AN array of live music, ceilidhs and dance will fill Edinburgh this spring, with Tradfest’s 2023 programme now unveiled.

The festival was launched in 2013 to showcase the very best of folk arts and provide a platform in the capital city.

Starting in late April, this year’s Tradfest will see hundreds of artists and musicians performing over 11 days.

Some of the headliners this year include two-time Grammy-winning American singer Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, who will kick off the festival at the Assembly Rooms on Friday, April 28.

The opening weekend will be packed with music, dance and song with the return of Pomegranates to celebrate International Dance Day.

Some of the musicians featured at the Traverse Theatre bar will be tenor banjo player Ciaran Ryan and his band, and pipers Rona Lightfoot and Allan Macdonald.

A new piece of music, Two for Joy, commissioned for the festival, will explore the use of birdsong in music and its positive impact on our mental health, as composed by award-winning harpist Ailie Robertson.

BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year 2023 Amy Laurenson with her newly formed trio will appear during the first week of the festival as well as cellist Juliette Lemoine from Glasgow.

The National: Amy Laurenson is performing with her newly formed trio.Amy Laurenson is performing with her newly formed trio. (Image: Edinburgh Tradfest)

Speaking at the launch, Laurenson said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be part of today’s event and to give everyone a taste of what to expect to hear from us.

“Winning Young Trad Musician of the Year was absolutely fantastic and I am super excited to see what the next year holds.”

Tradfest will also be organising a range of workshops and other performances including open-floor storytelling at the Waverley Bar with Ailsa Dixon.

For younger audiences, folklorist Allison Galbraith will be telling stories from her latest collection Funny Folk Tales for Children.

Daniel Abercrombie, programme and events manager at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, said: “Tradfest is a chance for us to celebrate a range of traditional arts through live performance and participation.

“The Storytelling Centre’s programme has themes of nature and the environment running through it, with ceilidhs, long-form storytelling, dance and song events, sitting alongside Celtic opera, BSL digital storytelling and family events.”

The National:

This year’s festival will be hosting the Rebellious Youth lecture in collaboration with Celtic and Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University.

Led by Gaelic singer and composer Mischa Macpherson, the lecture will explore mental health issues in the music industry.

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, said: “With its potent mix of music, dance, song and storytelling, Tradfest is a true reflection of Scottish culture – past, present and future.

“Newly commissioned work sits alongside favourites from the treasure trove of Scotland’s heritage, all of which is enriched by the international artists who are threaded through the programme.

“At a time when respect and tolerance for different cultures is under global threat, Tradfest offers a shining example of how we can celebrate both our shared humanity and our distinct traditions.”