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‘A genre-defying collaboration with award-winning duo fiddler Chris Stout and harpist Catriona McKay’

Folk super-duo fiddler Chris Stout and harpist Catriona McKay join the Scottish Ensemble’s own virtuosos for a vivid sea journey from Dundee to Shetland in Sally Beamish’s double concerto Seavaigers, which atmospherically depicts the birds, dolphins, fears and adventures of a spectacular North Sea voyage.

In a new piece specially commissioned by the Scottish Ensemble, some of Scotland’s finest composers come together to offer their fresh perspectives on a traditional Scottish tune, ‘Tullochgorum’. Expect some unusual and surprising results from David Horne, Stuart MacRae, Anna Meredith, Alasdair Nicolson, Alasdair Spratt, and Martin Suckling.

Surprising, too, is the concert’s unconventional take on another double concerto. Bach’s well-loved Baroque masterpiece for two violins gets a radical (and subtly Scottish) overhaul when fiddler Chris Stout and harpist Catriona McKay join the Scottish Ensemble’s own leader Jonathan Morton as soloists.

Scottish Ensemble Residencies

Aberdeen       21-24 April 2014      Perth            26-29 April 2014


Perth            29 April 2014           London         18 June 2014

Glasgow        30 April 2014           Cardiff          19 June 2014

Edinburgh      1 May 2014
Twitter: @ScotEnsemble  Facebook: Scottish Ensemble

Download the flyer: SEAVAIGERS

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9-11 MAY 2014 are the dates for the Moniaive Folk Festival which will start this year with a grand ceilidh dance on the Friday evening. The Saturday night concert and Late Night Extra will be as musically amazing as before, as will the programme of workshops, children’s events, and piping competitions on the Saturday, and there is an ever-expanding programme of Sunday events culminating in the Festival Curry and survivors’ evening!

In 2013, Moniaive Folk Festival was a finalist in the Visit Scotland ‘Event of the Year’ award at the annual MG Alba Trad Music Awards. The 2014 Festival will build on all the reasons for this accolade – the innovative line-up, thriving session scene, and something for all ages, in a small festival atmosphere and wonderful village.

Weekend pass covering all events and camping £40/ £25, (16 and under, 65 and over, full time student) available online at or from Alan James 01387 820 241 email .

Individual event tickets and camping passes (£10 except for weekend pass holders) also bookable in advance from Alan James at same phone / email.


Prices where shown are for admission to individual event. Weekend pass holders have free admission to all events, and free camping

Friday 9th May

  • Ceilidh 7.30pm Marquee £8/£6
  • Caper Ceilidh Band
  • Main Interval set from Cera Impala and the New Prohibition
  • Other spots from local acts – Cairn Chorus, Darcy Dasilva, Colin James, The Oystercatchers

Saturday 11th May – daytime

  • Piping Competitions – Memorial Institute from 10am £2/£1 family £5
  • Children`s Events- Marquee from 11.00am free
  • Songs and stories, circus skills, ceilidh band, concert and procession.
  • Workshops £5 pay at door: Harmony Song, Swedish music and dance, Karine Polwart in conversation, fiddle, whistle, banjo/ mandolin and more. Times to be confirmed, between 11.00-4.00pm
  • Green Tea Room and Old Grey Whistle Rest free:  Rolling programmes of performers Midday -6.30pm

Saturday evening Concert 7.30pm Marquee £20/£16

Svanevit Karine Polwart Craobh Rua

Late Night Extra 10.30pm Memorial Institute £10 on door

The Old Dance School 11.00-midnight

World Music sounds with Jo Hodges

Sunday 12th May

  • All Sunday events are free (apart from the curry, which like everything in the festival is very good value!)
  • Sunday Brunch Singaround with Cairn Chorus 11am Marquee
  • Clydebuilt Puppets – Memorial Institute
  • Performance 2.00-3.00pm
  • Puppet workshop 3.00-4.30pm
  • Afternoon Concert of Song – Masonic Hall 3pmBill Adair and Miriam Backhouse   Liquid Air   Robyn Stapleton and Claire Hastings
  • Green Tea Room and Old Grey Whistle Rest
  • Rolling programmes of performers 11.00am-6.30pm
  •   Craigdarroch Hotel 6.30pm onwards
  • Legendary Festival Curry only £5
  • Acoustic set from The Old Dance School  followed by Survivors Session  7. 30pm

Weekend pass covering all events and camping

£40/ £25, (16 and under, 65 and over, full time student) available or from Alan James 01387 820 241 email .

Individual event tickets and camping passes (£10 except for weekend pass holders) also bookable in advance from Alan James at same phone / email. .


Caper Ceilidh Band – The core of the band is made up of three widely acclaimed  musicians based in Dumfries and Galloway – Ruth Morris, Gavin Marwick, and Moniaive’s own Pete Garnett – who play together as a ceilidh band on the relatively rare occasions they are not performing in a myriad of other bands.

Cera Impala and the New Prohibition Bluegrass with a modern twist! Cera Impala is a force of nature, originally from Arizona but now living in Edinburgh, a wild banjo player and seductive singer and song writer.

The New Prohibition are Dirk Ronneburg (fiddle) and Alec Hunter (bass) of the Southern Tenant Folk Union. Together they have played all over Europe and the USA, and we have luckily caught them en route to a major festival in England, for a 30 min set on the Friday evening and hopefully in the bar afterwards!

Svanevit For anyone who remembers the wonderful German duo Cassard from the 2011 festival, Svanevit come to Moniaive via the same route (contacts forged at a festival in Bavaria). The band is from Sweden and the line up includes harp, nyckelharp and Swedish bagpipes, along with fiddle, guitar, and a great singer. Expect mesmerising polska rhythms, beautiful lyrical arrangements plus great Swedish songs with some very funny introductions from singer Anders Larsson.

Karine Polwart Karine needs little introduction, as one of the very finest singer-songwriters of her or any other generation in Scotland or anywhere else in the world. Karine will be performing a solo set at the Saturday main concert, but will also be ‘in conversation’ with Liz Clark of Celtic Radio on the Saturday afternoon, in the annual ‘Living Legend’ spot at the Festival which is broadcast by Celtic Radio – although considerably younger than previous legends such as Martin Carthy and Andy Irvine, she is no less legendary and is a real coup for the Festival.

Craobh Rua Well-known band from Northern Ireland, Craobh Rua played at one of the early Moniaive Folk Festivals and are making a welcome and overdue return. Fiddle, uillean pipes, banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitar, and vocals make for a tapestry of tunes and songs hailed as refreshing, unpretentious, but uncommonly skilled. The band has played all over the world and recorded five albums and will undoubtedly aim to raise the marquee roof with their set.

The Old Dance School One of the most exciting and innovative bands to have emerged in Britain over the past few years, the Old Dance School are making waves wherever they go. Described as “Ear-bending and radiant” (Scotsman), “Stunning – full on, full of life and verve” (Mike Harding), with backgrounds across the whole spectrum of music from ballet to jazz, a wide range of instruments – violins, viola, guitar, woodwind, trumpet, double bass, drums and percussion – blended into an amazing whole. A gig not to be missed! The Old Dance School are playing the Late Night Extra concert, starting at 11.00pm immediately following the Saturday evening concert. We anticipate that most holders of weekend passes will want to see them, so individual tickets for this event may be of limited availability.

Jo Hodges Local artist and DJ extraordinaire with her own eclectic mix of world sounds to help you dance the night away……..

Bill Adair and Miriam Backhouse Combining Bill`s folk/ blues mix and great song writing skills with Miriam’s ‘pitch perfect angel’, this is a duo not to be missed. Mim’s roots go back to the UK Folk Scene of the ’70s when she was likened to Joan Baez, and ranked alongside Maddy Prior. Bill has visited the Festival several times and both will be lending their fine vocals and harmonies to singarounds over the weekend..

Liquid Air Small but perfectly formed local singing group specializing in shape note and other beautiful four part harmony songs.

Robyn Stapleton and Claire Hastings Local girls Robyn (Stranraer) and Claire (Holywood) have been singing together since they met on the Scottish Music course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland four years ago. They share a wide repertoire of traditional and contemporary material and their clear bright voices blend beautifully, with vocal harmonies that will give you goosebumbs. Not only that – Robyn recently won the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year with her stunning voice – come and hear for yourselves!

Download the poster: Moniaive Folk Festival Poster

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A special 8 week course starting April 24th :  

                                         Fun Fiddle  invites all instruments to join fiddlers for a

 Mixed Instrument Class

                                All instruments welcome to join us!

  • 8 week block Thursdays  24th April  – June 12th 2014, 8 – 9.30pm
  • Cost £72 (£64 concession)
  • For adults who have been playing two years or more.
  • For more info or to book contact Fun Fiddle
  • Pre booking important if possible!



Fun Fiddle Portobello Music Train is back!!  Sunday   4th May 3pm

Join Fun Fiddlers and a brand new Porty community street band  in the live music train along    Portobello Promenade. (part of Tradfest )

Bring an instrument or just bring yourself and family. All welcome, young and auld!

 Meet at junction of Beach Lane and Portobello Promenade at 3pm and process to ‘The Cake’ bandstand, Marlborough St for some dancing and music. Then on to the Dalriada for a session.  You can access our easy-to-play march from our website or on Fun Fiddle Facebook,

or here:

 Rainy weather alternative – meet at The Wash House , Adelphi Grove, 3pm.

 For more information on percussion and brass street band see

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SeudanRoddy MacLeod MBE, one of the world’s finest pipers and four-time winner of the Glenfiddich world solo piping championships, is one of the stars at an evening of outstanding piping at Haddington’s Town House on Saturday 26 April.
The concert – called ‘Piping Up’ – has been organised by Haddington Pipe Band in partnership with Cairdeas nam Piobairean, an initiative led by legendary piper Hamish Moore.
“The evening has been set up to showcase both the quality and the breadth in today’s piping world,” said Haddington Pipe Band chairman Alastair Bruce, “and we will be have the privilege of enjoying brilliant piping played on a range of instruments.”
So in addition to Roddy MacLeod (who is also the director of the National Piping Centre) playing the Highland pipes, the programme will feature a number of other top musicians.

Cape Breton’s Angus Mackenzie will be demonstrating his virtuosity on the Border pipes. Angus, from a famous musical family, came to study at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college on Skye, where he still lives. He is also a member of the group Daimh, who played at Haddington’s Trad on the Tyne festival in 2012.

The brilliant duo Allan Macdonald and Griogair Labhruidh will be performing beautiful tunes, Gaelic songs, and polyphony on Scottish small pipes and uilleann pipes.

And the group Seudan will be playing copies of the famous Black Pipes of Kintail, which date from around 1785. The group’s sets of pipes have been meticulously recreated from the original by Hamish Moore and his son Fin, who is one of the Seudan quartet.

Before the concert, Haddington Pipe Band will play outside the Town House.

Hamish Moore commented: “Under the broad umbrella of Scottish piping, there are many styles and disciplines, as well as many different forms of pipes. The concert at the Town House in Haddington is a celebration of this breadth and a showcase of some of our very finest pipers and musicians

“I’ve no doubt that it will be a great night of music in a town with a centuries-long tradition of piping.”
Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £12.00 (or £9 for concessions: 65 and over/14 and under) and are available from the Waterloo Bistro and Joe Forte Sports in Haddington or by emailing Full details are on the band’s website (
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Unroofed Records presents Mike Vass – In the Wake of Neil Gunn

May 2014 will see renowned Scottish fiddler and composer Mike Vass undertake a mirror voyage of writer Neil Gunn’s 1937 adventure round the west coast of Scotland, performing community concerts along the way featuring stories, music and local history.

0005_MikeVass-2In 1937 Neil Gunn sold his house, quit his job and went off in an old converted lifeboat for a summer to inspire his writing; voyaging around the west coast of Scotland. He wrote about the various communities on the way, and went on to become one of Scotland’s most prolific and creative fiction writers. This May Mike Vass will sail Gunn’s route, finding inspiration for his own composing and re-visiting the communities Neil Gunn wrote about; performing celebratory concerts there. He wants to inspire communities with Gunn’s stories about them, inviting them to explore the changes that have taken place since the writer’s initial visit. The end result will be a new suite of music to be toured around Scotland.

Mike will be joined by special guest musicians along the journey (including Jennifer Port, Hamish Napier and Innes Watson) who will perform as part of the community concerts; sharing musical ideas as they sail and in on-board sessions at port.

They will perform at:

2nd May, Red Roof Cafe Gallery, Isle of Skye, 8.30pm

9th May, Eigg Community Hall, Isle of Eigg, 9pm

10th May, Astley Hall, Arisaig, 8pm

17th May, Iona Abbey, 3.30pm (entry included in admission ticket to Iona Abbey)

17th May, Iona Village Hall, Iona, 8pm

24th May, Kentallen and Duror Community Centre, Duror, 8pm

photo-2The project is already attracting attention, supported by Calmac Ferries, Enterprise Music Scotland, and Neil Gunn’s publishers, Colonsay-based House of Lochar. It has also received the backing of Creative Scotland’s Traditional Arts Commissioning Fund.

‘As soon as we heard of the plans to replicate Gunn’s trip,’ says Kevin Byrne of House of Lochar, ‘we contacted Dairmid Gunn, the author’s grandson and a former naval officer, and received his enthusiastic consent to support the project.  House of Lochar wishes Godspeed to the latter-day “Thistle” and all who sail in her.’

Mike wants to both connect with the Scottish coastal communities he grew to know through Gunn’s words, and find inspiration for his own writing.

‘The idea for the project came from time spent in hospital last summer,’ says Vass. ‘I had suffered a life-threatening brain insult and someone gave me this non-fiction book, ‘Off in a Boat’, to read while I recovered. I found it utterly inspirational. I was so excited by Neil Gunn’s account that I immediately started planning my own version of his trip.’

The project (following the masterminding of Fiona Hunter’s debut solo album and his own critically acclaimed experimental album DecemberWell) is Vass’s most ambitious venture to date. Its progress will be documented by Salmon Films, who will be making a film about the project.

‘We were inspired by the vitality of Mike Vass to reproduce Neil’s Gunn journey,’ says Conxi Fornieles of Salmon Films. ‘A real adventure in a very magical place.’

After a summer of writing and recording, Vass will return in the Autumn to tour the new album, featuring some of Scotland’s top traditional musicians and film footage captured on the voyage.

Mike will be keeping a blog about the voyage, visit the website here.

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