16 facts about this year’s TradFest performers…

With a total of 90 events taking place all over the capital, the TradFest programme features a huge range of talents from Scotland and beyond. Before the feast of folk gets underway tonight, we dug up a few facts about some of this year’s performers…

1. The foreword to Fiona Ritchie’s book Wayfaring Strangers was written by none other than Dolly Parton.

2. Artie Trezise has been awarded the MBE for Services for Children’s Theatre – at the time, the Singing Kettle were the first band since The Beatles to be on the Honours List.

3. Storyteller John Barrington, who’ll be introducing films Padre Padrone and Tempus de Baristas, spent 25 years working as a shepherd.

4. The members of Altan have worked with many of the biggest names in music: Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton and Enya, to name but a few.

5. Moishe’s Bagel were named after member Phil Alexander’s great-uncle – and during their career, they’ve actually met two people named ‘Moishe Bagel’.

6. Mairi Campbell’s version of Auld Lang Syne (with David Francis as The Cast) was featured in the film Sex and the City (2008) after Sarah Jessica Parker heard her sing it for Sean Connery and Bill Clinton at the Lifetime Achievement Awards in Washington DC in 1999.

7. Blue Code Rose also has Hollywood connections: Ewan McGregor makes an appearance on his new album, narrating lyrics at the end of the song Glasgow Rain.

8. GOL lead vocalist Roxana Vilk is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made films for the BBC, Al Jazeera, MTV and many others.

9. Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son’s album 78rpm is so called because it was recorded on a 1937 78rpm recording lathe – the same one used by folklorist Alan Lomax.

10. Storyteller Nancy Nicolson was brought up in a croft in Caithness, where her family had a well for water and peat fires for warmth.

11. In addition to being an award-winning musician and the sideman to Al Stewart, Dave Nachmanoff has a PhD in Philosophy from UC Davis.

12. Talisk frontman Mohsen Amini recently won BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year – the first ever concertina player to take the title.

13. Lee Stetson has been depicting John Muir since 1983, performing to thousands at Yosemite National Park, in Ken Burns’ series The National Parks – America’s Best Idea, and in the recent MacGillivray Freeman IMAX Film National Parks Adventure.

14. Last year storyteller Daniel Serridge walked the length of the Scotland-England border, stopping in pubs along the route to tale tales of Thomas the Rhymer.

15. Alan Reid was a founding member of Battlefield Band, who he played with for over 30 years, performing in countries including Sri Lanka, Egypt and Uzbekistan.

16. Soundhouse Organisation started life as a series of gigs in founder Douglas Robertson’s living room. The very first one was by Dean Owens, appearing at TradFest as one of The Men From Leith.

Download the TradFest 2016 programme