Highlights include Swedish folk band Väsen, music/dance spectacular This is How We Fly and the annual Folk Film Gathering
Returning to Edinburgh for its fifth edition, multi-arts festival TradFest will soon be taking over the city, showcasing some of the finest talent in traditional folk culture. With established international acts on the bill alongside up-and-coming local talent, the annual festival aims to draw attention to the best of trad arts and culture through music, song, dance, film and stories. This year's festival will see Scottish acts join performers from Sweden, India, Finland, the USA and Ireland in more than 80 events across 27 venues. To give you a small taste of what to expect, we pick out some highlights from the ever-vibrant programme of events.
Väsen Acclaimed Swedish folk band Väsen have taken their playful acoustic sound all over the world, entertaining audiences in cities from Tokyo to Berlin. The trio, which includes a five-string viola, 12-string guitar and a nyckelharpa (a keyed fiddle), take their cues from the buoyant traditions of Swedish folk, which has elements that are reminiscent to Celtic conventions. Queen's Hall, Thu 26 Apr, 8pm, £14.
Giants Join storytellers Alice Fernbank and Svend-Erik Engh as they take you on a journey that explores traditional folktales, myths and legends about giants, through their rise, fall and eventual departure from Earth. Scottish Storytelling Centre, Sun 29 Apr, 7.30pm, £10 (£8).
This is How We Fly Four musicians and masters in their respective fields are brought together for a celebration of their varying musical vocabularies. Nic Gareiss is a percussive dancer, whose Appalachian hard shoe rhythms create a unique musical landscape; Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh plays a 10-string fiddle called the hardanger d'amore; Seán Mac Erlaine brings in elements of jazz through his clarinets and electronics; and Swedish percussionist Petter Berndalen keeps the melodic and rhythmic pace going with his drums. Pleasance Theatre, Sun 29 Apr, 8pm, £15.
Woody Pines Nashville troubadour Woody Pines is known for his unique brand of American roots, which draws inspiration from early folk and 1940s blues. Be transported by Woody's jazzy old-time sound that has already captivated audiences the world over. Traverse Bar, Mon 30 Apr, 8pm, £11.
Brighde Chaimbeul ft. Aidan O'Rourke A rising star on the trad music scene, Skye piper and musician Brighde Chaimbeul was the winner of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. Her inspiration comes from varying piping traditions including from Cape Breton, Eastern Europe and Ireland, and recent performances have taken her to festivals like Cambridge Folk Festival and Celtic Connections. For her TradFest show, she is accompanied on stage by fiddler Aidan O'Rourke of award-winning folk trio Lau. Scottish Storytelling Centre, Tue 1 May, 8pm, £12 (£10).
Digital Natives? In this panel debate hosted by David Francis, which includes singer-songwriter Findlay Napier and producer/curator Shona Thomson, the role of social media is analysed in relation to identity and belonging. The debate will include an exploration into the tensions between place and 'everywhere or nowhere'. National Library of Scotland, Fri 4 May, 2pm, Free.
Drake Music Scotland's 20th Anniversary Concert Drake Music Scotland sure do know how to put on a party and their anniversary concert, which celebrates 20 years of creating opportunities for disabled musicians of all ages, is set to be packed with wonderful guests. The concert includes the Digital Orchestra, the Junior Digital Orchestra, Equilibrium, Liveheart, the Varifocals and Audability, as well as plenty of soloists. DMS will also be premiering their collaboration with Scottish fiddle player and composer Aidan O'Rourke. Queen's Hall, Sat 5 May, 7.30pm, £15.
Folk Film Gathering Transgressive North's annual festival of folk cinema returns for its fourth edition, focussing on 'a sense of place' as a theme. This involves showcasing films from Scotland, England, Italy, France, Alaska and Scandinavia that delve deeper into the connection between community and landscape. The programme of films includes Pathfinder, the first film to be made within the Sami community in Northern Scandinavia, and pioneering French documentary Chronicle of a Summer. Most of the screenings will be introduced by live trad music this year, adding an extra element to this commemoration of folk culture. Filmhouse, Fri 27 Apr–Sat 12 May, £10 (£8).
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).
Edinburgh's TradFest kickstarts the summer season with a celebration of traditional music from Scotland and around the world. The extensive programme includes music workshops for children and adults, hosted by a number of world-class musicians.
This is How We Fly brings together four performers who've carved out a reputation for not just mastering their chosen fields, but redefining and renewing the musical world they come from. Featuring percussive dancer Nic Gareiss; Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh on the hardanger d'amore; Seán Mac Erlaine bringing in jazz elements…