Friday 1 March 2024
Monday 12 February 2024
Thursday 8 February 2024
Jimi has returned from his latest concert tour of Russia.
This trip included a visit to and performance at Russia's first Malt Whisky distillery near the city of Saransk, the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. (located one-and-a-half hour flight time SE of Moscow)
Jimi was also on duty as a piper and top table speaker at the Caledonian Society of Moscow's annual 'Burns Supper' on the anniversary of the birth of famous Scottish bard, Robbie Burns. The evening doubled as a tribute to the great Russian scholar and friend of Scotland, Dimitry Fedosov who sadly passed away after a short illness at the New Year.
Dimitry was a leading light in the Caledonian Society of Moscow for many years. He leaves behind a collection of acclaimed scholary and highly readable academic work detailing the many Scots who played important roles in shaping Tsarist Russian history, including 'soldier of fortune' Patrick Gordon from Aberdeenshire who became right hand man and military advisor to Peter the Great.
Jimi took the floor to entertain guests with a selection of stirring Scottish tunes on his bagpipes. He performed the traditional 'address to the haggis', (translated into Russian for the audience by Vitaly Mironov) and also joined well known Moscow band Grenada on stage for a rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne', 'Whisky in the Jar' and 'Flower O' Scotland'. Video footage of Jimi and Grenada performing the latter can be viewed here:
Jimi then headed to the city of Omsk in Siberia where he teamed up with popular Italian classical singer, 'the Voice of Venice' himself - Luca Minnelli, Chinese Soprano Ding Yao and Chinese pop star Wang Hao for a week long series of concerts to mark the finale of the 'Workers and Musicians Solidarity Against the Cancellation of Russian Culture' festival. The festival had been running since the start of November with sold out concerts in Ryazan Oblast, Pskov, Moscow, Samara, Pskov Oblast and Kaliningrad.
Jimi said the concerts in Omsk and surrounding area were huge successes with local folk musicians, classical singers and the Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra participating and contributing to the success. "I'd also like to thank the organisers who worked so hard to ensure everything ran smoothly" added Jimi.
Here's a video of Luca performing two well known and much loved Italian songs with a traditional Siberian folk ensemble during a particularly memorable performance.
Jimi joined Luca on stage for a stunning rendition of the classic song 'Moscow Nights'. Luca is currently recording a new album and he hopes to have Jimi piping on several songs. "He's a great guy. We get on very well" added Jimi.
Check out the pics below from just some of the Omsk performances. Salute!
Saturday 27 January 2024
International condemnation to Adolf Hitler Waffen SS memorial standing in Scotland - but still the UK media remain silent.
|The memorial stone at Hallmuir, near Lockerbie,bearing the insignia of Hitler's notorious Waffen SS 'Galizien' division.
Jimi's blog last month revealing that a memorial stone commemorating WW2 Nazis accused of being 'women and children killers' is standing near the town of Lockerbie, Scotland has sparked international outrage.
The fact that the Scottish Government, via a quango organisation called the South of Scotland Enterprise Board, decided to invest over £50,000 of taxpayers money to upgrade and help promote the site, where the SS regimental insignia is clearly on display, has predictably added to the furor.
The Waffen SS were the notorious military arm of the German Nazi party during WW2. They were hailed by Nazi leaders as the living embodiment of Hitler's genocidal, racist and evil ideology.
Despite the widespread condemnation - over 15000 blog views in less than a month, comments posted by concerned citizens from around the world and personal messages to Jimi - the revelations contained in the blog have, so far, received no media attention.
The blog can be viewed by clicking here: http://www.jimithepiper.co.uk/2023/12/waffen-ss-ww2-memorial-standing-proud.html?m=1
Jimi said he was unsurprised by the reaction to his blog because it contained "shocking information which any decent person would find appalling." However, he added he was surprised and disappointed by the apparent refusal of "official media representatives" to pick up on the revelations and run with the story.
"My LinkedIn profile tells me about everybody who has been looking at my posts" said Jimi. "I shared this particular blog on LinkedIn and in due course I was informed that people at the BBC had viewed it three times, someone at the 'Glasgow Herald' newspaper offices and also a representative of 'The Times'
"Despite this nobody picked up the story. I'm not seeking acclaim. I just ask for journalists to do their job. I waited 18 months for someone to write this story after reading an uncritical newspaper article about the Scottish Government's decision to grant funding. Finally I gave up and wrote it myself".
Jimi has been in the 'news' himself over the past few months for his decision to perform at festivals and concerts in Russia with his bagpipes. Articles attacking him have appeared in the 'Sunday Times' and 'Scottish Daily Express'.
"Basically it appears that a guy from Scotland going to Russia with his bagpipes in an effort to promote peace, understanding and friendship between ordinary people is more newsworthy, at least to our media, than the Scottish Government providing a considerable sum of public money to promote a monument celebrating Nazi volunteers who stand accused by both Ukrainian and Polish investigative committees of committing mass murder and genocide, mainly of women and children."
Jimi added:" I dislike talking politics but if you want my views on the ongoing Ukraine tragedy please listen to the words of current American Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr in the link below. He is a highly educated, skilled lawyer and says things more eloquently than I ever could. He also comes from a distinguished line of good, decent and brave men - decorated warriors among them - who did their best to secure peace and a better future for all our children and grandchildren. God knows we need more like him in our politics and media today. Peace! "
Monday 15 January 2024
New music video, from the "Strength in Unity", Workers' Solidarity with Russian Cultur tour.
Jimi and friends - the multi talented 'LiberArte' from Nicaragua - make a musical journey from Moscow to Pskov, with a performance in the former home of celebrated Russian poet Alexander Pushkin along the way.
The tour included over 20 shows and also included visits to the Samara and Kaliningrad Oblasts as well as Moscow.
Performing artists from Russia and Italy joined 'LiberArte' and Jimi for the concerts in Kaliningrad and Samara.
Monday 11 December 2023
Jimi has released a digital album for his growing Russian audience.
Entitled "Alive in Russia", it features some new tracks and a specially chosen selection of music from his extensive back catalogue.
New tracks include a rocking version of the Russian classic 'Song of the Plains' (Poliushko Polie) - see youtube link below.
Jimi has not had time to upload the new album onto any 'western' music sites yet but promises it will be available to download via his 'Bandcamp' page sometime early in the New Year.
Jimi is already including several classic Russian as well as Scottish songs in his live set.
'Alive in Russia' can be found here: https://music.yandex.ru/album/27906623
Jimi's version of 'Song of the Plains' (Poliushko Polie) can be also be listened to here:
A live, unedited and uncut video of Jimi performing Russian songs on his Scottish bagpipes to an appreciative Russian audience can be viewed here:
Wednesday 6 December 2023
A monument bearing the insignia of a World War 2, Waffen-SS unit - men who swore loyalty to Adolf Hitler and his genocidal, rascist, Nazi doctrine - is standing proud in Scotland.
Even more unbelievably perhaps, in 2022 a quango founded by the Scottish Government agreed to provide a grant for £52,777.00 to upgrade the site and allow for the development of a small visitor centre.
During the Nuremburg Trials at the end of WW2 the entire Waffen -'SS' organisation, the military arm of Hitler's Nazi party, was declared a “criminal organisation” guilty of war crimes and genocide.
From left to right – the badge of the Ukranian National Army - which the SS Galizien and other Ukranian units morphed into in the last few weeks of the war, just in time to surrender to the British and Americans - the Ukranian 'Golden Trident' and the former 'SS' Galician Regimental badge.
The door to the chapel was locked but a look through the windows revealed a dry interior in good condition. Presumably the Scottish tax-payer funded repairs had been carried out?