Celtic Connections

Source: BBC

By: Pauline McLean

Never mind 66 shopping days till Christmas.

There are only 86 days till the start of the 2010 Celtic Connections festival, and a fair amount of excitement at the launch this morning in Glasgow of the new programme.

Since his appointment three years ago, the artistic director Donald Shaw has pushed the world music element of the festival and he admits himself it is an important strand of this year’s programme.

One of his biggest coups is reuniting Ry Cooder with The Chieftains – who’ll perform a concert exploring Celtic and Mexican musical connections.

“I didn’t know there was a connection between Celtic music and Mexican music,” he admits, “but if The Chieftains say there’s a connection, there’s a connection.”

Negotiations to confirm the gig were only finalised in the wee small hours of this morning, with Ry Cooder, who toured Europe in his own right earlier this year, not keen to travel to Glasgow in the middle of January.

And although Donald Shaw admits the concert – which will also feature Cara Butler from the original Riverdance show and Mexican band Los Cenzontles – is something of a coup for the festival, he hands most of the credit to Chieftains founder and leader Paddy Moloney.


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