Award winning folk band Calan to play North Wales International Music Festival
A group of young musicians who give a fresh and vibrant sound to traditional Welsh music will be among the attractions at a top music festival.
Calan will bring their award-winning contemporary and lively approach to the North Wales International Music Festival at St Asaph Cathedral on Sunday, September 18.
The concert is part of an exciting and varied programme at this year’s festival which is celebrating its 50th anniversary and runs from September 17 to October 1.
Among the other highlights are performances by early music group Red Priest, the spectacular Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, along with resident orchestra NEW Sinfonia.
Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Bling in 2008, Calan have gone on to play to large audiences at concerts and many festivals, including the Cambridge Festival, Glasgow’s Celtic Connections, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, the Bromyard Folk Festival as well as the National Eisteddfod introducing a new generation of music fans to Welsh traditional music along the way.
As well as the UK, they band have been well received by audiences in the USA, Belgium, Italy and France and they won a best group award at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany.
Raise the roof
Calan normally comprise of five members but only four – Sam Humphreys (guitar), Patrick Rimes (violin), Bethan Rhiannon (vocals, accordion and step dancing) and harpist Shelley Musker Turner – will appear at St Asaph. Violinist Angharad Jenkins is currently on maternity leave having given birth to her son, Idris, a few weeks ago.
Violinist Patrick, who hails from Bethesda, near Bangor, said: “It’s a privilege to play in a building so steeped in history. With the audience’s help, we’re going to raise the roof. It’s going to be a great night.”
They will showcase their latest album, Kistvaen, at the concert. This critically acclaimed work was released just before lockdown and was toured live for the first time during April this year.
“Kistvaen is what we are about as a band,” said Calan’s guitarist Sam Humphreys, from Nefyn.
“We recorded it just before the first lockdowns, and we were gutted when we found out we could not take it on tour so we could show everybody our hard work.
“We spent hours handpicking our favourite tunes and songs from the national archives and gave them a new lease of life and now, at last, we have been able to share it.”
North Wales International Music Festival director Ann Atkinson said: “Calan perform traditional music delivered with a fresh, dynamic and vibrant sound.”
She added: “I can safely say it’s another great year and there are going to be some really exciting concerts that involve young people and members of the community working with leading international soloists.”
More details about the festival can be found online here and tickets also available from Cathedral Frames, St Asaph – 01745 582929 (Weds – Fri, 10 – 4.30) or Theatr Clwyd by phone only – 01352 344101 (Mon – Sat, 10 – 6).
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