Bring Your Fiddle! Plans are well underway to create what we believe is the first ever Fiddlers Rally in Barbados. Jeana Leslie from Orkney with Scottish Rally Champion Kenny Hall from Newtown St Boswells will be taking part in the SOL Motor Rally in Barbados on the same weekend as the Festival – Kenny has taken part over 15 years and won five of those races!
Working with the local Suzuki Violin School of Barbados and the Scottish folk band FARA from the Scottish Orkney Isles led by award winning musician Jeana Leslie, (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk artist of the year) who herself has family connections with Barbados, the Fiddlers Rally aims to celebrate the cultures of both countries, Scotland and Barbados.
Barbados is a Caribbean island and part of the Commonwealth, and gained its independence 50 years ago in 1966 – so this year is a year filled with celebrations.
There are so many connections between Scotland and Barbados, not least the St Andrews Parish, St Andrews Church, Scotland District in Barbados, and the St Andrews Cross held by the hands of a slave on the Barbados emblem found on every Dollar coin.
The Barbados Celtic Festival is a fusion of music and food from the Celtic countries of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, with the West Indian Island of Barbados. Musicians from Nova Scotia have also taken part.
Following on previous years, where performances were enjoyed from folk legends – Eddi Reader, the Peatbog Faeries and John McCusker, Alan Kelly Gang and Heidi Talbot, the Barbados Celtic Festival brings together some of Scotland’s finest folk music and this year fuses it with the local music on the island. For the first time, visiting holidaymakers are invited to join in the Fiddlers Rally and a series of fiddle workshops will be held as rehearsals in the run up that week.
Head Chef for the Festival is award winning Paul Wedgwood, from Wedgwood the Restaurant, in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. He will be making a unique recipe of Bajan Haggis, with the local black belly sheep. Paul has some secret recipes to blend in this year’s festival for everyone to enjoy, and will be introducing some Scottish ideas to the Sunday Buffet lunch at Atlantis Hotel on the East coast on Sunday 29th May.