21 July 2018Young trad talents hit Ceilidh Trail to Crieff, Dundee and Stirling

Some of Scotland’s leading young traditional musicians appear on the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail, which tours across Scotland during July and August.

Already a successful nurturer of talents, including award-winning fiddler Lauren MacColl and accordionist-composer Mairearad Green, in 2000 Dingwall-based Fèis Rois initiated a project to give young singers and players opportunities to tour and perform on the same basis as established professional musicians.

Each year young musicians from across Scotland audition for what is effectively a paid summer job that enables them to develop onstage skills and provides a stepping stone to a career as a performing artist. As well as playing small-scale concerts, participants have appeared at major events including Cambridge Folk Festival and Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany.

Past Ceilidh Trailers have included the now much-in-demand guitarist Matheu Watson and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Mischa Macpherson and the current crop, whose itinerary includes Strathearn Artspace, Crieff on July 21; HMS Unicorn, Dundee on July 25; and Tolbooth, Stirling on August 4,  could easily contain similar talents.



                                                                       Lauren MacColl

18 July 2018Smith, McCreadie and Paris among jazz attractions heading to North Berwick

North Berwick’s Fringe by the Sea returns with a strong jazz element in a programme running from Friday 3rd to Sunday 12th August.

Held parallel to nearby Edinburgh’s world famous Fringe festival, the event includes a solo concert by Scottish sax supremo Tommy Smith in the East Lothian resort’s Abbey Church on Saturday 4th August.

Acclaimed young pianist Fergus McCreadie, who recently won Best Instrumentalist at the Scottish Jazz Awards, brings his trio to the same venue on Thursday 9th. 

Mica Paris sings Ella Fitzgerald on Sunday 5th and Canadian pianist Ron Davis’ jazz with strings project, SymphRONica and guitarist Graeme Stephen’s soundtrack to the classic film Nosferatu (both Tuesday 7th) are among a number of other jazz concerts.  



                                                       Tommy Smith (photo by Derek Clark)

15 July 2018Jazz, folk, opera, archery and falconry on the menu at Crail Festival

The term “something for everyone” is much overused in festival PR but Crail Festival, which runs from July 18 to 28, really does seem to be attempting to cater to all tastes.

To a programme of music that includes rock, pop, opera, blues, folk and jazz the organisers have added comedy, poetry, fossil hunting, print making, archery, falconry and more.  

Everyone’s favourite marmalade sandwich-munching bear opens the festival with a morning screening of Paddington 2 at Crail Kirk Hall on Wednesday 18th. The same venue hosts singer-songwriter Emily Maguire the following evening and finds writer Liz Lochhead sharing memories of her life and choosing her favourite music on the afternoon of the 20th.

Weekend highlights include a concert featuring recent Scottish Jazz Award winners, ‘hot club’ swing quartet Rose Room with special guest, saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski (21st) and composer Richard Wemyss’ heartfelt tribute to the devastating loss at sea of an entire local fishing crew , The Bernicia Suite, on Sunday 22nd.



                                        Seonaid Aitken of Rose Room (pic by AJBlairPhotography)  

13 July 2018International attractions head up revived Dunoon Jazz Festival

Dunoon Jazz Festival returns over the weekend of August 17-19 after an absence of over twenty years. The festival, which will take place in Dunoon Burgh Hall, was a popular event on the Cowal Peninsula during the early 1990s and has been reactivated with a programme featuring national, international and local musicians.

Glasgow-based saxophonist Brian Molley’s Journeys in Hand collaboration between his acclaimed quartet and internationally regarded Rajasthani folk musicians the Asin Langa Ensemble headlines the festival with an afternoon concert on Sunday 19th.

Singer Luca Manning, who is currently studying at Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, joins pianist Alan Benzie’s group for the opening concert on Friday 17th and there are appearances on Saturday 18th by rising star singer Georgia Cecile and Edinburgh-based Blue Note specialists Jazz Main and on Sunday 19th by Cowal’s own Hot Club-style swing group Les Gitanes. Local band the Jack Ruby Five lead jam sessions at the Late Night Club on Friday and Saturday. 



                                                                    Brian Molley

28 June 2018Glasgow concerts set to continue in the autumn

The Saturday lunchtime concert series at Renfield St Stephens Church in Glasgow has a new programmer and is set to continue in September.

Daisy Henderson, who is secretary of Pollok House Arts Society and oversees the regular classic music recitals at the country house in Pollok Country Park, is taking over from Gwen Mairi Yorke and has announced concerts for September and October.

A capella quartet The All Sorts open the programme on September 8, followed by Duo Primavera, featuring husband and wife guitar partnership Ian and Kristina Watt, on September 29.

Pianist Peter Seivewright, whose vast CV includes jazz concerts at Ronnie Scott’s in London as well as a busy international schedule of solo and orchestral performances, appears on October 27.

Further concerts will be announced shortly.  



                                                               Peter Seivewright


26 June 2018Pianist Brian Kellock among opening acts at new Edinburgh jazz series

Saxophonist John Burgess launches a new weekly jazz series in Edinburgh on July 5.

Burgess, who has played across the whole jazz spectrum from Dixieland through jazz-funk to free improvisation and has worked with musicians including saxophonist Alan Skidmore, trombonist Roy Williams and trumpeter Enrico Tomasso, has announced the first four nights of a residency that will run on Thursdays in the Papillon bar and restaurant in Commercial Street, Leith.

Pianist Campbell Normand guests on July 5, followed by guitarist and banjo player Ross Milligan on 12th and 19th with the internationally acclaimed pianist Brian Kellock due to appear on July 26th. 



                                                                         Brian Kellock

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