The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is giving music fans the chance to access some of its programme, even if they can’t travel to Scotland’s capital in person. Rob Adams reports:
A new digital hub will host twenty concerts, which can be viewed online with a £10 pass, and while the festival runs from July 15-24, pass holders will be able to watch concerts until August 14. Plus, if they particularly enjoy them, they can go back and watch any of the concerts as many times as they want from the comfort of their own home.
The concerts, which include both live-streamed events and digital exclusives, include performances by some of Scotland’s finest musicians, including pianists Brian Kellock and Fergus McCreadie, new festival commissions and international talent in styles ranging from big band to electric blues. There’s also an exclusive concert by the San Francisco star SFJazz collectivewhose current line-up includes singer Gretchen Parlato and saxophonists Chris Potter and David Sanchez.
A live broadcast on Friday July 15 will allow viewers around the world to experience the festival’s opening gala concert, which features the singer, violinist and broadcaster Seonaid Aitken in front of a big band specially convened to celebrate the repertoire of timeless songs of the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. Guests, including young singing talent from Glasgow kittythe star saxophonist of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra Konrad Wiszniewski and Italian trumpeter Daniele Raimondi will add on occasion.
Wiszniewski and Raimondi will also be broadcast live on Tuesday 19, showcasing their remarkable talents leading a quintet with pianist Alan Benziebass player Mario Caribe and drummer Doug Hough. Two more of Scotland’s finest tenor saxophonists, Brian Molley (Monday 18) and John Burgess (Wednesday 20) will commemorate Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd’s Jazz Samba and Buddy Rich’s Big Swing Face respectively.
Special Festival Commissions feature new music from the pianist and BBC Next Generation artist Fergus McCreadie (Saturday 16) and saxophonist Martin Kershaw (Wednesday 20). Both musicians chose to write for octets, although they were of quite different instrumentation, Kershaw continuing the literary influence of his David Foster Wallace-inspired suite, Dreaming of ourselvescelebrating some of his favorite poets.
Pianists Brian Kellock, David Milligan and Paolo Alderighi appear in different settings. Kellock joins Australian guitarist Dave Blenkhorn and bassist Roy Percy during a swing session on Tuesday the 21st. Milligan teams up with the saxophonist Norman Willmore to share their mutual enthusiasm for marrying jazz with folk music influences on Friday the 22nd. And the Italian Alderighi’s trio favors the joyfully playful style of Erroll Garner on Tuesday the 19th.
Best British Quartet Dinosaur present their instrumental trumpet music on Sunday 17 and the singers Ali Affleck (Monday 18) and Kitti (Thursday 21) respectively delve into the soul, blues and gospel styles of Nina Simone and feature original songs that follow in the footsteps of Amy Winehouse and Alicia Keys.
The southern states of America provide the musical roots of Blues Legends (Saturday 23) and brass okra (Sunday 24). Based in Edinburgh jaw walk will guide audiences through the first, tracing the blues’ journey from rural Mississippi to its electric urban developments in Chicago, and though their style is very close to New Orleans brass band tradition, Brass Gumbo will turn to a different riverside town, Liverpool, as they play Beatles favourites.
In addition to the SFJazz Collective’s musical expression of the unrest and polarization sparked by the current socio-political situation, there are digital concerts featuring Scottish bands fronted by drummer Richard Glassbysaxophonist Matthew Kilnerguitarist Conor Smithand trumpeter Colin Steel.
Glassby and Kilner are two of the most accomplished young musicians and composers on the Scottish scene with thoughtful approaches to creating powerful and imaginative music. Followers of the Hot Club school of jazz swing, Smith’s band will add a touch of steel pedal guitar to Tin Pan Alley standards, and Steele will lead a new sextet as he continues his a successful marriage of the harmonic and rhythmic heritage of jazz with the phrasing and melodic inflections of the Scottish tradition.
“Introducing the hub to our website to host these concerts is a continuation of what we have learned with online presentations over the past few years,” says Paula Duncan, Head of Marketing and Audience Development of the festival. “It gives us a chance to reach new audiences and continue to showcase jazz and blues in Scotland, the UK and around the world.”
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LINK: Festival website
Categories: Report/Interview (PP)