Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita win fRoots Critics Poll Album of the Year

Tivyside Advertiser: Catrin Finch and Seckou Kieta  (2990131) Catrin Finch and Seckou Kieta (2990131)

Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita have won the prestigious 28th fRoots Critics Poll Album of The Year for their debut album Clychau Dibon.

The announcement was made in a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s World on 3, hosted by Lopa Kothari, and is the first time an album featuring a Welsh artist has won this Award. Clychau Dibon, released in October on the Astar Artes / Mwldan Label, was also runner up for the fRoots Best Packaged Album award.

The project and album is a co-production between Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan, and Astar Artes. The album was produced by John Hollis, who said: “This project is like water, flowing beautifully, all elements perfectly balanced within. It is a pleasure to work with such gifted, humble musicians and a fabulous production team. Thanks to everyone who is feeling the force, we are delighted to have won this award, especially when up against such an exceptional line up of artists.”

2013 has been a terrific year for Catrin and Seckou, starting with a triumphant showcase in October at the global music conference WOMEX 2013 in Cardiff, followed by an 18 date UK tour. Dates for their May tour have just been released which will take in The Sage, Gatehead; the Usher Hall, Edinburgh; The Royal Northern Collage of Music, Manchester; Bush Hall London and eight other dates around the UK May 1 – 17 . The pair have also been invited to play at the 35th anniversary celebrations of fRoots Magazine in March at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, London.

Their debut album Clychau Dibon has already received a very warm response from the music industry and critics alike, garnering a string of 4 and 5* reviews from The Guardian, Songlines Magazine, The London Evening Standard and The Financial Times.

Dilwyn Davies, CEO of Theatr Mwldan, said: “We are just thrilled to have won this award – especially given that the project is still in its relative infancy. It seems to have hit the mark across many genres – from classical and world music to traditional and folk. It’s also a huge achievement for Wales, especially following the successful hosting of WOMEX this autumn.”

The album is available to purchase from iTunes, Amazon, HMV or direct from Astar Artes www.astarmusic.co.uk and Theatr Mwldan www.mwldan.co.uk, along with other independent outlets across Wales. A book written by Andy Morgan ‘Finding The One’ which documents the history of the Welsh harp and the West African kora, along with the story behind the project, is available to purchase from Astar Artes and Theatr Mwldan.

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