The Virtual Harris Cèilidh returns next Saturday night (24th), as we gather online once again for our monthly get-together of music, storytelling, and a bit of craic.
Since we began our Cèilidh Project last year, we’ve been delighted with the sessions and time well spent with like-minded souls from all corners of the world.
Led by our storytellers Iona and Calum, each event brings together three traditional musicians from across the Highlands and Islands to play a few tunes and tell us about their own cèilidh experiences.
We also invite a special guest from the Harris community to share a few stories about their life here in the islands and help deepen your connection to our people and place.
April’s cèilidh takes place next Saturday evening at 20.00 BST and we’ll be welcoming some more great guests to entertain you…
First up, it’s a pleasure to present Gaelic singer Linda Macleod from North Uist, who has spent many years researching and performing songs associated with her family and native homeland.
Linda’s interest in Gaelic song tradition, and indeed her own singing, has been greatly influenced by her late grandfather, Hugh Matheson, who was a singer himself and taught Linda a great deal of the songs she sings today.
It’s also an honour to have the brilliant box playing legend John Carmichael along for a wee set. John is one of the best-known band leaders in Scotland with many recordings to his credit.
A former Scottish Accordion champion, John plays regularly for the Queen at Balmoral Castle and has toured with many of Scotland’s top artists.
He was the Accordion and Fiddle Association of Scotland’s guest of honour in 2004 and he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
Finally, we’re joined by Chloë Bryce a wonderful fiddler from Tain in Easter Ross, whose music is informed by a deep regard for the old tunes and songs deeply embedded in Highland culture.
She has studied the fiddle and Gaelic song at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton.
A singer and composer of innate creativity, her talents have also taken her on tours from the UK to France and further afield to Australia.
Normally, we’d ask you to drop us a line directly to receive your invitation details but this month we’re doing things a little differently due to the sheer volume of requests and replies we’re now getting!
We’ve now created a Harris Cèilidh Community and would invite you to join us by visiting our dedicated page at www.harrisdistillery.com/ceilidh to sign up.
Just submit an email address and we will send you a Ceilidh Community invite every month with the Zoom link and code, along with information on the artists performing, an Isle of Harris Gin cèilidh cocktail recipe, and the latest Harris Cèilidh album to stream on Spotify to get you in the mood.
We'll also be bringing new ideas to the virtual cèilidh as we adapt and evolve into a post-Covid world, as well as take steps to support music among local school children and their fund-raising endeavours for their Royal National Mòd events and local feis / music festivals.
Until we can gather again safely in person, let us bring the cèildih to you in the comfort of your own home as we keep the love, music and island spirit flowing online.