HebCelt honour adds another string to Duncan’s bow

HebCelt's latest ambassador and Hall of Fame entry Duncan Chisholm
HebCelt's latest ambassador and Hall of Fame entry Duncan Chisholm

Internationally-renowned fiddle player Duncan Chisholm has joined an illustrious line-up of musicians to be recognised by one of Scotland’s leading festivals.

The award-winning artist has been invited into the Hebridean Celtic Festival’s Hall of Fame and has agreed to become an ambassador for the event.

Chisholm, who was nominated as Musician of the Year in the 2013 Radio 2 Folk Awards, made his name in bands including Wolfstone and is now a highly acclaimed solo artist and sought-after composer and accompanist.

He performed at the first HebCelt in 1996 and has made a number of appearances since, notably with Julie Fowlis in 2010 and 2012.

At this year’s 19th HebCelt he will be performing as a solo artist, accompanied by musicians representing the cream of the Trad Folk scene – Jarlath Henderson (uilleann pipes/whistles); Tony Byrne (guitar); Davie Dunsmuir (electric guitar); Ross Hamilton (bass); and Martin O’Neill (bodhrán / drums).

Duncan said: “The Hebridean Celtic Festival is a jewel in the Scottish music calendar. I was lucky enough to play the first festival and over the years I have seen it grow into a major international event.

“I am incredibly honoured to be invited into the Hall of Fame and will be delighted to represent this acclaimed festival as an ambassador.”

HebCelt’s Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to mark its 15th anniversary, and the first inductees were Julie Fowlis, Runrig and the Peatbog Faeries.

Since then it has been opened out to the audience to vote for outstanding performances or contributions to the event and Irish songstress Imelda May, Karen Matheson from Capercaillie, Dougie MacLean and local musician Jane Hepburn have also joined the elite group.

While ambassadors have no formal roles to perform, they help promote HebCelt and the Hebrides at home and abroad.

Caroline MacLennan, the festival director, said: “Duncan is a very worthy addition to our Hall of Fame, both as a musician and also for this support of the festival since the outset.

“He is a great ambassador for HebCelt and of traditional music in Scotland in general.”

This year’s HebCelt, based in Stornoway in the island of Lewis, will be held from July 16th to 19th and will be headlined by Levellers, Big Country and Donnie Munro.

It is hoped attendances will match the 16,000 that took in gigs over the four days last year, generating around £1 million for the local economy.

HebCelt has recently been selected for the fourth year in succession as one of the top ten UK summer festivals by music magazine Songlines.

It was hailed as one of the greenest festivals in the world after being the only Scottish event to receive an Outstanding award from environmental campaign group A Greener Festival.

It was also shortlisted in the Best Independent Festival category in the AIM Independent Music Awards and in the Greener Festival category in the UK Festival Awards, alongside nine other festivals, including Glastonbury.

In 2011 it was ranked Best Large Festival at the industry-sponsored Scottish Event Awards and it won Best Event of the Year award at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards in 2004 and 2009.

To find out more about this year’s HebCelt – inlcuding full line up and ticket sales – please visit www.hebceltfest.com