Welcome to the 2017 Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival: Crossroads of Tradition
Hundreds, maybe thousands of years ago, Spanish Peaks Country became an intersection of cultures and traditions. Indigenous natives, Spanish explorers, mountain men, traders, work seekers, and homesteaders migrated from foreign lands to hunt, mine, farm, and survive in the region. Over time folks began to gather together in places they named La Veta, La Plaza de los Leones (now known as Walsenburg), Gardner, and Cuchara.
People of many backgrounds were brought together by shared stories, music, song, and dance.
Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival (SPICMF) has been perpetuating these customs during the last full weekend of September for over a decade. It has been a preferred place to meet with others who share a passion for the various sounds from Celtic cultures that have been often separated by time, miles, and local traditions. Musicians have come from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain to teach and perform. In the process, musical connections have been made and enjoyed not just through regional representations but also from spotlighting connecting genres from Jazz to Americana.
The folks behind SPICMF will again bring some of the best musicians in the world to perform, inspire, and experience the magic of Spanish Peaks Country September 21-24. Festival-goers will come from near and far to listen, learn, sing, dance, and celebrate. The events of the days ahead are designed for all levels of interest and budgets and are offered in a relaxed environment. SPICMF encourages you to be open to the unique festival opportunities – whether you just want to dip in a toe or immerse your whole being, this is your weekend. Enjoy!
Thanks again to our volunteer festival staff and folks who support this event with their time, talents, and resources, and the performers and festival-goers who make this fest happen.
All the best,
Pat McCullough, Artistic Director
2017 Featured Performers
Old Blind Dogs
Jonny Hardie, Aaron Jones, Ali Hutton, Donald Hay
“The skill, talent, and verve with which they played belied their laddishness and the crowd responded with thunderous applause. Folk is the new rock and roll.” – Evening News
“The Old Blind Dogs play with a compelling energy and intoxicating rhythm; players and audience seem to share a wild ecstasy of emotion.” – The Scotsman
The Screaming Orphans
Joan, Angela, Grainne, and Marie Therese Diver
“These sisters… have some of the most beautiful voices and intoxicating harmonies I have ever heard.”
– Jane Roser, That Mag
“Paddy Keenan returned to Celtic Connections and presided over one of the most white-hot, gloriously musical displays in… the Royal Concert Hall history.” Rob Adams – Glasgow Herald
“Lyric, fluid and precisely as tricky as he needs to be…probably the greatest Irish fiddler living.” – The Village Voice
“Burke imparts a rhythmic intensity that is remarkably powerful…a superior instrumentalist in any idiom…impressively virtuosic.” – The New York Times
“Iain and Joanna are big talents. Big… Joanna’s fiddle work can be blazing, but is always beautifully controlled and tasteful. She is a fiddle star already…[Iain’s] guitar is VERY current, hip, fab chords and runs—but all very tasteful and intuitively grasping how to support the fireworks being brought by the fiddle.” – Chicago Irish American News
Tadhg O’Meachair (Goitse)
“Tadhg O’Meachair rocked the house on accordion.” – The Columbus Dispatch
“…a writer of timeless-sounding, emotionally powerful and often hilarious songs… among the most respected guitarists, singers and songwriters in Celtic music.” – The Boston Globe
“One of the finest singers to come out of the Scottish Folksong Revival… one of Scotland’s best singing exports…”
Mairtin de Cogain
“Mairtin has really impressed me with his passion and knowledge of the Irish tradition – be it singing, inventive bodhran playing, or storytelling. The man has a natural, engaging way with people.” – Jimmy Crowley
Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald
“A cocktail of tradition, distilled like a pure drop of the Canadian Maritimes, their unique blend of driving dance music transcends boundaries – equally at home at a kitchen ceilidh or on a late night festival stage… Fiery, fresh, yet totally traditional.” – Alex Monaghan, Piping Today