It's six of the best as young musicians win Danny award

Some of the best emerging musical talent from Scotland and beyond were honoured as this year's Danny Kyle Open Stage drew to a close at Celtic Connections in Glasgow.

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  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
    Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage
  • Top acts were hailed as the curtain came down on The Danny Kyle Stage

The event, for which the Evening Times is media partner, ran throughout the festival.

It aims to give a boost to up-and-coming musicians, with a panel of judges selecting the six best acts to win an award and return to play on the final night of the contest.

This year's winners were trad quartet Gria, Glasgow-based singer Genesse, Edinburgh blues duo Taylor and Leigh, singer-songwriter Elliot Morris, Orkney folk duo Graham Low and Jack Kilpatrick and Aberdeen trio Mulk.

A total of 60 artists appeared during the festival fortnight.

Liz Clark, the event's compere, said: "I could have put all of the acts that applied this year on stage. Music is in a very healthy place at the moment – there are so many talented musicians out there.

"There have been more singers coming through recently than I have seen in about 15 years."

The winners were diverse in genre, with singer Genesse even slipping a Fleetwood Mac cover into her set.

The singer, whose real name is Beldina Odenyo, moved to Scotland from Kenya in 1996 and has lived in Glasgow since 2008.

She has been gigging regularly for only a year and never expected to win a Danny Kyle award.

She said: "I was surprised I got a slot to begin with, and thought it would be a great day.

"I missed getting the phone call from Liz telling me I had won because as I was in the cinema watching Django Unchained. I didn't get the voicemail until midnight. I listened and started doing a jig up and down Byres Road!"

Female quartet Gria were also taken aback because their Danny gig was their first show together.

Three of the band study at Glasgow's Royal Conservatoire, and the group – singer Ceitlin LR Smith, fiddler Louise Bichan, pianist Lana Elaine and accordionist Gemma Telfer – are hoping their win leads to even bigger things.

Louise said: "We had been spending time putting some music together so the open stage was the first time we had played live. It was great to do this, and I hope that will push us on to more gigs."

Each of the winners is also given a support slot at next year's Celtic Connections festival.

The Danny Kyle awards are named after the Scottish folk singer, who was known for supporting fresh talent.

Past winners include Malinky, the Chair and Adam Sutherland.

Arts and Entertainment

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