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November 21st - 23rd, 2008
Kevin Burke, Jock Tamson’s Bairns, The Chair, The Jenna Reid Band

The 12th annual fiddle festival will take place from 21 to 23 November 2008 at Edinburgh Assembly Rooms in George Street.

This year, the programme has been put together by a substantially reformed committee, following the (semi) retiral of several hard-working stalwarts. The new chair of the Fiddle Festival, Mike Kinch, says of this year’s programme:

“It is an absolute delight to showcase new, young and very innovative talent in this years event, alongside established, benchmark musicians who have kept Scottish Music in its pole position, for so long.”

This media release contains information about the main concerts on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 November. A more detailed release will follow in September when tickets go on sale.

Friday night (Heat the Hoose) features two of the best contemporary Scottish bands, The Jenna Reid Band and The Chair.

Saturday night (Grand Concert) brings together, in one amazing event, two sets from artistes that are the best in their class, Jock Tamson’s Bairns and Kevin Burke, and innovative young Scots band, MAK.

Friday 21 November in the Music Hall
“Heat the Hoose” at 8.00pm

The Chair
Gavin Firth (guitar), Fionn McArthur (fiddle), Bob Gibbon (accordion), Brian Cromarty  (banjo & Vocals), Chas Milne (bass guitar), Erik Laughton (drums), Douglas Montgomery (fiddle & mandolin), Robbie Thomson (percussion)

Put together for the Orkney Folk Festival in 2004, the Chair have gone from strength to strength, bringing their high energy “stomp” music to the dance floors of the Northern Isles and Mainland Scotland ever since. They have set the floor alight wherever they have appeared, winning a “Danny” award at the 2007 Celtic Connections Festival.
“good-time music with that Celtic edge, perfect for long winter nights or cold summer days”

Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine

The Jenna Reid Band
Jenna Reid (fiddle and vocals), Bethany Reid (piano, fiddle & vocals), Kevin Mackenzie (guitar), Duncan Lyall (double bass), James Thomson (flute) and Iain Sandilands (percussion)

Prize-winning fiddler Jenna has appeared all over the world with Shetland fiddling sensations Filska, Scottish super group Deaf Shepherd and Dochas.
Nominated as Best Instrumentalist at the 2007 Scots Trad Awards, Jenna is undoubtedly one of the finest fiddle players to grace the traditional music scene.

Young, gorgeous and inordinately talented, utterly captivated the audience from start to finish The Scotsman

the leading fiddler of her generation in Scotland …expect sparks to fly - and a good greet when she puts her heart and soul into the sad tunes The Herald

Saturday 22 November in the Music Hall
“Grand Concert” at 7.30pm

Kevin Burke
According to the New York Times, one of the greatest Celtic fiddlers alive, Kevin Burke’s sparkling, lyrical playing is thoughtful, measured and expressive, seeking to bring out (in his own words) “the element of joy underlying even the most plaintive melody.”

Raised in London, Kevin Burke came to prominence as a member of the Bothy Band and later collaborated with performers such as Kate Bush, Arlo Guthrie and Christy Moore. Long since settled in the United States, a member of bands such as Patrick Street and Celtic Fiddle Festival, he received a National Heritage Fellowship Award in 2002, that country’s highest honour in the traditional arts. In 2005, he was named one of Irish America’s Top 100 by Irish America Magazine.

Jock Tamson’s Bairns
Norman Chalmers (concertina, whistles), John Croall (vocals), Derek Hoy (fiddle), Rod Paterson (vocals, guitar) and Anna-Wendy Stevenson (fiddle)

For thirty years, Jock Tamson’s Bairns have been Scotland’s leading players of inventive acoustic music on authentic instruments. Eschewing synthesizers, sequencers or didgeridoos, their whistles, squeeze boxes, jaw harps, moothie, guitar and bodhran provide a refined accompaniment to Scots songs and ballads, and exciting arrangements of intricate, fast dance tunes. Members of the Bairns have contributed hugely to the Fiddle Festival throughout its life; we are delighted to have them on the main stage this year.

a benchmark of taste, sensitivity and quietly authoritative musicianship…brimful of sparkle and finesse…as good as you’ll hear anywhere  Sunday Herald.

Mhairi Hawksworth (fiddle, piano), Amy Corfield (fiddle, banjo), Keegan Gordon (piano, Clarinet)

MAK play an exciting mix of traditional and new Scottish tunes with a distinctive classical and jazz-influenced piano accompaniment. Already well-known on the festival circuit, they were semi-finalists in the Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

MAK play with sensitivity, energy and creativity that belies their age, but most importantly they just love playing Kirsty Cotter, RSAMD

And Lots More (full details in September Press Release or at )

There will be a full programme of daytime recitals, workshops, talks, ceilidhs, late-night cabaret, open stage.

Workshops feature tuition of fiddle from all over Europe (Scots of course, Irish, Danish, Finish and Asturian), Mandolin, Mixed Instruments, Viola, Cello, Playing with Pipes, Fiddling for Classical Musicians, which also gives some indication of the range of day-time recitals on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23.

In addition to our popular programme of Talking Fiddles, there will be a Fiddle Walk around Edinburgh (new this year).

And always food, drink, company, sessions, atmosphere and ambiance in the place that is the real star of the show, the Assembly Rooms at its very best.
Please visit the website for more details, pictures, etc.

How to Book Tickets

Booking opens 1st October
Phone 0131 473 2000
Open Mon-Fri 10am – 5pm

In Person before the Festival

Hub Tickets, The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE
Open Mon –Fri 10am – 5pm

In Person during the Festival
Tickets on sale at venue
The Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2LR
Friday 21st   2-8pm
Saturday 22nd  9.30am – 8pm
Sunday 18th  10am-6pm
By Post Brochure (phone or email to request copy) contains a booking form

Day tickets, Concert tickets, Late Event tickets may be purchased at

Further Queries about Ticketing

Helpline 0131 555 7669

Further Press Information

Permalink - Posted: September 3, 2008 at 11:36 am