September 27th – 29th sees Jura celebrate its 20th Music festival. There have been some fantastic acts over the years to grace the small, intimate stage of the Craighouse village hall including Dougie Maclean, Blazin Fiddles, Karen Matheson, and Manran to name a few. The festival has also prided itself in showcasing the up and coming stars of the folk scene with performances from students of traditional music courses and competitors from The Young traditional musician of the year competition.
This year the successful formula off mixing exciting established and emerging acts remains. BBC Radio Scotland young traditional musician of the year – Paddy Callaghan will open up proceedings with his band on the Saturday night followed by The Paul McKenna Band, Fiddle super group Session A9 and then a good old west coast ceilidh from Deoch ‘n’ Dorus. Mc for the night will be the Fantastic Kathleen MacInnes. Also on Saturday evening the best, west coast covers band will be performing in the Marquee – Pete Smoke and the Roaches.
Jura has been well known for a Sunday session in the past and what a session this music festival Sunday will be! The Young Trad Tour (winner & finalists from young traditional musician of the year 2013) will start things of in the distillery cooperage followed by the mighty Wolfstone. This concert will be from 5.30-8.30pm and there is a special 9.30pm ferry booked for those wishing to travel back to Islay. There will also be a free Trad music disco, the superb Islay Pipe Band, Sessions lead by Archie McAllister and much more.
So how did it all start back in 1994? Well in truth, it started many years before that and the first festival was perhaps a culmination and celebration of music on Jura. Jura, like Islay had a fantastic ceilidh house culture. Music and stories would be passed around at house parties at New Year and other times. Then, arguably stemming from that, David MacDonald and the Jura ceilidh band, the Boyles, the Rozga’s and the Moran’s etc would often be heard entertaining the locals and visitors alike on Jura and beyond.
In 1994 Celtic Connections had their first festival and the Duirach’s thought, why not create one here too and invite top folk artists over to play and create a weekend festival where locals can perform as well. With some of Jura’s musicians performing on the mainland it wasn’t too difficult to acquire contacts with acts willing to perform on Jura. Word soon spread that Jura was a great festival with a great village hall and enthusiastic audience and now it is a festival performers want in their diary. The Friday night of this year’s festival will remain true to Jura’s musical roots. There will be a local concert and ceilidh on the Friday night in the village hall featuring the previously mentioned local artists as well as many more giving a song or tune. There will also be sessions, workshops, open mic, children’s entertainers and much more throughout the weekend.
The Jura Music Festival would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the festival in one way or another for all their hard work, generosity and enthusiasm over the years, it couldn’t have happened without you. Come and help us celebrate! For more info and to buy tickets visit www.juramusicfestival.com or phone 01496820362