Celtic Connections, widely regarded as Europe’s premier folk and roots music festival, launches in Glasgow on Thursday 19th January.

The 30th edition will be an 18-day event with 1200 musicians performing in 300 events at more than 25 venues across the city, running until Sunday 5th February.

The festival will pay homage to the last three decades, taking in tributes and references to musicians and groups who have been involved with the festival since the inaugural event, and ranging from a tribute to Scottish folk legend Jackie Leven, via a 10th anniversary celebration of Eigg-based record label Lost Map, to an an appearance by Bhundu Boy Rise Kagona, who tops a bill also including Diwan‘s fusion of funky mbalax and Afrobeat grooves, alongside Senegalese singer Samba Sene and Chief Cheb, a celebrated African philosopher, poet storyteller and music teacher.

International acts abound – Róisín Reimagined sees award-winning Irish singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and the Irish Chamber Orchestra team up, while on the same bill, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Ross Ainslie and Steven Byrnes will perform their new album ‘LAS’, a collaboration featuring tunes from France, Scotland, Bulgaria, Ireland alongside self-penned compositions.

There’s also Finnish artist Maija Kauhanen, who will perform with traditional trio Oakes // Bews // Thorpe, and talented accordion player and composer Andrew Waite.

Mali’s Rokia Koné will appear alongside the Togo All Stars, and other highlights include Malian husband-and-wife duo Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia, who will bring their blend of desert blues, Afro-pop, rock, disco and hip-hop to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 1st February.

Former Fence Collective member Rozi Plain will perform tracks from her upcoming fifth LP, ‘Prize’, with support from local artist Terra Kin, launching their debut EP ‘Too Far Gone’.

At Saint Luke’s on Saturday 4th February Hen Hoose – a collective founded by Tamara Schlesinger (aka MALKA) and including Karine Polwart, Emma Pollock, Jayda and Elisabeth Elektra amongst others – will perform tracks from their SAY Award-nominated album, while Man of the Minch aka Pedro Cameron, will do likewise with his debut long-player, ‘The Tide is at the Turning’.

And there are appearances from local favourites such as The Twilight Sad, Broken Chanter, Anna Meredith, Callum Easter, and James Yorkston in collaboration with Swedes The Second Hand Orchestra and The Cardigans’ Nina Persson.

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “It feels remarkable that in just a matter of days the 30th edition of Celtic Connections will kick off in Glasgow, celebrating all genres of music, a variety of world cultures, and bringing communities together from across the globe. A huge amount of work and preparation has gone into this year’s festival; it is testament to the strength and tenacity of the Scottish music industry, which has successfully overcome an incredibly tough period.

“We are so appreciative of the musicians and artists who have contributed in all manner of ways to Celtic Connections over the past three decades, and we will pay homage to them throughout the 2023 festival, as well as looking forward towards a bright and hopeful future. We look forward to seeing venues full, artists doing what they do best and the musical community thriving right across the city in a week’s time.”

Tickets for Celtic Connections 2023 are available from www.celticconnections.com.