Glasgow's Celtic Connections Festival gets under way

Celtic Connections More than 2,000 acts will perform across the city over the next 18 days

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Glasgow's winter festival Celtic Connections is officially way later.

The Mavericks, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Salif Keita and Dougie MacLean are among 2,100 acts at this year's event.

A special tribute concert will also be staged to honour the late Scottish folk legend Michael Marra, who died last October, aged 60, from cancer.

The festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, will see acts perform at dozens of venues across the city from 17 January to 3 February.

This year's event got under way on Thursday morning with an impromptu performance from flamenco guitar player Vicente Amigo and his band on the steps of Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall.

Fresh talent

Donald Shaw, artistic director of Celtic Connections, said: "This January, Celtic Connections turns 20 and we've got a superb line-up of musicians to help us celebrate the occasion.

"Many artists performing over the next 18 days have been involved in the festival for a number of years but there is also an array of fresh new talent being showcased.

"Every year we explore the connections between Celtic music and other musical genres, as well as with cultures across the globe. This year, the programme is the most diverse yet."

The festival was first staged in 1993 as a way of filling the Royal Concert Hall's January schedule.

It has now grown into one of the largest winter festivals in the world.

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