Four groups of musicians, separated by oceans but united in their passion for their musical heritage, have been brought together by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) for two exclusive concerts in the Music Hall.
Under the Northern Arc banner, APA have teamed up the dynamic Julie Fowlis and her interpretation of Scottish Gaelic culture with Canadian folk music group Le Vent du Nord who perform traditional Québécois music, as well as original numbers in this style, in French, for a concert on Sunday, September 13.
And then one of Scotland’s most recognised and accomplished fiddle players and composers Duncan Chisholm shares the stage with the blazing hot Michigan roots bluegrass ensemble Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys on Saturday, February 13.
Tickets for both Northern Arc gigs go on sale to APA Friends on Thursday, August 6 and to the general public on Tuesday, August 11 online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty's Theatre.
APA’s director of programming and creating projects said: “The Northern Arc sessions are an opportunity for the very best artists from across the world to come together and collaborate, creating unique, unforgettable moments of musical fusion.
“With four acts which represent the diverse pinnacle of contemporary roots music, this season will undoubtedly be a special one.”
Multi-award winning Gaelic singer Julie, is a quiet torchbearer for her native tradition and still finds time to deepen her knowledge of Highland and Gaelic culture, tradition and history through continued research and academic projects.
She will forever be recognised for singing the theme song to Brave, Disney Pixar’s Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning animated film, set in the ancient Highlands.
She is an artist with a genuine curiosity to explore other traditions and natural ability to cross genres and has collaborated, recorded and performed with artists such as violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti, and acclaimed singers Aled Jones, Grammy-Award winning James Taylor and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Her passion for folk culture, song and music is exemplified in her collaborations such as with her Vocal ConneXions project this summer with singers from Bulgaria, Brittany, Finland and Norway, her continued musical friendship with Irish singer and musician, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and of course the celebrated Québécois band Le Vent du Nord with whom she performs in Aberdeen’s Music Hall on September 13.
Formed in 2002 and considered a driving force in progressive folk, the Canadian band knows how to turn the lost past into intense and beautiful performances that push their roots in striking global directions. They are blazing a path that connects their Québecois roots to the wider world, in both arrangements and on stage.
The quartet has performed more than 1400 concerts, racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Canadian Folk Music Award, and Artist of the Year at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.
They’ve collaborated and performed with Harry Manx, Väsen, The Chieftains, Breton musical pioneer Yann-Fañch Kemener, Québecois roots legend and master storyteller Michel Faubert, hip Scottish folk band Breabach, and the trans-Mediterranean ensemble Constantinople.
The February Northern Arc gig brings together one of Scotland’s most recognised and accomplished fiddle players and composers, in the form of Inverness-based Duncan Chisholm with an American string quartet hailed as the fresh new voice in modern bluegrass, in the shape of Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys.
Duncan’s well-established musical career has taken him throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, both through his solo work and while playing with other musicians and bands, and he has set the heather on fire with his folk rock band Wolfstone.
Performing live, the Flatbellys delight in swapping instruments back and forth, and there’s a great sense of play and warmth in their music, no doubt grounded in their impressive mastery over their instruments.
The line-up includes mandolinist Joshua Rilko, dobro player Mark Lavengood, bassist PJ George and lead singer Lindsay Lou and their new album Ionia has been described by critics as Americana - music that's caught between the pull of the past and the push of the beckoning future, ready to leap forward bursting with new ideas and youthful energy.