Islay Sessions - A New Traditional Islay Folk Music Festival

The line-up of musicians taking part in the new Islay Sessions traditional music festival has now been confirmed and includes some of the best musicians from all over Scotland. Leading the Glasgow based charge are Irish influenced group Arnakali who feature a host of instruments in fiery arrangements. Also based in Glasgow, The Maverick Angels, featuring Islay’s own Fraser Shaw will return building on the success of their second album “No Halo”. The Scottish Borders are represented by acclaimed songstress and fiddle player Lori Watson. Having had a busy summer touring across Europe she will be joined on this occasion by her brother Innes on guitar and John Somerville on accordion. Argyll-shire born fiddler Eilidh Shaw, who has toured with many Scottish bands including the Poozies and Harem Scarem will be accompanied by her husband and guitar player Ross Martin, a native of Morar in the Scottish Highlands. Completing the line-up is Gaelic Singer and Mod Gold medallist Darren Maclean from Skye.

The festival runs from Friday the 11th November to Sunday the 13th November. The Friday night kicks off with sessions across Islay. These will take place in the Lochside Hotel, Port Charlotte Hotel and the Islay Hotel with local musicians encouraged to join in. The Saturday morning will feature workshops for all ages in a range of instruments at Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle. The highlight of the weekend will be a grand concert and ceilidh in Bruichladdich Hall on the Saturday evening. For those with enough energy left there will be a “survivor” session in the Port Charlotte Hotel on Sunday afternoon. Continue reading....

Information about the workshops:
The Islay Sessions is delighted to announce that the musicians involved in the sessions, concert and ceilidh have offered to run traditional music workshops as part of the event. The workshops will take place on Saturday 12th November from 10am to 2.30pm at Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle. This is a great opportunity to learn and play with some exceptionally talented musicians. Whilst the aim is to build on the success of the Fèis Òigridh classes, the workshops will be open to all ages and experience. We should be able to include Gaelic song, fiddle, whistle and accordion and we hope that after classes on individual instruments there will be a groupwork session to bring it all together. As a special bonus we are also hoping to do a short session on card tricks and balloons (seriously!) The workshop will cost £5 for adults and £3 for children. We are currently planning the programme and the instruments that will be included. If you are interested can you please register by email to and let us know your preferred instrument. For more details and some samples of music from all the musicians are on the Islay Sessions website

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