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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 20:14 GMT
Celtic Connections festival opens
Hands Across the Water album cover
Hands Across the Water has been described as a mini festival
Scotland's biggest winter music festival has got under way.

More than 250 events will take place across a dozen venues in Glasgow during the 14th Celtic Connections festival.

This year's event is the first under Donald Shaw - founding member of Capercaillie - who said he wanted to widen the remit of the festival.

Musicians opened Celtic Connections with a performance of the tsunami benefit album Hands Across the Water at the Royal Concert Hall.

The album, for victims of the Asian tsunami, featured more than 100 Celtic and Americana artists.

It has made $25,000 (£12,700) for children's projects.

Great community

The album was the brainchild of American singer Andrea Zonn.

She said: "The technological aspect of making this record meant people didn't meet face to face.

"This is the first meeting for some of the folks."

Prior to the concert a torch lit procession, involving pipe bands and a mass of blazing torches, will move from George Square to the Royal Concert Hall - led by Lord Provost Liz Cameron.

Performers will come from Canada, America, Africa and Uzbekistan, among other counties.

Irish band Clannad will perform their first live concert in 10 years.

Singer Máire Brennan said: "The thing about Celtic Connections is there is a whole community there is a great, great, feel throughout the city."

Celtic Connections runs from 17 January to 4 February.

BBC Scotland news website will provide news and reviews and the chance to have your say on the festival during Celtic Connections.

Watch more about the music event

Your views: Celtic Connections
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First night setback for festival
11 Jan 06 |  Scotland


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