Hamish Napier is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and folk singer from Strathspey who has worked with many of Scotland’s leading musicians, including Capercaillie’s Karen Matheson, Phil Cunningham, Martyn Bennett and Eddi Reader. He toured internationally as a founding member of award-winning folk quartet Back of the Moon, including a trip to the Shetland Folk Festival back in 2006! So we're delighted that he is coming back to help us deliver our packed daytime Festival Club programme of events and sessions this year.
Gaining degrees in Astronomy and Music when he first moved from his native Highlands to the city of Glasgow, Hamish was then awarded a year's scholarship to study jazz piano and composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. Hamish now teaches composition and music theory at Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and at music schools and festivals worldwide.
Napier's music is a unique balance of tradition and innovation. He respects and celebrates Scotland's rich musical heritage in a contemporary style that is engaging and soulful. Today, he plays with a whole host of artists including Mairi MacInnes, Mike Vass, Nae Plans, Man’s Ruin, Findlay Napier, Ross Ainslie, Jarlath Henderson, Iain MacFarlane, Chris Stout and Finlay MacDonald, amongst others.
As a folk singer, he has recorded vocals with leading Scottish singers and he himself is a very versatile vocalist and has an extensive repertoire than ranges from traditional Scots songs to country, soul, pop, blues and jazz styles.
Hamish is also one of Scotland's finest traditional wooden flute players - known for his rich tone, expressive variations and pioneering approach - and Hamish's distinctive piano accompaniment style is rhythmic, edgy and coloured with jazz harmonies.
We are delighted that he is making the return trip to the Festival after 14 years and he will mostly be assisting us with the delivery of the Festival Club daytime programming - a role he will share with Ross Couper and Kevin Henderson. Given Hamish's experience as part of the dare-devil duo Nae Plans with fiddler Adam Sutherland, we’re sure that Hamish, Ross and Kevin will also be able to treat our audiences with some completely unplanned, spontaneous off the cuff musicianship.