander Dovzhenko’s Zvenigora (1928) a silent masterpiece accompanied by a newly commissioned score from Folklore Tapes; and many other screenings from local and international filmmakers.

Check out the full programme here