Call for any individual pipers and drummers who would like to join the Barbados Celtic Festival!
A Celtic Festival with a difference takes place on the sunny Caribbean island of Barbados at the end of May every year.
Professional musicians from Scotland’s iconic Eddi Reader, the Peatbog Faeries from Skye, fiddler John McCusker, singer Heidi Talbot, Ireland’s accordion player Alan Kelly Gang, the Mackenzie Brothers from Mabou Nova Scotia, Orkney band FARA, and piper Hamish Moore have headlined in recent years.
This year for the first time, a Pipers Parade is planned with individual pipers, drummers and pipe bands who will join in to one big band, called Pipefest.
Pipefest organised over 7,000 pipers to march through New York City after 9/11, and large gatherings of pipers and drummers at various locations and in various countries over the years.
This year Pipefest will be part of www.barbadoscelticfestival.com Concerts and events take place in locations around the island, from the sound of a fiddle or the pipes emanating from a wee tiny rum shop in the countryside, to live bands on stage on the Boardwalk with the beach and the sea as the backdrop at sundown on the Friday night.
The festival takes place on the same weekend as the SOL Barbados Motor Rally – which has many drivers and teams from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, with the pipers playing at the scrutineering event in the Rally.
“Last year we were delighted to have Borders rally champion Kenny Hall in his kilt at our events,” says Edinburgh based organiser of the Barbados Festival Carol Anderson. “Kenny has taken part and won many of the rally events in Barbados over the last 15 years. We are planning for our pipers to march Kenny and his rally team and Allan Mackay and his team and the rest of the Celts in to the scrutineering event at Warrens this year. It promises to be a whole lot of fun, and a spectacular display!”
“At the 2016 festival, we successfully fused our Scottish music with local Bajan musicians, which was all filmed by Scottish television for their “Grass Roots” special. We learned that the reggae drum beat comes from Scottish military drums heard on plantations 250 years ago. It was very moving.”
Scottish television also made “The Peoples’ History” programme which was broadcast in Scotland last October, tracing the roots of the Scots on the island today. Scots who were purged by Cromwell along with the Welsh and Irish, to the Caribbean and spent their lives as indentured servants.
“There is a great Scottish history in Barbados,” continues Carol Anderson. “People always ask me why we have a Celtic Festival in the Caribbean, but there is a tremendous history there and descendants still living. You’ll meet Bajans called Andrew, David and George, and find local surnames like Campbell and Clark. Many Bajans have told me about Scottish ancestors, grandfathers, and there’s a Scotland district and a Saint Andrews Parish and the Saltire cross in the Barbados emblem, just some of our strong connections with this amazing place.”