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Cherishing Blas - Ready for 2011

19th March 2011

Photograph of Cherishing Blas - Ready for 2011

This year's Blas Festival got off to a flying start with tickets starting to sell within hours of going on sale on 8 March. Despite concerns about funding dominating much of the latter part of 2010, the festival is going ahead and has programmed a core 20 events. News of additional funding is expected which will give the festival the support needed to programme further events in advance of its official launch in May, and enable Blas to deliver yet another successful series of events this September.

The festival will spreads its wings even wider this year to celebrate a greater taste of all that is Highland, including music, song, Gaelic language, local food, nature, poetry, literature, guided walks and other strands yet to be announced.

As usual Blas will celebrate the music of our Celtic cousins too, and artistes confirmed for Blas include American legends Cherish the Ladies, returning to Blas having been very well received in 2009. Celebrating 25 years as the most successful and sought-after Irish-American group in Celtic music history, Cherish The Ladies share their timeless Irish traditions passed down from fathers to their daughters. The all-female ensemble's spectacular blend of virtuosic instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing showcases all the facets of traditional Irish culture. It has been aid by the Boston Globe that "It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn't enjoy what they do".

Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies said: "We were absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Blas Festival a few years ago and can't tell you how happy we are to be invited back! We loved everything that the festival is about and it truly is an amazing traditional cultural experience for both the Highlands and for anyone thinking of visiting the region to take in the music, song and dance at the various venues all over the area while experiencing fantastic people and breathtaking views. On our European tour this September, we are making our only appearances in Scotland at the Blas Festival, so if you want to see 'the ladies' - we'll see you at Blas!!!!"

Other artistes confirmed to date are Karen Matheson and her band, Kathleen MacInnes and band, Corrina Hewat and Karine Polwart, Dimh, the Glenfinnan Cilidh Band, Addie Harper, Christine Primrose, Christine Stone, Darren MacLean, The Campbells of Greepe, Fiona J Mackenzie, Gabe MacVarish with Ross Martin and Luke Daniels, Iain Morrison and Daibhidh Martin, Maggie MacInnes and Colum Sands, The MacDonald brothers of Glenuig, Mairearad Green, The Monach Isle Cilidh Band and pupils from the Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music. Aonghas Grant will celebrate his 80th birthday with us in a special event at Invergarry and Gaelic chart-bidders Mnran will also be part of the line-up.

One of the defining features of the festival is the participation of so many young people from the Fis movement. Arthur Cormack of Fisean nan Gidheal said: "We are delighted that Blas is going ahead again this year. Despite having to reduce its funding commitment, the Highland Council has remained very supportive of the festival and Fisean nan Gidheal has been working hard to find alternative funding. Blas also offers a platform for the promotion of Gaelic and we have some exciting plans for this in 2011 and see the festival as an essential part of what we do since it gives the young people from the Fisean an opportunity to appear alongside some of the best Highland artists working in traditional music."

Festival Director Donna Macrae said: "Bringing their incredible talents and enthusiasm to Blas events, these young people are the ongoing strength of the traditions we hold so dear and they are the promise of a rich future cherishing both the ancient traditions and forging the new. We look forward to another wonderful celebration of Highland music and culture in all its aspects. We are grateful to all our funders and to the hundreds of people, including our promoters and volunteers, without whom the festival simply couldn't happen. This is a real Highland wide community endeavour."

Leader of the Highland Council, Dr Michael Foxley said: "Despite the difficult financial climate Highland Council is absolutely committed to supporting Blas which has become our paramount traditional music and cultural festival. In partnership with Fisean nan Gidheal we want to see Blas flourish and expand in the future."

For full details and tickets visit www.blas-festival.com

Blas Math!

B' e deagh thoiseach tiseachaidh a bh' ann do Fhis Bhlas na bliadhna-sa nuair a bha tiogaidean gan ceannach beagan uairean a thde s didh dhaibh a dhol air a' mhargaid air 8 Mrt. Ged a bha ceistean a thaobh maoineachaidh a' faighinn lmh an uachdair faisg air deireadh 2010, tha an fhis a' dol air adhart le 20 promh thachartas mar-th air a' phrgram. Tha dil cuideachd ri tuilleadh airgid agus bheir seo taic dhan fhis gus barrachd a chur ris a' phrgram mus tid a chur air bhog sa Chitean. Mar sin tha a h-uile coltas ann gum bi deagh shreath thachartasan againn san t-Sultain.

Bidh an fhis a' sgaoileadh a-mach nas fhaide buileach am-bliadhna airson blas nas fherr dhen Ghidhealtachd a thoirt seachad, a' gabhail a-steach cel, rain, cnan, biadh s an sgre, ndar, brdachd, litreachas, cuairtean-iil agus gu ler eile, le tuilleadh fiosrachaidh ga sgaoileadh a-rithist.

Mar as bhaist, bidh Blas a' comharrachadh cel ar cirdean Ceilteach cuideachd, agus am measg an fheadhainn a bhios a' gabhail pirt san fhis bidh Cherish the Ladies, a tha a' tilleadh gu Blas s didh moladh mr fhaighinn ann an 2009. A' comharrachadh 25 bliadhna mar aon de na cmhlain-ciil as soirbheachaile agus air a bheil an fhill as motha ann an eachdraidh cel Ceilteach, tha an cmhlan ireannach-Ameireaganach Cherish the Ladies a' toirt thugainn blas de na dualchasan ireannach a fhuair clann-nighean bhon athraichean. Tha measgachadh snraichte thlantan aig a' chmhlan-bhoireannach seo, eadar innealan-ciil, guthan lainn, riteachaidhean tarraingeach agus dannsaichean-ceum morbhaileach, a tha a' toirt gach taobh de chultar thraidiseanta na h-ireann cmhla chun an rd-rlair aig an aon m. Chaidh a rdh san Boston Globe nach gabhadh a chreidsinn gum biodh luchd-amhairc ann ris nach crdadh na tha an cmhlan a' danamh.

Thuirt Joanie Madden bho Cherish the Ladies: "Bha sinn air leth toilichte a bhith a' gabhail pirt ann am Blas bho chionn beagan bhliadhnachan agus chan urrainn dhomh innse dhuibh cho toilichte 's a tha mi gun deach ar fiathachadh air ais! Tha a h-uile cil mun fhis a' crdadh rinn agus 's e blas de chultar traidiseanta air leth cilear a th' ann dhan Ghidhealtachd agus do dhuine sam bith a tha a' beachdadh air tadhal air an sgre airson beachd fhaighinn air cel, rain agus dannsa ann an diofar iteachan air feadh na sgre agus, aig an aon m, a' cur elas air daoine cho cirdeal agus a' faicinn sheallaidhean cho lainn. Air ar cuairt Erpach san t-Sultain, tha sinn a' tadhal air Alba aon turas a-mhin - aig Fis Bhlas - mar sin, ma tha sibh airson ar faicinn, feumaidh sibh tighinn gu Blas!!"

Cuideachd air daingneachadh gu bheil iad a' tighinn chun na fis, tha Karen NicMhathain agus a cmhlan, Kathleen NicAonghais agus a cmhlan, Corrina Hewat agus Karine Polwart, Dimh, Cmhlan Cilidh Ghleann Fhionghain, Addie Harper, Cairistona Primrose, Cairistona Stone, Darren MacIlleathain, Caimbeulaich a' Ghrob, Fiona J NicCoinnich, Gabe MacBharais le Ros Mrtainn agus Luke Daniels, Iain Moireasdan agus Dibhidh Mrtainn, Magaidh NicAonghais agus Colm Sands, na Brithrean Dmhnallach Gleann ige, Mairearad Green, Cmhlan-ciil Monach Isle agus sgoilearan bho Sgoil Chiil na Gidhealtachd. Bidh Aonghas Grannd a' comharrachadh a cho-l-breith, is e 80 bliadhna a dh'aois, aig tachartas snraichte ann an Inbhir Garadh agus bidh an cmhlan Mnran cuideachd a' nochdadh air an rd-rlar.

'S e aon de na comharran as inntinniche mu shoirbheachas na fis gu bheil na h-uibhir de dh'igridh bho Fhisean air feadh na dthcha a' gabhail pirt. Thuirt Art MacCarmaig bho Fhisean nan Gidheal: "Tha sinn air leth toilichte gu bheil Blas a' tachairt air a' bhliadhna seo. Ged a thinig air Comhairle na Gidhealtachd nas lugha de dh'airgead a thoirt dhan fhis, tha a' Chomhairle fhathast air leth taiceil dhuinn agus tha Fisean nan Gidheal air a bhith trang a' sireadh airgid bho dhiofar sporain. Tha Blas cuideachd a' toirt dhuinn deagh chothrom inbhe na Gidhlig rdachadh agus tha beachdan matha againn a thaobh mar a n sinn seo ann an 2011. Tha sinn a' faicinn na fis mar phirt riatanach de ar n-obair oir tha cothrom aig an igridh bho na Fisean nochdadh air an rd-rlar ri taobh cuid dhen luchd-ciil as fherr a tha an ss ann an cel traidiseanta.

Thuirt Stiiriche na Fis, Donna NicRath: "Le tlantan agus misneachd air leth, tha an igridh a' cur na h-uibhir ri Fis Bhlas. Tha an igridh seo a' riochdachadh an neart a th' anns na dualchasan air a bheil sinn cho didheil agus tha iad a' toirt dhuinn dchas airson m ri teachd anns am bi na seann dualchasan agus feadhainn ra air am fighe cmhla. Tha sinn a' coimhead air adhart ri fis mhorbhaileach a tha a' comharrachadh gach snuadh de chel agus chultar na Gidhealtachd. Tha sinn a' cur luach air an taic a tha sinn a' faighinn a thaobh airgid agus air na ceudan dhaoine, ar luchd-rdachaidh agus saor-thoilich nam measg, oir cha bhiodh fis ann s an aonais. 'S e tachartas a tha seo a tha a' toirt na coimhearsnachd air fad air brd."

Thuirt ceannard Chomhairle na Gidhealtachd, an Dr Mcheal Foxley: "A dh'aindeoin duilgheadasan ionmhais an ama, tha Comhairle na Gidhealtachd gu tur dealasach ann an bhith a' toirt taic do Bhlas, a tha a-nis na promh fhis chiil is chultair san sgre. Ann an com-pirt le Fisean nan Gidheal, tha sinn airson Blas fhaicinn a' soirbheachadh is a' leudachadh san m ri teachd."

Airson ln fhiosrachadh agus tiogaidean, tadhail air www.blas-festival.com

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