Salsa Celtica is gearing up for an incredible 2014. They headline Glasgow's Celtic Connections on 24th January, quickly followed by a debut concert in Cartegena, Columbia, on 30th January, as part of the Hay Festival. Their new album, The Tall Islands, is released on 10th February and they embark on a 15-date UK tour in March.
Salsa Celtica's synthesis of Afro Latin salsa with Scottish and Irish traditional music is quite unlike anything else â€“ weaving together Afro Latin with Scottish-Gaelic sounds as if the two cultures grew up together. The band was founded in Edinburgh in 1995 and has gone on to spend many years touring the world and, amazingly for a Scottish salsa band, found fans and recognition in the Latin American and New York homelands of salsa as well as the Celtic folk and world music scenes.
Their fifth studio album, 'The Tall Islands' further explores their unique combination of Afro Latin salsa and Celtic cultures with new material, composed and developed on a back-to -roots "village hall" tour of Scotland's Highlands and Islands. This resulted in working with Scottish Gaelic song for the first time along with guajira, son and Afro Latin folkloric references, producing a final album that feels equally balanced between the two cultures.
There are seventeen musicians on the album â€“ with the usual international cast from Scotland, Cuba, Ireland, Argentina and England, including Gaelic speaking fiddler and singer, Megan Henderson, Cuban sonero and conga player, Ricardo Fernandez Pompa and Scottish piper, Ross Ainsley. Guests include the great Gaelic singer, Kathleen MacInnes, legendary London percussionist, David Pattman and Jarlath Henderson on uilleann pipes. For the third time Salsa Celtica joins forces with Calum Malcolm, a much respected producer who has worked with them on two previous albums.