Media Release: Upcoming festival celebrates and develops North Sea links


A FESTIVAL that celebrates Scotland’s links with Scandinavia expands its programme and reach later this month.

Northern Streams, based in Edinburgh, will include a concert in Inverness, a new Sunday afternoon music session and a Scandi/Scottish ceilidh – where people can try dances from Scandinavia along with more familiar Scottish ones.

It also is part of the celebrations of the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA)’s 50th anniversary.

Fiona Campbell, festival co-organiser, said: “We think 2016 has an exciting programme of artists who are familiar to Scottish audiences and festival participants who come from further afield, as well as those they are yet to discover, in keeping with the TMSA’s approach over the last 50 years.

“For example, Aly Bain first played on the mainland of Scotland at one of the TMSA Blairgowrie Festivals in the ‘60s.”

Guests helping with the celebrations between 21-24 April are:

• The Quiggs – Stephen (from the McCalmans) and Pernille Quigg: singing duo – Scotland/Denmark
• Ingunn Bjørgo and Åasmund Reistad: diatonic accordion and guitar duo – Norway
• Sally Simpson and Markus Räsänen: fiddle and free bass accordion duo – Scotland/Sweden
• Sandy Brechin: accordionist – Scotland
• Amy Henderson: accordionist and singer – Scotland
• Laine Ruus – Scandinavian Dance tutor currently based in Scotland
Besides separate performances, the festival musicians will be collaborating in a massed Northern Streams Ceilidh Band, led by Sandy Brechin, on the Saturday night.

The festival programme includes workshops from beginner to intermediate levels such as songs from Scotland and Denmark; Norwegian, Scottish and Swedish tunes plus a chance to learn easy Scandinavian folk dances in preparation for Scandi/Scottish ceildh.

There are also two sharing sessions and two evening concerts – all again at its home venue, the Grassmarket Centre, a community social enterprise which helps build skills and confidence in people.

The Centre’s music group will be taking part in the festival including the Sunday Session.

The Northern Streams Festival – runs 22-24 April 2016, in Edinburgh with a pre-festival evening concert on Thursday 21 April in Inverness at Hootananny, featuring our Norwegian duo – Ingunn Bjørgo and Åasmund Reistad – and Amy Henderson with Brian Ó hEadhra.

The event is organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh & Lothians Branch.

For details and to book: visit; email:;
tel: 0795 191 8366 or find us on Facebook – TMSAEdinburghandLothians and Twitter @northernstream1.

Thanks to funding support from Creative Scotland and the Norwegian Consulate General.

Notes to editors and listing details:

• Publicity photos of all the performers are available electronically please tel: 07951 918366 (Fiona) or email: for them or any other queries. The festival programme is outlined at the end of this release.

• Described as “…something out of the ordinary” by The Herald, throughout the years Northern Streams has showcased performers often new to Scottish audiences, offering opportunities to learn about different cultures around the North Sea through a mix of concerts and workshops.

• Further details on the events taking place and performers (including weblinks) are at or on Twitter: @northernstream1 and Facebook:

• Concert tickets are £11/9; workshops £7.50/5.50; All in One festival tickets are £30/24. Concessions are over-60s, students, unemployed, disabled, Young Scot and TMSA members. Tickets are not available at the venue except during the festival times. Online bookings are available through EventBrite. The Inverness concert is free entry.

• The event is organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh & Lothians Branch. Details about the Branch at:

• We are again at our ‘new’ festival venue, the Grassmarket Centre, is the home of the Grassmarket Community Project — a social enterprise helping many people in the city gain new skills and confidence, with profits used to create new opportunities and activities. A café/bar is available at venue plus plenty of other options available locally.

• The Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) was formed in 1966 as an organisation to promote, present and preserve the traditional music and song of Scotland. Its first events were annual festivals based in Blairgowrie, bringing together many of the finest exponents of the traditions as well as the new faces. Current projects include the TMSA Event Calendar and TMSA Young Trad Tour of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year finalists. For its 50th anniversary, the TMSA has worked with Collins to get Norman Buchan’s iconic ‘101 Scottish Songs’ (Wee Red Book) reprinted after 40 years of being out of print as well as being celebrated at the Opening Concert of Celtic Connections 2016. The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 and a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7EH. Website:

• Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

The festival programme:

Thursday 21 April – Hootananny, 67 Church Street, Inverness IV1 1ES

• Ingunn Bjørgo and Åasmund Reistad: diatonic accordion and guitar duo – Norway

• Amy Henderson: accordionist and singer – Scotland with Brian Ó hEadhra – guitarist and singer.

Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA

Friday 22 April: Evening Concert @ 7.30pm

Sally Simpson and Markus Räsänen (Scotland/Sweden). Fiddler, Sally Simpson teams up with Markus Räsänen – musician, composer and arranger in a new duo, to explore their love of Nordic and Scottish music.

The Quiggs (Scotland/Denmark)

‘The Quiggs’ is the new husband and wife duo of Stephen – long established folksinger and former member of the legendary band, ‘The McCalmans’ and Pernille, originally from Denmark also a folksinger and songwriter.

Sat 23 April: Northern Streams Workshops

Choose one of the two options per time slot. (Children aged nine-plus are able to attend workshops, as long as they are at the level specified and accompanied by an adult.)

10.00am-12.00pm: 1. Scottish Songs (Stephen Quigg): For all, including beginners


2. Swedish tunes and accompaniment (Sally Simpson and Markus Räsänen): Learn tunes from this duo’s repertoire. For all melody instruments – Intermediate level upwards.

12.45-2.45pm: 1. Danish Songs (Pernille Quigg): No prior knowledge of Danish required! For all, including beginners


2. Norwegian tunes and accompaniment (Ingunn Bjørgo and Åasmund Reistad): Learn tunes from this duo’s repertoire. For all melody instruments – Intermediate level upwards.

3.00-5.00pm: 1. Playing for dancing (Sandy Brechin): For all melody instruments – Intermediate upwards


2. Scandinavian dances (Laine Ruus): Explore the shared dance traditions and be prepared for the evening ceilidh! For all including beginners.

5.00-6.30pm: Sharing session with all invited guest performers and participants to get a chance to share what they have learnt from the workshops and performances. (Free with any ticket)

Evening concert @ 7.30pm: Ingunn Bjørgo and Åasmund Reistad (Norway) Award winning accordionist, formerly with traditional dance band Askerladden, Ingunn Bjørgo, teams up with Åasmund Reistad – guitarist and top arranger for Norwegian folk and jazz music.

The Northern Streams Ceilidh Band – led by Sandy Brechin

As part of the celebrations for the TMSA’s 50th anniversary this year, we’re bringing all our musicians together to create one big ceilidh band and extended the second half of our concert, to give you to opportunity to try out Scottish and Scandinavian dances – led by Laine Ruus and Sandy Brechin – or you can just listen to the combined sounds of Scotland and Scandinavia!

Sunday 24 April 1.30-4pm

Afternoon Sharing Session in the Grassmarket Café with the Grassmarket Project Music Group

Chill out on the Sunday afternoon – bring along your tunes or songs from Saturday workshops, or your own repertoire, or enjoy listening! All welcome – free to attend.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by TMSA. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on Email here for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

Check out too,, and

To catch up on all the media releases recently posted on to, you need only click the link icon that you see towards the bottom right of our two media release ‘gateway boxes’. 

Link iconIt’s this icon, here. It’s your route straight into the rich archive.

TMSA contact details…

Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366