Gráinne Brady confirmed for July


11 Feb 20
by Nathon Jones

Gráinne Brady

We are delighted to have secured outstanding fiddle player and composer Gráinne Brady for this year's Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival. Gráinne will perform on Saturday 11th July at the McMillan Hall along with Ulaid. It's going to be some night!

Gráinne Brady is a Glasgow based fiddle player and composer, originally from Co. Cavan, Ireland.

Coming from a musical household in Loughduff, Gráinne’s Dad was her first fiddle music teacher. She then went on to perform regularly at traditional music festivals throughout Ireland and rapidly built from that a broad repertoire of tunes. Her fiddle playing style emanates from the musical lyricism of counties Cavan, Leitrim and Clare, and has more recently evolved to incorporate newfound Scottish influences.
Gráinne’s style of music is tethered by tradition while spanning the sky-wide scope of a composer’s imagination.

Gráinne’s debut solo album, 'The Road Across the Hills', was inspired by the 1914 novel 'Children of the Dead End', which is considered canonical in classic Irish and Scottish literature. Thanks to her Dad, Gráinne and her siblings were early advocates for the writings of Donegal born Patrick MacGill. All of this came alive again for her in Glasgow, culminating in her first album. Gráinne recognised MacGill as a significant literary witness to a very particular and unexplored story of poverty among the Irish and the Scottish at the time, depicting the unthinkable hardships endured by the so-called lower classes, the navvies, the potato pickers, the down-trodden. She composed all the music herself, much of it within the traditional idiom, and the album is enriched by the writer’s poetry, recited by Donegal native and fiddler, Jack Houston.

"...a composer of enormous talents.  ...Her composition approaches take many directions, all of which show unique connections to the chosen stories behind each piece, from magical rhythms to roaring high tempo melodies, all of which connect to you as a listener. " - Pádraig Rynne, NOTIFY

"Irish/Scottish and contemporary influences infuse Brady’s vibrant rhythms and rich lyrical patterns, illuminating peaks and troughs of the emigrant experience and the extremities of poverty. Arrangements evoke both adversity and lively inner strength." - RnR Magazine 5*****

"This is an intoxicating piece of work, and while individual excerpts enthral, its effectiveness is best engaged within its seamless unity when its manifold beauties, strengths, diversions and unexpected twists can be best enjoyed." - The Living Tradition

Gráinne’s second solo album 'Newcomer', produced by award winning musician and composer Mike Vass, is currently under production with guest musicians; Innes White (guitar), Andrew Waite (accordion), Michael Biggins (piano), Steve Forman (percussion), Christine MacGinley (French horn), Seonaid Aitken (violin), Sarah Leonard (viola), Su-a Lee (cello), Tina Jordan Rees (flute) and Jack Houston (spoken word). Newcomer will focus on the story of Norah Ryan, a literary heroine explored in MacGill’s novel The Rat Pit – Norah was a woman of strength and beauty, who nevertheless was vulnerable to poverty, sexual exploitation, and great emotional loss.

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In Other News


Key Worker Discount for 2021

As a thank you to everyone who is working on the front line to protect and support us all during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, Trad Music Trust would like to offer a 50% discount on Weekend Passes for Key Workers for next year's festival over 9th-11th July 2021.

12 May 20
Nathon Jones

Festival Re-scheduled for 2021

Just now, we would usually be full-steam-ahead with preparations for the annual Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance festival, due to take place over 10th-12th July 2020. It is with a very heavy heart indeed, therefore, that we announce the cancellation of this year's event.

12 May 20
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Trad Music in South West Scotland

Join Aaron & Nathon Jones live from their respective living rooms on Sat 28th March to help raise funds to support The Vault Arts Centre, Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival, Girvan Folk Festival, Moniaive Folk Festival and Port Logan Big Skies Folk & Roots Festival.

27 Mar 20
Nathon Jones

Sponsorship support from:
  • Baillie Gifford Logo

7th annual music festival

The 7th annual Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival will now take place over the 9th-11th July 2021 following the Trust's decision to re-schedule this year's event due to Covid-19. We are in negotiation with the artists booked for this year and hope to secure them all for 2021, plus a few extra surprises, so we'll be back with another packed programme of traditional music and dance next year. We hope you'll join us.

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