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An exploration of our common musical roots featuring Bruce Molsky and Special Shetland Guests

Shetland Arts is privileged to welcome Shetland Meets Appalachia – an exploration of our common musical roots featuring Bruce Molsky and Special Shetland Guests, to Shetland in November, and to Mareel specifically on Saturday 17 November.

Bruce Molsky stands today as the premier old-time fiddler in the world, the defining virtuoso of North America’s (and Appalachia’s in particular) timeless folk music traditions. In addition to a prolific solo career, performing on fiddle, guitar, and banjo, Molsky frequently joins genre-busting supergroups, like the Grammy-nominated Fiddlers Four, Mozaik and Celtic giant Donal Lunny. He featured on Nickel Creek's farewell tour, and performs in a trio with Scottish fiddler Aly Bain and Sweden's great Ale Moller. He’s also a regular guest on the famed ‘Trans-Atlantic Sessions’ concerts and TV shows series.

Bruce Molsky

Appalachian musical tradition and authenticity deeply informs Bruce music – but his influences and skills reach out much wider than that. Whether performing an ancient reel from Virginia, a Swedish waltz or a loping cowboy ballad, Molsky also presents himself as exactly who he is personality wise and that’s perhaps the key to his enormous appeal as a live performer. He’s a unique blend of musical virtuoso and humble, all-round nice guy that is quite simply irresistible to audiences.

For his second visit to Shetland (his first was as part of this years’ Trans-Atlantic Sessions concert) Bruce will be teaming up and collaborating with some of Shetland’s finest home-based musicians such as Gary Peterson, Maurice Henderson, Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson, the Cullivoe Fiddlers, the Heritage Fiddlers, and Sheila Henderson (to name but a few) to explore the roots and commonality between the North American and Shetland traditions – taking in concerts in Muckle Roe, Cullivoe and Mareel along the way, together with a series of school based and adult fiddle workshops into the bargain. In addition to this groups such as Hom Bru, Haltadans and Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag will also be joining Bruce to add further to the musical fireworks that are bound to be created during this visit.

Special Shetland Guests

“I’m so looking forward to this visit” says Molsky. “The common elements between our two musical heritages and traditions are there for all to see and this factor has attracted me for some time, so I think it will be a very exciting and rewarding visit and I’m especially looking forward to working with and alongside all your great Shetland musicians. Who knows where the music will take us – but I’m certain it will be a very exciting journey for all concerned”.

Lisa Ward, Marketing Officer at Shetland Arts said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Bruce and all the local acts to celebrate the Official Opening of Mareel. Shetland Meets Appalachia is a fantastic representation of Mareel’s ethos and I’m sure audiences will be in for a real treat.”

Davie Gardner of local firm Atlantic Edge Music Services said "It's been a genuine privilege for me to be such a significant part of the planning for, and delivery of, Mareel's Opening Season of events, especially the official opening weekend events featuring Aberfeldy, Chris Bradley, Bruce Molsky and Dougie McLean - not forgetting of course all our wonderful, homegrown local artists into the bargain. The series of concerts, including ones in Muckle Roe and Cullivoe, together with the various music related workshops aimed at our younger musicians, demonstrates Shetland Arts commitment to both a local and international programme of events in Mareel and indeed beyond. I look forward to being part of more exciting announcements in the very near future."

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