Congratulations to Kinnaris Quintet who has been nominated in Folk Band of the Year sponsored by Threads of Sound in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2022. Vote for Kinnaris Quintet now!. It’s going to be another great night at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards on Sunday 4th December in Dundee’s Caird Hall. Why not join us for a brilliant night of music and awards. Buy a ticket here.
We asked Aileen of Kinnaris Quintet the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Kinnaris Quintet have produced the perfect concoction of remaining faithful to their traditional roots, whilst delicately pushing the boundaries of tradition, bringing it to the forefront of exciting and modern music. Unable to hide their joy at making music together, the quintet perform with an enthusiasm that is infectious as anyone who has seen them live will attest. Kinnaris Quintet have become the folk band to see, with sell-out shows at Celtic Connections, appearances at most other major folk festivals, and prestigious music award nominations.
The Glasgow-based act burst onto the scene in 2017, releasing their debut album 'Free One' to critical acclaim, and their second highly-anticipated album 'This Too' in 2022. Since then, Kinnaris Quintet have gone on to be at the forefront of originality in the traditional music scene, including being awarded the 2019 Belhaven Bursary for Innovation in Music – the largest financial music prize in Scotland.
The band is renowned for their uplifting, fresh and powerful sound. Their records reflect the quintet’s focus on authenticity and manages to capture the energy and essence of their electric live performance.
Kinnaris Quintet features an all-strings instrumental lineup of fiddles from Laura Wilkie, Aileen Reid and Fiona MacAskill, mandolin from Laura-Beth Salter and guitar from Jenn Butterworth, wrapping the intricate and detailed harmonies in euphoric vocal pads and rhythm. While the members of Kinnaris Quintet are individually eminent musicians in their own right, their collaboration as a group has pushed their musical creativity to bold new heights.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
Hailing from different branches of the folk music family tree, all five members found an affiliation with each other within the community of the Glasgow trad music scene, as active, passionate, and long-serving musicians, steeped in Scottish music and culture. The band started from hearing each other play in sessions, absorbing the differences in tunes and styles. Kinnaris Quintet feel a great sense of pride and responsibility in driving Scottish music to the forefront of culture and celebrations. Each member brings a slightly different aspect of music to the table, with everything firmly rooted in Scottish roots.
Any particular career highlights?
Selling out almost every Celtic Connections show so far has been incredible, as well as being invited back year after year since we formed as a band in 2017.
After lockdown restrictions were lifted in 2022, coming back to perform for live audiences was so emotional. Particular highlights were Celtic Connections gig in St Lukes and the Winged Ox, and Skye Live. The audiences were out of this world, the atmosphere was unbelievable. Both gigs were real celebrations of life and music and were seriously special nights.
The collaboration opportunities we've been given are making us pinch ourselves a bit, as we joked and dreamed about doing this years ago…and now it's happening! To be writing and performing with some of our musical heroes, some seriously big names, is just so cool and a dream come true. But more than the big names and opportunity, we're eternally grateful to meet lovely people in this industry, and to be given the opportunity to make music and friendship blossom.
Other career highlights include having the opportunity to write, record, and release music, all of which wouldn't have been possible without the support of Belhaven Bursary, and Creative Scotland. We will never take for granted the importance and the support of financial help towards anything we do. Being recognised for the work we do to be important and worthwhile, is incredibly encouraging and motivating.
What are your plans for the future?
We have some exciting collaborations coming up which we are busy writing for, some of which haven't yet been announced…but we are so excited and honoured.
We have a real pinch ourselves, exciting show of our own with very special guests, Karine Polwart and Julie Fowlis, at Burns & Beyond Festival on Sunday 29th January, in Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms.
Another of our collaborations is with some incredible Scandinavian bands, Dreamers' Circus and Frigg on Sat 4th Feb 2022 in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at Celtic Connections.
We have live performances over 2023/2024 at various festivals and venues across the UK, Ireland, and Europe, most of which will be pastures new for us, so we are looking forward to performing for new audiences, as well as seeing the same friendly faces we love to see at all our gigs!
Kinnaris Quintet Social Media
The 2022 MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards are back to normal on the 4th December 2022! You will be able to watch it live in person (buy a ticket here),Watch it live in the UK at 9pm (GMT) on BBC ALBA and and around the world here. Bands performing on Sunday 4th December include Elephant Sessions, Fara, Trip, Eryn Rae Trio, The Auldeners, Gordon Shand Scottish Dance Band, Irish Minstrels, Tayside Young Fiddlers, and a James Alexander Tribute.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians why not become a friend of Hands Up for Trad. In addition to our high profile events like the Scots Trad Music Awards, we also deliver a less well known, education programme for young people from 8yrs right through to young adults at the start of their careers. Read more here.