Atlantic Canada’s first and only “new trad” Celtic festival explores Celtic-Acadian musical links in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia this weekend.
Fittingly, Acadian powerhouse trio Vishtèn will headline the fourth annual Re-Jigged: A Celebration of New Celtic Music & Dance.
Known worldwide for its fiery trad sound, Vishtèn is fuses Celtic and Acadian genres with a modern rock influence, and was recently nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award as “Ensemble of the Year.”
Along with Vishtèn, this year’s event features its largest roster yet of workshops and seminars – 24 in all – covering music, dance, language and storytelling, from beginner to master levels, along with a children’s Gaelic program. The always sold-out Gala Concert and popular late-night ceilidh dance at Christ Church Hall top-off the festival.
“What sets Re-Jigged apart from other festivals? Our focus on learning, collaborating and creating – along with great entertainment,” says festival founder Glenn Coolen.
Joining Vishtèn as featured performers and instructors for Re-Jigged 2013 are some of the leading innovators in new trad Celtic arts, including;
• Scott Macmillan, one of Canada’s top performers/composers/arrangers, who will lead the Re-Jigged Celtic Music Ensemble in a new arrangement, with original choreography by Irish sean-nos dancer Kieran Jordan of Boston.
• Scots singer-songwriter Andy Webster and fiddler Eilidh Buchanan
• Sean-nos step dance sensation Brian Cunningham of Connemara, Ireland
• Award-winning author Alexander MacLeod
• Patricia Murray, one of the Canada’s foremost Gaelic and traditional singers, and
• Modern Irish step dancer Zeph Caissie, who toured internationally for seven years with Riverdance, and Christiane Theriault, Acadian step dancer and an original member of Grand Dérangement.
There’s plenty of new stuff on this year’s agenda as well;
• More music workshops – and introducing didgeridoo, piano accordion, Acadian fiddle, Scottish-style fiddle for youth and “Trad Mutts” – a workshop for players looking to explore trad styles beyond Celtic.
• Expanded dance program – Featuring workshops in Irish sean-nos dance with Brian Cunningham and Kieran Jordan, Acadian step with Christiane Theriault; “Trading Steps,” featuring instructors from three percussive traditions: old-style Irish, modern Irish and Acadian; and a noon-time primer on basics of traditional social dance – just in the time for the ceilidh that evening.
• Celtic Storytelling with author Alexander MacLeod.
• Preventing Overuse Injuries: One-on-one, customized clinical assessments by health care professionals, specially designed for musicians, dancers and singers.
“At Re-Jigged, trad meets new trad,” says Coolen. “Here we take tradition and build on it through learning, sharing and discovering. It’s this intense, creative vibe and new trad focus that defines Re-Jigged.
“You could say we’re creating tomorrow’s traditions.”