Tartan Week celebrated in New York City

New York Tartan Week 2024 was packed full of events hosted by the St. Andrews Society of the States of New York, New York Caledonian Club, the American-Scottish Foundation (ASF) and Clan Campbell.  Alongside the leading organizations events were events hosted or co-hosted with Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, National Library of Scotland and Fringe Society.  Amongst the leading visitors from Scotland were Sir Jim Walker of Walkers Shortbread and Charles Lord Bruce who offered closing remarks at the ASF Tartan Day Observance.

Grand Marshal Dougray Scott.

The week was capped off with the 26th annual New York Tartan Day Parade taking place up Sixth Avenue led by Grand Marshal, Dougray Scott. Music was at the centre of the American-Scottish Foundation program this New York Tartan week, shining the spotlight onto several artists who brought great new music to through their performances at two of ASF’s events, the Supper Club and the three days of lunchtime concerts at Bryant Park. Camilla Hellman, President of the American Scottish Foundation noted “The ASF was delighted to be joined this year by new artists, some of whom are well known yet to audiences here. It was such a great lineup of talent”.

Pipe bands always a crowd favourite.

Amongst these artists were: Jai MacDowell, 2011 winner of Britain’s Got Talent, who performed for the very first time in the United States at both the Supper Club and at Bryant Park for the Tartan Day Observance on Friday and Scotland on the Terrace on Sunday, The Laurettes, an all-female Scottish Band who returned once again to New York Tartan Week, playing at the Supper Club and Sunday’s Scotland on the Terrace, and Noisemaker, who worked together with Ainsley Hamill in showcasing their songs from their new production Snow Goose.

Scotland’s cultural voice

Leading the bands.

Claire and Scott Gilmore of Noisemaker said: “Tartan Week is a hugely important event for us as Scottish artists based both in Scotland and in the US, to gather and share our culture, our music, and our work, with the wider Scottish-American community It is an opportunity we’d never otherwise have access to. It’s both beneficial to our artistic development and partnerships, while also deeply meaningful to us as Scots.  This year was particularly special to showcase some artists we’ve come to know through our projects and productions back home. To come together in New York as part of the ASF events and have them perform alongside with us was a privilege and, again, underlines why Tartan Week is so uniquely important to maintaining Scotland’s cultural voice on an international stage.”

ASF also worked with the National Library of Scotland to bring to life scores from the 17th and 18th century that award winning New York based fiddle player, Calum Pasqua, then played with guest friends.  Several of the pieces performed were taken by Robert Burns to set his lyrics too. Calum Pasqua said: “To watch the growth of Tartan Week in NYC, warms my heart knowing our traditions have been revealed to the masses, and are now flourishing. It was an honour and a privilege to share my Scottish fiddling with ….. I couldn’t have asked for a more attentive and interested audience to perform my music for. I simply cannot wait for next year!”

The American Scottish Foundation.

Alongside the musical programming, ASF and the Carnegie Corporation also hosted Scotland’s Dunfermline: Ancient Royal Capital and Newest City and a Tea and Talk with the National Library of Scotland entitled The Rediscovery of Lost Burns and Scott Literary Treasures, which spotlighted how the priceless treasures of Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, part of the Honresfeld Library were rediscovered and brought home to Scotland in 2022.

All images courtesy of Greenhouse/Ben Chateauverts/American Scottish Foundation.

1 thought on “Tartan Week celebrated in New York City”

  1. Cheers to the (unpaid) volunteers who make NY Tartan Week possible from the pre-parade ceilidh, to the Kirking of the Tartans, the post-parade party, the NY Gaelic Mod, Tartan Day on Ellis Island and the NTS “Great Scot” Banquet and Awards. It truly takes a village!

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