Islay Sessions 2014

We are delighted to announce the following line-up for the 2014 Islay Sessions:

  • Rebecca Brown Trio
  • Fiona Dunn & Shona Masson
  • Tyde
  • Ali Levack Trio
  • Gráinne Brady & Tina Jordan Rees

Friday 14th to Sunday 16th November.

More details to follow.

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The Weekend Begins Now!

Islay Sessions 2013 kicks off on Friday night with a family ceilidh at Laphroaig.  We’re all set for another fantastic weekend.  Full details on the poster:

Islay Sessions 2013 Poster Image

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Announcing the Islay Sessions 2013

It’s time to start looking forward to this year’s spectacular Islay Sessions. Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th will be a weekend full of outstanding music from across Scotland (and Ireland). Here is a sneak peak at some of the line up.

Ross Couper & Tom Oakes

Ross Couper and Tom Oakes

Ross Couper and Tom Oakes

Fiddle and guitar duo, Ross and Tom have recently performed to great acclaim across Europe with sell-out tours of Norway and Denmark.  They’ve taken to the stage at world famous festivals such as Shetland Folk Festival and Tønder Festival in Denmark where they played to a 5000 strong outdoor crowd.

In 2011 they were nominated for ‘Best up and Coming Act’ in the Scottish Traditional Music Awards and were awarded a coveted 5 Star review for their performance at the Edinburgh Fringe. Ross is also the current fiddle player with Peatbog Fairies and Tom is the principle traditional flute and DADGAD guitar tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – not a lot to boast about.

Jarlath Henderson Band

Jarlath Henderson Band

Jarlath Henderson Band

When only 19, Jarlath had already been a three time All-Ireland Champion Uilleann Piper and in December 2003 he became the first Irish musician to win the prestigious BBC Young Folk Musician Of The Year. Jarlath, now a familiar face in Scotland playing both Scottish and Irish music, often joining forces with the Scottish piping and whistle force that is Ross Ainslie, Jarlath will be entertaining Islay Sessions audience with his own band.

Hannah Beaton & Innes Watson
The beautiful voice of Hannah Beaton will be melting away those icing November nights with her range of gaelic songs accompanied on guitar by a familiar face Innes Watson. Innes, previous MG Alba Scots Trad Music Instrumentalist of the Year winner and a member of what may seem like almost every Traditional band in Scotland – that has to be a sign.

More details to follow soon!

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Another Fantastic Concert

The Saturday night concert was fantastic with stunning performances from all of the musicians and a great ceilidh afterwards.  More photos to follow but a quick one of Rura to kick things off.

Rura at the 2012 Islay Sessions Concert

Rura at the 2012 Islay Sessions Concert

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Workshop Registration

The Islay Sessions workshops will take place at Islay High School from 10am to 2pm this Saturday 17th November.

This is a great chance to play, sing, dance and learn from some of the fantastic musicians that are on Islay this weekend. Options include fiddle, whistle, accordion, guitar, Gaelic song and step-dance.

If you are interested please register by email to

Soup and sandwiches will be available for lunch.

The workshops cost £10 for adults and £3 for children.

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Two Weeks to Go…

2012 Islay Sessions Poster A4

2012 Islay Sessions Poster

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Hamish Napier and Marc Duff

Marc Duff

Marc Duff

Just announced for The Islay Sessions 2012

Hamish and Marc first met 8 years ago in Glasgow, when Hamish visited Marc’s flat for a  whistle lesson! Two self-confessed nerds of Scottish whistle playing, Hamish and Marc put on a show of mighty Scottish traditional tunes as well as original compositions hot off the press! Each whistler take turns to accompany one another on either piano or bouzouki, and there is always scope for the unique chance of hearing a rare thing indeed: a brace of Scottish whistles! hearing a rare thing indeed: a brace of Scottish whistles!


Originally from Strathspey in the Scottish Highlands, Hamish Napier plays piano, flute, whistle and sings. He was a finalist in the ‘Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year Award’ and was nominated for ‘Best Up and Coming Artist’ at the Scots Trad Awards. For seven years he played with award-winning folk quartet Back of the Moon, touring extensively throughout Europe, Canada, and the USA. Hamish has recorded on over a dozen Scottish traditional albums, with leading Scottish musicians such as Donald Shaw, Martyn Bennett and Eddi Reader. He has collaborated with many of Scotland’s finest folk musicians, performing at major UK folk festivals, and appearing on national TV and radio. As a graduate in Applied Music from the University of Strathclyde, Hamish earned a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music to study jazz piano. He currently lectures in piano, composition, ensemble playing and music theory on the BA Scottish Music course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The Hamish Napier Quartet – Hamish’s folk/jazz cross-over group – have performed at Celtic Connections, and Hamish also plays flutes and sings in Scottish folk/funk fusion group Man’s Ruin.


Born in Ontario, Canada and raised in Argyll, Scotland, Marc was a founder member of the Scottish band Capercaillie with whom he recorded 7 albums which have sold over a million copies and included the first Gaelic, Top 40 single. His four year performance degree at the Guildhall School of Music in London added to Marc’s eclectic taste in music. Since leaving Capercaillie in 1995 to pursue his own career, he has worked with many prominent artists. Recently he has toured in Scotland with Dr Fred Freeman, presenting a series of workshops in connection with Linn Records ”The Complete Songs Of Robert Burns” series. In addition to live performances, Marc is currently researching and teaching. Marc was a nominee for BBC Alba’s Trad Music Awards, ‘Traditional Musician Of The Year’, in 2008.

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