05 July 2019Jazz, folk and theatre lined up for Eyemouth

Eyemouth Hippodrome has lined up an international programme comprising jazz and roots music and theatre for the second half of 2019. The Berwickshire venue presents French jazz guitarist Alex Grenier’s trio on Thursday July 11 and Scottish harper Karen Marshalsay in a Sunday afternoon concert on August 25.

English singer-songwriter Kirsty McGee, saxophonist Matt Carmichael’s quartet, pianists Alan Benzie and Fergus McCreadie’s trios, guitarist John Goldie, folk singers Jenny Sturgeon, Andy Irvine and Jim Moray, jazz singer Louis Dodds and theatre company Two Destination Language are all scheduled to play in the former seaman’s mission on Eyemouth’s harbourside.

Fergus McCreadie Trio due in Eyemouth in December (photo by Morgan Shaw)



27 June 2019Royal Conservatoire of Scotland announces jazz award winners

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has announced the winners of the annual prizes awarded to students on its jazz course.

The Fog Arts Prize in Jazz Improvisation goes to alto saxophonist Kornelijus Pukinskis. Kornelijus is from Lithuania and made his debut at the award-winning Playtime sessions in Edinburgh earlier this year with fellow Lithuanian, drummer Dominykas Snarskis.

Guitarist Ben MacDonald, who works with bands including recent Glasgow Jazz Festival guests Mezcla, has won the George Duncan Prize for Jazz Composition.

And bassist Mark Hendry, who earned enthusiastic responses for his ambitious orchestral commission for Edinburgh Jazz Festival last year and debuts a new band, Fractus at this year’s event, has won the Joe Temperley Prize for Jazz Arranging. 


Mark Hendry


24 June 2019Fife country house hosts music and theatre events

Hill of Tarvit Mansion House near Cupar in Fife has announced a series of music and theatre events running from July to September.

The National Trust property, formerly home to the Sharp family, stages a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing by the acclaimed Three Inch Fools touring company on Sunday, July 14, with music by rising star composer Stephen Hyde.

Leading Scottish harper, Karen Marshalsay plays music from her new album, The Road to Kennacraig, on Friday, August 23, playing all three Scottish harps – gut-strung, wire-strung and the sitar-like baroque bray harp.

Guitarist Kieran McCrossan and flautist Lynn Fraser follow with Spanish, Argentinean and French music on Saturday, September 20.

“We’re really pleased to be bringing music to the house,” says Geraldine Graf, hospitality and events manager. “It’s especially interesting to have the bray harp as it probably won’t have been played in the grand hall as it stands today but it may well have featured in the tower that stood on this site back in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.”


Karen Marshalsay (photo by Kate O'Sullivan)

08 June 2019Glasgow-based pianist's group added to Ronnie Scott's festival

Award-winning Glasgow-based pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio has been invited to appear at the world-famous London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s International Piano Trio Festival on August 3.

Twenty-one-year-old McCreadie, who graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s jazz course last June and won the Best Instrumentalist title at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2018, has already made an impression internationally. His trio recently toured Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania successfully as well as playing concerts in England and Scotland. This will be his third visit to Ronnie Scott’s this year following enthusiastically received appearances there in January and May.

McCreadie’s trio has concerts lined up at the upcoming Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stockholm jazz festivals and at the Edinburgh Fringe and before that the group will open for saxophonist Tommy Smith, in his concert with pianist Brian Kellock and Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on Thursday, June 13 as part of the venue’s 40th anniversary programme.


Fergus McCreadie (photo by Morgan Shaw)

06 June 2019Scottish harper guests with Russian String Orchestra at the Fringe

Scottish harper Karen Marshalsay has been invited to play three concerts with the award-winning Russian String Orchestra during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

The Edinburgh-based harper guested with the Russian String Orchestra during their Fringe run in 2018 and will be performing specially written orchestrations of original compositions with them on August 4, 11 and 18 at theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall in Nicolson Street.

Karen has previously appeared on the Edinburgh International Festival and at the Edinburgh Mela with the Herald Angel-winning piper Allan MacDonald and currently works with Boys of the Lough founder Cathal McConnell’s trio.

She releases a new album of traditional harp music, The Road to Kennacraig, which was overseen by leading traditional music producer Robin Morton, on Monday July 15.


Karen Marshalsay (photo by Kate O'Sullivan)

17 April 2019Drumming legend Steve Gadd plays 'collector's item' concert in Bearsden

Milngavie-based promoter Jason Smith has landed a coup by bringing legendary American drummer Steve Gadd to play a rare jazz concert in Bearsden in November.

Gadd, who has made famous contributions to recordings by Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan among many others, has appeared in Scotland as a touring musician over the years, notably with Paul Simon and James Taylor. But the last time he played a jazz gig here was some thirty years ago, when he brought a band including trumpeter Randy Brecker to the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh.

As well as leading his own band, since 2014 Gadd has been working with Danish musicians, saxophonist Michael Blicher and Hammond organist Dan Hemmer in a trio that celebrates the three players’ shared love of the soul-jazz style pioneered by Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott, Brother Jack McDuff and Jimmy McGriff.  

The trio – Blicher Hemmer & Gadd – have now released two albums and will play at Baljaffray Parish Church in Bearsden on Thursday November 7. 

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