The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival’s 2015 programme was launched earlier today with a performance from the US boogie-woogie showstoppers and sold-out Festival act from 2014, Davina and the Vagabonds!
For 10 days in July, from Friday 17 to Sunday 26, the finest jazz and blues talent from all over the world will flock to Edinburgh to stage over 150 concerts across the city for the 38th Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival.
40 artists were announced today but the final programme will be announced by 30 April with tickets going on sale at noon on Wednesday 6 May.
Read to the end for the 40 names!
New to the Festival this year are two exciting venues. The Festival makes its first firm stamp on the New Town with a series of high-energy gigs at St Andrew Square Spiegeltent. Audiences can enjoy festival favourites, Davina and the Vagabonds, a vintage jazz party with Bratislava Hot Serenaders, Italian super-charged brass from Bandakadabra and classic Dixieland with Batchelors of Jazz. Brand new for 2015, there will be gospel magic from Naomi Shelton, the smooth Bublé-esque voice of AJ Brown, electric Mississipi blues from Cedric Burnside, award-winning vocal blues from Janiva Magness, and Mexican jazz-rockers, Troker.
The Festival also presents a weekend takeover of Summerhall with its Cross The Tracks programme. Summerhall stages will be set alight with contemporary acts, showcasing music on the edges of jazz from hip-hop and electronica to soul and funk. The stellar gig-list includes electro-jazz group Hidden Orchestra. Summerhall will be kitted out with Quadrophnic sound – Chapel Perilous Sound System.
Other venues include past Festival favourites the Festival Theatre, The Spiegeltent in George Square, The Queen’s Hall, and The Jazz Bar. The Tron Kirk is also back, fresh from its Royal seal of approval last year when the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay sat back for an afternoon concert! It hosts our Festival Club in a jazz club-style setting, featuring six performances throughout the day for the duration of the Festival. The wide-ranging world-class music this year includes Bearded Gypsy Band, Elaine Delmar, Mr Sipp, and The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys.
Other Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival highlights this year include:
Hot Chilean saxophonist, Melissa Aldana, coming fresh from the New York jazz scene to play in Edinburgh for the first time in the Festival Theatre Studio. Blues fans can look forward to a Chicago Blues Night with the commanding voice of son of Muddy Waters, Mud Morganfield, in a double bill with legendary blues-guitarist, Lurrie Bell. Concerts with George Benson and Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, have already been announced.
Multi-award winning young trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire brings his unique and thrilling sounds to Scotland for the first time. Scottish swing band, Rose Room, are one of the hottest tickets of 2015; and the Colin Steele Quintet is back after a long break, with new music.
The Scottish Jazz Expo, supported by The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund, features several exciting collaborations. The Edinburgh Jazz Festival Orchestra presents a special partnership with ‘Echoes of Ellington’ playing the special music the Duke created after the Second World War. Kim Macari, ace Scottish trumpeter of Italian descent, is joining forces with Italian pianist Enrico Zanisi in a collaboration with Atina Jazz Festival. Look out for other special projects from Brian Kellock, Tom Gordon, and Richard Kass with Cory Henry of Snarky Puppy.
In a first for Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, we sent Scottish musicians and Festival regulars, Sandy Tweeddale and Jedd Potts, on a US trip, to make connections with new US blues musicians. They have invited ‘Mississippi Blues Child’, Mr Sipp; Memphis vocalist and harmonica player Brandon Santini, and rising star guitarist Ben Rice – all of whom will play in exciting Festival exclusives.
For enthusiasts of Scottish jazz, they will also be showcasing many great names, including Bill Salmond, Hamish McGregor’s new Acker Bilk project, Alison Affleck, John Burgess, Lorna Reid, David Patrick’s Jazz Rites Of Spring, Trio Red, Pocion de Fe, Gol, Calum Gourlay, Haftor Medboe and many more.
The annual free events are also back to launch Edinburgh’s Festival season. The Mardi Gras on Saturday 18th July from 1-4pm, brings non-stop entertainment and a party atmosphere to the Grassmarket. Some of the fantastic performers taking part are Shreveport Rhythm and Edinburgh-based New Orleans street band, Brass Gumbo. There will also be a singers’ stage of performances all afternoon.
And in its fourth year, the Edinburgh Festival Carnival on Sunday 19th July from 2-4.30pm is now a firm favourite in the Edinburgh events calendar. Once again Princes Street and the Gardens will be filled with costumes, music and dance. The Carnival is supported by The City of Edinburgh Council, and details of the full programme will be released at the end of June. There are several opportunities for members of the public to be a part of the Carnival, either taking part in the parade or volunteering with the team – please see the Festival website for details.
Napier University Jazz Summer School is again open to participants of all ages and playing ability. A week-long course will culminate in a performance during the Festival, where audiences can hear these jazz stars in the making.
Brian Fallon, Chair, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, said: “The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has never been stronger. Last year we had record attendances, record sales, and a feast of high quality music. 2015 looks set to be another record-breaker, and we look forward to welcoming old and new friends. We have a great line-up with something for everyone and we are looking forward to seeing you over the ten days of the Festival”.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:
“This year will be another great showcase of jazz and blues from across the world for both national and international audiences. The expansion into the New Town shows the ambition of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival to engage with even more local people and the Napier University Jazz Summer School is an exciting project for young musicians.
The Scottish Jazz Expo is using the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund to create excellent opportunities for our own talented musician and performers to create new work and to perform in Scotland and internationally. By nurturing collaboration across borders, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is promoting Scottish artists and Scotland on the world stage.”
Ian Smith, Portfolio Manager Music & IP Development, Creative Scotland, said:
“we are happy to support the EJBF, one of the UK’s major jazz festivals and unique in its attention to blues, which this year will include music from the Mississippi Delta-such a vibrant influence on the European jazz and blues scene. Featuring home-grown Scottish musicians alongside international artists, we welcome what is a significant opener to the Edinburgh festivals summer season.”
Tickets are available from midday on Wednesday 6th May:
- Online at www.edinburghjazzfestival.com
- By phone on 0131 473 2000.
- In person from The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE.
- Tickets also available for relevant concerts from The Queen’s Hall (0131 668 2019) and Festival Theatre (0131 529 6000).
During the Festival, on-the-day tickets are sold until 4pm, then are available from 30 minutes before the performance time at the relevant venue.
Details of booking fees are available at www.edinburghjazzfestival.com
Forty names who will play at the Festival include:
Alison Affleck’s Copper Cats, Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet/Enrico Zanisi Trio, Melissa Aldana Trio/Kim Macari Group, Batchelors of Jazz, with guest, Warren Vache, Bearded Gypsy Band, Bratislava Hot Serenaders, AJ Brown, Cedric Burnside, Chicago Blues Night: Mud Morganfield Band/Lurrie Bell, Davina and the Vagabonds, Elaine Delmar, Dom and The Ikos, Edinburgh Jazz Festival Orchestra/ Echoes of Ellington, Gol, Tom Gordon Basie 7, Calum Gourlay-Thelonious, Stefan Grossman, HSK Trio with Cory Henry, Jazzpospolita, Brian Kellock Swingtet with Scott Hamilton and Warren Vache, Janiva Magness, Laura MacDonald Quartet, Haftor Medboe Trio, New Orleans Swamp Donkeys, Orkestra Del Sol, David Patrick –The Jazz Rites Of Spring, Pocion de Fe, Lorna Reid, Rose Room, Remembering Alex Welsh, Bill Salmond’s Louisiana Ragtime Band, Brandon Santini, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens , Silver Project, Mr Sipp, Trio Red, Troker….