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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Celebrated Scottish Artist Isla Ratcliff Set To Embark On First Ever Headline Tour Across Scotland

Celebrated Scottish artist Isla Ratcliff is set to take to stages across Scotland this spring as she plays her first ever headline solo tour.

Audiences at venues from Stonehaven to Tobermory can look forward to witnessing Isla’s impeccable fiddle playing, as well as hearing her soulful voice, as the musician prepares to display her versatility first-hand on stage.

The musician will be showcasing material from her debut album The Castalia, as well as singing a selection of new songs, with her talented trio, featuring Ellen Gira on cello and Iona Reid on piano.

Hailing from Edinburgh, Isla is well-known on the Scottish music scene as an extremely versatile composer, arranger, fiddle player and singer. Much of her inspiration comes from her love of traditional music, and the powerful sense of community it holds when bringing people of all backgrounds together.

Her album The Castalia features both traditional and self-penned tunes based on the time she spent in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 2019. The trip made a lasting impact on Isla musically, allowing her to uncover new repertoire, and inspiring a fresh approach to interpreting tunes, with the resulting album hailed as “quite the best debut album that has come this way in a long time” by Living Tradition.

Isla Ratcliff said: “The Castalia was a joy to create. I fell in love with the music, culture and people of Cape Breton, and by channelling my time spent there into this record, it makes the whole experience come to life again every time I play it.

“The music on the album is all about bringing people together, and it celebrates the power of music in doing so. I can’t wait to perform it to audiences in towns across Scotland, and experience that feeling of togetherness and community that only live music can bring.

“I’m excited to be singing on tour too, as well as playing fiddle. I’m really looking forward to performing with Ellen, who features heavily on the album, and Iona, both of whom are fantastic musicians. It’s a privilege to create music with them.”

Having grown up immersed in music, Isla was performing from an early age, and shared the stage with classical superstar Nicola Benedetti at Edinburgh Usher Hall at just 13 years old. More recently, she has performed at Celtic Connections, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the BBC Proms.

A graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Oxford University, Isla was also a semi-finalist in the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2022 competition and was nominated for Up and Coming Artist of the Year 2022 at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

Isla’s Scottish tour kicks off 12th April.


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