I'm just back from the media launch for the 2012 Celtic Connections Festival which sweeps away the post Christmas blues and brightens up January/February. This, the 19th Festival, kicks off on the 19th January and runs until the 5th February.
The official launch of Celtic Connections takes place tonight, here at BBC Pacific Quay and will be broadcast live on Mary Ann Kennedy's Global Gathering with live guests Sol I Serena, Chasing Owls, Rab Noakes and The Ross Ainslie Trio as well as exclusive tracks from Rachel Sermanni and The BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad finalists. We're filming and photographing the event for the BBC Celtic Connections website.
Sol i Serena rehearsing
Chasing Owls and Ross Ainslie rehearsing for tonight's show.
As in previous years BBC Radio Scotland is hosting a number of live shows from Pacific Quay during Celtic Connections, these shows are free but are ticketed:
Tues 24 and 31 January: Mary Ann Kennedy's Global Gathering
Thurs 26 January and 2 February: Travelling Folk
Fri 27 January and 3 February: Another Country with Ricky Ross
Sat 4 February - Take the Floor from the Pearce Institute's MacLeod Hall
Sun 5 February - BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year live from City Halls.
Ricky Ross will also be presenting two shows for BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday 2 and 9 February.
Mary Ann Kennedy will be presenting four Late Night Sessions for BBC Radio 3 broadcasting from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall's Exibition Hall between Tues 31 January and Fri 2 February.
Finally, for BBC Scotland TV, our annual event recorded at the Old Fruitmarket takes place on the 23 January and will be broadcast at a later date.
Of course there are many many excellent concerts, collaborations and even musical theatre during the course of the three week festival. A few of the highlights include a Woody Guthrie centennial celebration; a tribute to Gerry Rafferty; a 40th anniversary concert marking 40 years since the conclusion of the historic Upper Clyde Shipbuilder Work In; Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, a Big Dish reunion; Transatlantic Sessions...
The full programme is now available on the Celtic Connections website.
We'll be launching our 2012 edition of BBC Celtic Connections shortly with footage from tonight's live Pacific Quay event and come January we'll have video, photographs and reviews from many of the Celtic Connections performances.