Category Archives: Arts and Entertainment

ASF exhibit of Scottish photographer Ken Patersons photographs, “In the Footsteps of John Muir”, journeying to Scotland

The American-Scottish Foundation® exhibit of Scottish photographer Ken Patersons photographs, “In the Footsteps of John Muir” is journeying to Scotland and will go on show at Stirling Castle from February 2nd to April 28th.

Presented by Historic Environment Scotland in association with ASF, the exhibit traces Muir’s early days in Dunbar Scotland to Yosemite CA, taking one on a journey to see the environments which Muir loved and did so much to help preserve spearheading the formation of America’s National Parks.

STIRLINGCASTLE.SCOT
 In the Footsteps of John Muir Event page for upcoming exhibition at Stirling Castle

The exhibit has been touring in the US since 2014 and exhibits have included Federal Hall National Memorial NYC, John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez CA, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park, NY and the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. The exhibit was part of the National Centennial Celebration of National Parks 2016-17.

In 2018, the exhibit was expanded to include images from John Muir Trail in Scotland. The 134 mile route stretches coast-to-coast between Helensburgh in the west, to John Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar on the east.

For up to date information on the exhibit at Stirling Castle and events surrounding the exhibit visit https://www.stirlingcastle.scot/whatson/events/footsteps/…
and
http://americanscottishfoundation.com/e…/JohnMuirExpo18.html

A thank you to all who helped make the Wallace Awards Celebration an evening to remember

Image may contain: cloud, text, nature and outdoorOn behalf of the ASF Board a thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the Wallace Award Celebration such a memorable evening.

The evening saw Sir Moir Lockhead, Chairman of National Trust for Scotland, and Dr Andy Scott, renowned sculptor,  with the Wallace Award for their contributions to Heritage, Arts and Culture.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing, suit and indoor

 Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Maclean, oversaw the menu, adding special touches.   Glendronach Single Malt offered guests a whisky tasting of their excellent malts.

The wonderful team of Claire Mackenzie and Scott Gilmour of Noisemaker gave us musical interludes.

 Silent and Live auctions helped support the ongoing work of the ASF and for an ASF Grant to the new Baird Family Hospital in Aberdeen and its Neonatal unit being overseen by the ARCHIE Foundation alongside the University of Aberdeen.

If you have questions please call the ASF Office on 212 605 0338

or email americanscottishfoundation@gmail.com

 

ASF Members & Friends invited to attend the Explorers Club “Tartan Turban” Talk Monday October 1st

The Explorers Club have extended an invitation for The American-Scottish Foundation®  Members & Friends to attend their upcoming lecture “The Tartan Turban”

Monday, October 1
6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Lecture
The Explorers Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, NYC

Member Ticket Price: $10
Guest Ticket Price: $25
Student Ticket Price: $5 with a valid student ID

Image may contain: one or more people and hat

John Keay, British historian, journalist, radio presenter and lecturer specializing in popular histories of India, the Far East and China, is widely seen as a pre-eminent historian of British India.

Keay will take one on a journey …
Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either he is the nineteenth century’s most intrepid traveler or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more skeptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner’s story enlarged man’s understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration.

Before more reputable explorers notched up their own discoveries in innermost Asia, this lone Scots-American had roamed the deserts of Turkestan, ridden round the world’s most fearsome knot of mountains and fought in Afghanistan ‘for the good cause of right against wrong.’

From the Caspian to Tibet and from Kandahar to Kashgar, Gardner had seen it all. At the time, the 1820s, no other outsider had managed anything remotely comparable. When word of his feats filtered out, geographers were agog.

He witnessed the death throes of that Sikh empire at close quarters and, sparing no gruesome detail, recorded his own part in the bloodshed (the very same featuring as the exploits of ‘Alick’ Gardner in the ‘Flashman’ series).

Fame finally caught up with him during his long retirement in Kashmir. Dressed in tartan yet still living as a native, he mystified visiting dignitaries and found a ready audience for the tales of his adventurous past. But one mystery he certainly took to the grave: the whereabouts of his accumulated fortune has still to be discovered.

Using much original material, including newly discovered papers by Gardner himself, renowned historian John Keay will take us from the American West to the Asian East to unravel the greatest enigma in the history of travel.

Author of over 25 books and regularly contributor to a number of prominent publications in Britain and Asia. He began his career with The Economist as a political correspondent, and was a contributor to BBC radio.

Keay is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society & the Royal Literary Fund, and he has received several major honors including the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He read Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford, and now lives in Argyll in the West Highlands of Scotland while traveling widely.

https://explorers.org/…/public_lecture_series_with_john_keay

Image may contain: one or more people, tree and outdoor

Glasgow and New York celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

June 7th marks the 150th Anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
At Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum a temporary exhibit is on show through to August 14th showing Mackintosh’s work in the context of Glasgow, his predecessors, influences and contemporaries.

Assistant curator Hannah Willetts stands in front of posters at thttps://content-wordpress.pressassociation.com/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=advisoryhe launch of Charles Rennie Mackintosh Making the Glasgow Style (Andrew Milligan/PA)The exhibit features work from Glasgow’s civic collections, alongside key loans from Hunterian Museum and Art GalleryThe Glasgow School of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and a number of private lenders.

As the Daily Mail notes – the exhibit …. “It features more than 250 objects including stained glass, ceramics, mosaic, furniture, textiles, interior and tearoom design and architectural drawings, most of which have not been shown in Glasgow for more than 30 years.”

“The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Making the Glasgow Style exhibition is one of the highlights in the Mackintosh 150 programme, a year long celebration of events throughout 2018.”

decorative artIn New York on June 7th a talk & reception will take place hosted by General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York together with The American-Scottish Foundation® & The National Trust for Scotland, on the influence of Mackintosh on New York architecture – presented by John Kinnear, Architect, Historian & Director, and on the power of Mackintosh’s design and threstoration of Hill House.                                                                                                                              To read more about the Scots Who Built New York visit the American-Scottish Foundation project page HERE.                                                                                                                                             For more information surrounding the National Trust for Scotland restoration of Hill House visit the NTS USA project page linked HERE                                                                                                                                                                 Tickets are from $10 for ASF, NTS USA, GSMT, ROS, NYCC and $15 for Guests and Friends and are available directly on line here                                                                                                                    To learn more of the exhibit visit Glasgow Life Museum website and rad the full Daily Mail article linked here

Meet Steve Grozier: Americana Artist From Glasgow

Steve Grozier is a singer-songwriter and musician from Glasgow, Scotland. Scottish though he may be, his sound is at home in America, with acoustic, alt-country instrumentals to back his warm, buttery voice. His songs settle over you like the southern heat of a Tennessee summer night.

Steve, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, is his band’s frontman. He wrote all of the music and lyrics of their debut EP, “Take My Leave.” Roscoe Wilson sings backing vocals and plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and the lap steel guitar, while John Dunlop plays the bass. Dillon Haldane played drums and percussion the EP, but left the band shortly after, and Pete Colquhoun is now the bands drummer.

Steve and his band recorded their country-tinged debut EP “Take My Leave” in September 2016, and are currently busy recording the follow up EP “A Place We Called Home.”

In one of the tracks from their debut EP, “Drink Before Dawn,” Steve describes stopping for a cup of diner coffee to stay awake while he’s on the road. Listening to the country ballad, you can picture the open highway stretching before your headlights. Although this experience is not unique to American drivers, it is a theme that crops up time and again in Americana.

“Ringing of the Bells” is another track from the debut EP that really invokes a Southern feeling. What with the singer’s slight twang, and his use of small-town imagery, you might have just happened upon Steve in a Nashville bar.

We wanted to learn more about the man behind the music! In our interview with Steve, below, we learned just what it was that drew him to Americana, and inspired his country sound and imagery.


First, could you tell us a bit about where you’re from and how you started getting into music?

I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was only there for a few years before my family moved to Bishopbriggs, a small suburb with a population of around 20,000, just north of Glasgow, Scotland. I lived there until I was 18 and old enough to move to the city for University.

The house I grew up in was filled with music. My dad had a vinyl and cassette deck that was always on. And, when we’d take rides in the car on weekends or school holidays there was always music playing. I remember thinking even then that music was this magical thing.

Then when I was around 15 or 16 I found my dad’s semi-acoustic guitar. A cheap Encore. It was horrible to play. The action was so high and it sounded dreadful. But, it was the first guitar I’d ever held and that was it. I knew I had to learn to play.

What about your band, how did you get together? Are you all Scots?

Yes, we’re all Scots. We’re all from the country’s central belt. I actually met both Roscoe and Pete via the internet. And I met John via Roscoe. I’ve known Roscoe for over ten years. When I was starting to play open mic nights and gigs in bars I placed an advert on Myspace or Gumtree, I can’t recall which, looking for a pedal steel player. Now, the chances of finding someone who can play that instrument well in Scotland are pretty rare, especially back then. Roscoe could and we’ve been friends ever since.  

When 2016 rolled around and I was looking to put a new band together Roscoe was first on my list to call. He was playing with a band and John was the bass player. I put a post-up on Facebook looking for a drummer and Pete got in touch. The rest as they say is history.   

Because we’re an organization that serves as a bridge between Scotland and the US, the fact that you’re a Scottish Americana artist is something we really love! What does Americana mean to you?

I think the term Americana is a relatively new one. When I first started writing and playing it didn’t exist, or it wasn’t widely used. They’d call the style of music folk, country or alternative country. The AMA defines Americana as contemporary music that incorporates elements of American roots music styles. For me, it isn’t a conscious decision to write in a particular style and I’m not that interested in what label is used. I think where the term Americana is useful is in fostering a sense of community and helping bringing attention or exposure to independent artists.     

American music obviously inspires your work! Who are some artists that inspire you? Any Scottish artists?

Unsurprisingly, I listen to a lot of American music. Growing up my dad had records by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Creedence, and a lot of acoustic blues. So, I was immersed in American music and culture from a young age. When I got around to buying and exploring records for myself I gravitated towards artists and bands that sounded like those I’d heard at home.  

I mean, I listen to music from across the spectrum. The colour of the music isn’t as important as how it speaks to me or makes me feel. The music from Scotland that interests me the most are bands like Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mogwai, and The Vaselines.   

A lot of Americana music has themes of travel and wayfaring- would you say that plays a part in your music?

Absolutely, I lived and travelled around Canada and the US for two years. One year on the east coast and one on the west. During that period I wrote a lot. Books full of prose, poetry and songs. Most of which will never be published or recorded. I was always interested in the writings of Jack Kerouac and the peripatetic lifestyle that he describes.  When you’re travelling it’s a different way to be in the world. I think one of the reasons I’m drawn to Americana music is because the songs are often narrative driven. They’re stories that take you on a journey to a different place or time.  

What do you think about what music means for American-Scottish relations- or just in terms of connecting people in general?

For me, my closest friendships have been formed through music. Be that playing in a band, going to shows, listening and discussing records. I think a shared passion for music can really enrich a relationship. There’s this great Hold Steady song called Stay Positive and it’s about music’s power to bring people together. The make the analogy of music being like religion when they sing “And the sing along songs will be our scriptures.”

Then there’s this great lineage of Scots and Irish who settled in the Canadian North East, the Appalachians and even North Carolina and Alabama in the 18th century. The Celtic folk songs from Scotland and Ireland would form the basis of what we now call bluegrass, country and Americana music. An interesting thing is now happening in the UK where we’re seeing British artists finding inspiration in American country music.

Do you hope to bring your music to the states?

I would love to. I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future, but it’s definitely a longer term ambition.    

New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals

The History of the New York Tartan Day Parade:

The annual New York Tartan Day Parade began 19 years ago, in 1998, after the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 155, which officially recognized April 6th as Tartan Day. This was followed by companion bill House Resolution 41, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005. On April 4, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6 National Tartan Day.

Tommy Flanagan – Image via nyctartanweek.org

In 1998, the first Tartan Day Parade, consisting of two pipe bands and a small but spirited group of Scottish Americans, was led by the very first Grand Marshal, Cliff Robertson.

Today the parade is a grand affair, featuring thousands of participants, including bands, dancers and clans.

On April 8, 2017, The Grand Marshal of the 19th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade will be Glasgow-born actor Tommy Flanagan.

The acclaimed actor has starred in Braveheart, Gladiator, and Alien vs Predator, as well as FX Network’s drama, Sons of Anarchy. He will be a starring role in the upcoming movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, Chapter 2.

Past Parade Grand Marshals:

From actors and screenwriters, to athletes and designers, the past New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals have been talented Scots from all different walks of life.

Read about them here:

Sam Heughan, 2016

2016: Sam Heughan, Scottish actor best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz hit series Outlander.

2015: Co-Grand Marshals: Tricia Marwick, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (2011-2016) and Graham McTavish, Scottish television and film actor with an extensive career including roles in Outlander and The Hobbit Trilogy. 

2014: Howie Nicholsby, Kilt designer and owner of “21st Century Kilts” in Edinburgh.

2013: Kevin McKidd, Scottish-American actor best known for his roles in ABC series Grey’s Anatomy and film Trainspotting.

Kevin McKidd, 2013

2012: Brian Cox, acclaimed Scottish theatre and film actor who works with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

2011: Bob Winter, Lord Provost of Glasgow from 2007 until 2012.

2010: Rt. Hon. Alex Fergusson, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2007 until 2011.

2009: Alan Cumming, OBE, Tony, Emmy and Golden-Globe award-winning actor.

2008:  Lawrence Tynes, Scottish-born former kicker for the New York Giants, winners of Super Bowl XVII.

2007: Rt. Hon. George Reid, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2003 until 2007.

2006: Brigadier Melville Jameson, Producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo from 1994 until 2006.

2005: Randall Wallace, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Braveheart.

Sir Sean Connery, 2002

2002: Sir Sean Connery, Academy Award-winning actor and producer who was the first actor to portray James Bond in film.

1998: The late Cliff Robertson, Academy Award-winning actor with a film and television career that spanned half a century.

The Music of New York Tartan Week

New York Tartan Week is just around the corner and what a fantastic celebration it will be with people coming from all over the globe to experience a uniquely brilliant event which has something to offer everyone.

New York Tartan Week is a celebration of Scottish-American heritage culture and community and a brilliant experience which will see you wanting to come back each year for more!

Music plays a central role in celebrating that shared community and culture; the music traditions brought over by Scots have survived and thrived in North America to this very day.

It’s fair to say that the shared passion for music and culture has brought about real fusion and development of new style and approach whilst respecting the traditions of the past. Discovering new ways, paths and approaches has always been central to the Scottish-American identity and nowhere is this more evident in the culture and creations borne from our partnership and shared legacy.

Music, as with the Scots-American heritage itself has experienced real innovation and fusion over the past few hundred years and you can hear Scottish influences in everything from Appalachian, folk and even country music.

It’s fantastic that the old traditions are preserved an continued by many talented and passionate musicians across North America, some of which are performing at NYC Tartan Week this year alongside some musical guests from Scotland also! With live music performances all over the city there’s something for everyone and of course with a huge amount of pipe bands marching in the Tartan Week Parade on April 8th you can experience something truly unforgettable.

Musical performances at Tartan Week this year include:


April  3:
Kyle Carey
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April  4:
Emerald Rae
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April 5:
Little Fire 

Beer Authority - 6pm (free)

Wight Hot Pipes & Scottish Octopus
Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant - 8pm ($20)

Mike Ogletree
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April 6:
Little Fire 
Deacon Brodies - 3pm (free)

Tartan Day Observance 
The Highland Divas, St Columba School Pipe Band
Bryant Park 12:30pm

Kodak Ghosts
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)


April  7:
Mike Ogletree
Pre-Parade Ceilidh- 6pm

Little Fire 
St Andrews Pub - 8pm (free)

The Highland Divas & Guests
The Cutting Room - 10:30pm
(Tickets $25/30 adv)
  - Purchase tickets here.


April 8:
The Pipes and Drums on the Fountain Terrace Bryant Park  (Free)
11:35am – Lathallan School Pipe Band
11:55am – Oban School Pipe Band
12:15pm – Bonnie Brae Knights Drummers
12:30pm – St Columba School Pipe Band
12:45pm – Shamrock & Thistle

Post Parade Party
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill 4:00pm
Glengarry Bhoys, Gleadhraich, Scottish Octopus, Wight Hot Pipes, The Highland Divas
(Tickets $85 reserved/$65 general admission) Purchase tickets here.

James MacMillan – St. Luke Passion: New York Premiere
St. Bartholomew’s Church - 8pm
(Tickets $40 Balcony/$50 Prime Seating) Purchase tickets here.


– Jamie McGeechan
Music Reporter for the American Scottish Foundation

Celebrate Tartan Day with Walkers Shortbread

Friends and members of The American-Scottish Foundation®, join us in celebrating Tartan Day 2017 with “The World’s Finest Shortbread” - Walkers Shortbread!

Image via express.co.uk

Image via express.co.uk

Tartan Day is on April 6th – just days away! So why not celebrate with a biscuit or two?

Over a hundred years ago, the Walker family started baking shortbread at their bakery in the Speyside village of Aberlour, surrounded by the beautiful Scottish highlands. Today, Walkers products are now sold all over the world, using the same wonderfully simple recipe to produce that iconic Walkers taste!

To celebrate Tartan Day, Walkers Shortbread has a delicious deal for you!

IMG_1138 (5)  Arlene Brice BEEWith their exclusive Tartan Day code, you can receive free shipping, and four free twin packs of delicious shortbread Scottie Dogs, with orders of $25 or more!

Use the code TARTAN to receive your special Tartan Day treats!

This special offer expires on April 2nd, 2017, so place your orders now on the Walkers website, here.

To learn more about Tartan Day, and all the exciting events in store during NYC Tartan Week, visit The American-Scottish Foundation website!

Show off your Clan Pride at the 2017 Tattoo!

This year is Scotland’s ‘Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology, and the 2017 Tattoo is embracing this theme by featuring the Clans and Families of Scotland!

unnamedThe Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which takes place August 4 – 27, has just announced the clans which will be appearing as part of this year’s show, which is themed “Splash of Tartan.” The Tattoo and the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs have joined together to involve Scottish Clans and Families. Clan Chiefs have been invited to lead their clansmen to Edinburgh Castle, on their own special designated evenings, and to take part in the opening ceremony! Do you want to represent your clan at this year’s Tattoo? For a limited time only, visitors looking to book tickets to sit in their designated clans seated section can contact their Clan Chief directly! You can find out more details about your clan and chief at www.clanchiefs.org.uk or by emailing info@clanchiefs.org.uk. This promotion will end on 31st March, so act fast!unnamed-2

Whether you have Clan roots or not, if you plan to attend the Tattoo, you are encouraged to dress for the part! Put on your best tartan and tweed! Come August, Edinburgh is sure to be a wonderland of plaid!

Find your Clan’s date and time below, and purchase tickets for the Tattoo here.

Day

Date

Time

Clan/Family

Thursday

3 August

9.30

Macnab and Hay

Friday

4 August

9.00

Arthur and Murray

Saturday

5 August

7.30

Fraser and Gunn

Saturday

5 August

10.30

Hunter, Macdonald and MacKay

Monday

7 August

9.00

Macauley and MacMillan

Tuesday

8 August

9.00

Ewing and Macpherson

Wednesday

9 August

9.00

Broun, Maclean and Wood

Thursday

10 August

9.00

Henderson and Napier

Friday

11 August

9.00

Leslie, Moffat and Urquhart

Saturday

12 August

7.30

Donnachaidh and Oliphant

Saturday

12 August

10.30

Macneil, Macrae and Marjoribanks

Monday

14 August

9.00

Forbes and Wallace

Tuesday

15 August

9.00

Macleod and Mackenzie

Wednesday

16 August

9.00

Campbell and Sinclair

Thursday

17 August

9.00

Borthwick and Skene

Friday

18 August

9.00

Graham and Stewart

Saturday

19 August

7.30

Colquhoun and Matheson

Saturday

19 August

10.30

Currie and Maclea

Monday

21 August

9.00

Buchanan, Hannay and MacGregor

Tuesday

22 August

9.00

Kincaid and Maclaine

Wednesday

23 August

9.00

Agnew and Elliot

Thursday

24 August

9.00

Carmichael and MacThomas

Friday

25 August

9.00

Bruce and Durie

Saturday

26 August

7.30

Jardine, Macintyre and Maclennan

Saturday

26 August

10.30

Cameron, Clan Ranald and Maclaren

 

 

A hidden gem in Glasgow’s West End – Ashton Lane.

Anyone traveling to Glasgow, United Kingdom in the coming months?

Ashton LaneIf so you should check out Ashton Lane. A hidden gem located in Glasgow’s West End, A Cobblestone street lined with bars, restaurants and entertainment great for a chilled out lunch with friends and a lively evening scene.