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INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY TEMPLE RECORDS
Nigel is an internationally renowned virtuoso saxophonist who has worked with many top artists in the fields of pop and jazz. After nearly twenty years of recording and touring around the world Nigel set down roots in the Isle of Skye five years ago where Scotland’s ever-popular Celtic fusion band the Peatbog Faeries are also based. Nigel’s amazing skills, innovation and boundless musicality have brought exciting new dimensions to the Peatbog Faeries’ repertoire and performances.
One of Scotland’s most innovative and creative musicians, Fraser Fifield is a multi-instrumentalist and composer with a distinctly original sound. His distillation of influences from such diverse sources as the Highland Bagpipe tradition, Jazz Saxophone, Bulgarian Kaval and others, has lead to a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. Fraser is also known to many for his work with various Scottish bands and musicians that cross a whole spectrum of music making, including Salsa Celtica, Old Blind Dogs, Mr McFalls Chamber any many more. His latest recording Stereocanto was released in October 2009.
Patsy Reid from Knapp in Perthshire grew up playing both traditional Scottish fiddle and classical violin winning the prestigeous Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship twice at just 15 and 16 years of age. Her exquisite tone, elegance and a deftness of touch are apparent in her work with the popular folk band Breabach and she is also in great demand as a fiddle teacher, on such notable couses as Alasdair Fraser’s at Sabhal Mor Ostaig and the award-winning Taransay Fiddle Camp. Patsy’s Celtic Connections commission ‘Bridging the Gap’ was described “an attractive and skilfully assembled work that is coherent, imaginative and beautifully performed”.
Lauren MacColl learned fiddle through the thriving Feisean movement in Ross-Shire and is an emotional and communicative performer of the music from her Highland tradition along with her trio ‘The MacCollective’. She won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2005 and two years on released her debut album ‘When Leaves Fall’, named ‘Classic Album’ of Celtic Connections festival 2008. Her second album ‘Strewn with Ribbons’ was released to critical acclaim in 2009, a recording of music researched from old Highland Collections married with her own tune writing. As well as with the MacCollective, Lauren plays in a duo with flute player Calum Stewart and in a new project Mackinnon | MacColl | MacPherson and is also fiddle tutor at RSAMD’s Junior dept. “Her slow airs may well make you cry…..stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeousness” (The Herald)
LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY GREENTRAX RECORDINGS
Emerging from the vibrant melting-pot of Glasgow’s 21st-century folk scene, The Treacherous Orchestra take Scottish dance music into a thrilling new dimension. Comprising a baker’s dozen of Scotland’s finest young instrumentalists, this truly turbocharged collective have incited merry mayhem at every one of their previously rare appearances, from remote Hebridean islands to the world-renowned Celtic Connections Festival. The band’s members, mostly still in their 20s, hail mainly from the length and breadth of Scotland and together represent the leading edge of the country’s ongoing folk revival. Having grown up under the influence of such pioneering fusion acts as Shooglenifty, Martyn Bennett and Wolfstone, they draw simultaneously on deep traditional roots and the full gamut of contemporary influences, interweaving these strands organically in a repertoire consisting almost entirely of original tunes.
Showered with superlatives, Session A9 have been described as “The best band to have come out of Scotland in 100 years”, “Tighter than James Brown” and an “Amazing Festival band”, great praise indeed for a band formed through informal music sessions up and down the arterial Scottish road, the A9. Highly acclaimed concerts and festival appearances and a tune-up tour in 2009 have seen the band in increasing demand . With a four man fiddle frontline of Charlie McKerron, Adam Sutherland, Kevin Henderson and Gordon Gunn plus Marc Clement on guitar; Brian McAlpine on keyboards and David Robertson on percussion, Session A9 really are a “Scottish super group”,
Face the West
Face The West are a young, fresh, Celtic Rock outfit with incredible talent. The group from the Island Of Lewis are hardworking and energetic. Powerful drums, deep bass lines, synths and keyboards provide the sound for the backing while traditional lead instruments get people’s hearts racing and feet tapping. At the 2009, Hebridean Celtic festival, their show on the main stage in the big blue tent was not only full of great music but created an irresistible ‘party’ atmosphere propelling even the most reluctant dancer on to the floor.