Scottish Gaelic Awards 2023: Contribution to Gaelic
With an exquisitely expressive voice and a deep connection to the traditions of the Scottish Highlands, Joy Dunlop is one of today’s foremost Scottish Gaelic singers. A vocalist renowned for her ability to breath freshness into the most traditional material, Joy translates ancient Gaelic musical traditions into the twenty-first century with elegance and grace. The emotional power of her singing needs no translation, speaking to audiences across the divides of language and history in a voice as luminous and compelling as the landscapes of her native Argyll.
Raised in the small village of Connel on the west coast of Scotland, Joy was steeped in the musical traditions of Argyll since childhood. While maintaining a deep connection to these roots, she has risen to great honours as a vocalist, with a string of awards including the Royal National Mòd Gold Medal and two consecutive nominations as Gaelic Singer of the Year. Her debut album Dùsgadh (Awakening) received high acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, including being named the Scots New Music Roots Recording of the Year and winning the and the Fatea Tradition Award. A seasoned and spirited live performer, Joy has toured from Europe to North America to New Zealand and performed at international festivals including Celtic Connections and Celtic Colours.
A passionate ambassador of Gaelic language and culture, Joy is also in demand as a television presenter, dancer, journalist and educator. She recently joined acclaimed Scottish duo Twelfth Day on the collaborative album Fiere and has also lent her talents to recordings with numerous other international artists. Her signature across all her work is the generosity with which she shares her culture and the elegance she brings to her interpretations.
Still, it is in her music that Joy focuses the brilliance of her voice and breadth of her knowledge on the material closest to her heart. The result is music deeply grounded in the Scottish authenticity and tradition yet infused with the energy of a new generation, all lit up with the passion and power of Joy’s shimmering voice.