15 June 2021Internationally acclaimed glass artist announces new exhibition
Glass artist Alison Kinnaird has announced a new exhibition to take place as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
The show features a range of work both intimate and on an architectural scale and will be held at Shillinghill Studios in Temple, Midlothian from August 1st-31st, daily 10am - 5pm or by appointment.
Alison Kinnaird has an international reputation as both a glass artist and a leading exponent and teacher of the Scottish harp. Her 1978 album, The Harp Key set a new standard for the largely unexplored – at the time – instrument.
Her glass creations can be seen in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Scottish Parliament and the Royal Museums of Scotland and public and private collections home and abroad.
Shillinghill is a large and airy converted church (Edinburgh Festival Fringe Venue 244), where it is easy to observe all Covid regulations to give visitors a safe and enjoyable experience. The studios are also the base of Temple Records, which specialises in Scottish and Irish music and was founded by Alison's husband, musician and producer Robin Morton.
11 June 2021Edinburgh's Playtime sessions pause for breath and regeneration
The organisers of Edinburgh’s award-winning Playtime jazz sessions have announced they will be pausing activities to recharge their batteries.
Since Covid-19 struck last March, the Playtime team have worked extremely hard to keep the sessions going. From fortnightly live sessions in the Outhouse Bar’s loft space, they moved to weekly live streams, broadcasting more than forty online concerts.
These have only been possible through borrowing equipment and being given access to Pathhead Village Hall, from where they have streamed concerts when permissible with the help of sound engineer Matt Elliott.
The quartet behind the sessions – drummer Tom Bancroft, saxophonist Martin Kershaw, guitarist Graeme Stephen and bassist Mario Caribe – will be using the next two months to focus on securing funding to put more resources into marketing and audience development.
There will be two Playtime events in July, however. Saxophonist Soweto Kinch joins the quartet online on Thursday, July 17 (details here) and the quartet plays live at Pathhead Village Hall with a small socially distanced audience in attendance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for tickets.
Playtime (photo by Tom Bancroft)
10 June 2021AWB founder Alan Gorrie releases tribute to formative hometown sessions
Alan Gorrie, founder and frontman of the Average White Band, has created a tribute to his hometown, Perth’s legendary Blue Workshop as the lead song on a new EP.
Remembering the musicians who used to play at the fortnightly jazz, blues and soul sessions in Perth’s County Hotel from 1964 to 1967, Gorrie celebrates the contributions of Glasgow-born guitar legend Jim Mullen (sitting in on bass in these days), saxophonist Bobby Wishart, recently departed drummer Bill Kemp and the sessions’ founder, the late guitarist Laurie Hamilton.
Blue Workshop, which Gorrie wrote and recorded in his home studio in Connecticut, also pays homage to influences including Mose Allison, Herbie Hancock and Ramsey Lewis.
The original sessions in Perth also played host to musicians Andy Park and Alex Sutherland, who both went on to play significant roles in television, and at various times featured four founder-members of the Average White Band, Gorrie himself, the band’s touchstone drummer and beating heart, Robbie McIntosh and the Dundee Horns, saxophonists Molly Duncan and Roger Ball.
Alan Gorrie (third from left) with the current AWB with original guitarist Onnie McIntyre (third from right)
20 May 2021McCreadie, Masterchef Macdonald and corto-alto head Glasgow Jazzfest programme
Fergus McCreadie Trio (photo: Dave Stapleton) and Laura Macdonald (publicity photo)
Pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio, alto saxophonist (and Masterchef 2021 finalist) Laura Macdonald and “double” winners at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2020, Glasgow collective corto.alto are among the first artists to be announced for this year’s Glasgow Jazz Festival.
The festival, which will take place online, will run over the weekend of Friday 18th to Sunday 20th June, with performances and DJ sets showcasing the breadth of the Scottish jazz scene.
McCreadie, Macdonald and corto-alto will each premiere a specially commissioned piece of music and the Sunday programme, filmed at arts venue St Luke’s, will feature a new musical collaboration between Scottish keyboardist, composer and producer Marco Cafolla and the award-winning saxophonist from New Focus, Konrad Wiszniewski.
Singer Georgia Cecile will also appear from St Luke’s and popular Sauchiehall Street venue the Blue Arrow will host a programme of performances still to be announced. Surprise pop-up bonus tracks from a selection of performers, a Women in Jazz interview series and a London session will complete the line-up.
Early Bird online festival passes are on sale now at www.jazzfest.co.uk. This all-access ticket will give access to the full weekend of entertainment for £25 and is available for a limited time before the price increases. Performances will be available to view on demand for seven days following broadcast.
This year’s festival follows the event’s success in 2019, when audience figures rose by almost a third, and a successful online edition in 2020. A series of winter and spring livestreams has kept the festival in touch with its audience and provided a link between summer events.
The festival’s director, Jill Rodger said: “The 2021 festival will see us bring an array of exciting talent from the local jazz scene to global audiences with our programme of digital events. Going online allows us to continue supporting the rich and diverse jazz ecosystem in the city, including musicians, local venues and an array of industry specialists, such as production, sound and lighting, who work tirelessly to bring audiences the best live music.”
08 April 2021Orchestra fills St Giles' Cathedral with colour and expression
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra has announced its most ambitious, multi-dimensional event to date.
Due to take place online from May 12 to 15, Where Rivers Meet celebrates the blues-driven, unfettered expression, spirit and excitement of jazz’s 1960s revolutionary “New Thing” through music and live visual art filmed in the architecturally striking setting of Edinburgh’s 12th century St Giles' Cathedral.
Combining the visionary musical ideas of saxophonists Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Dewey Redman and Anthony Braxton with the arranging talents of American pianist-composer Geoffrey Keezer, Tommy Smith, Paul Towndrow and Paul Harrison, the project features four outstanding saxophone soloists and the vividly expressive creations of Russian painter and multi-media artist Maria Rud.
Smith (tenor saxophone), Towndrow (alto), Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor) and Martin Kershaw (alto) take the solo spotlight on potent suites of Ayler, Coleman, Redman and Braxton’s music respectively as Rud responds with characteristically rich, soulful images.
"This concert is all about expression, the deepest emotion of our inner voice,” says Smith. “To reach that space where we summon heart and spirit, the soloists must bare their souls – that was the challenge and the achievement of much of the best of the free jazz of the 1960s and beyond. And that's what we're after here."
Where Rivers Meet will be available online from 12 - 15 May at 7.30 pm each night. For further information and tickets log on here. The four instalments are available to view until August 15.
Maria Rud (photo by Douglas Robertson)
29 March 2021Award-winning pianist takes online jazz workshops during April
Pianist, educator and Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra director, Richard Michael BEM is leading online jazz sessions for St Andrews University during April.
Michael, who is an Honorary Professor in Jazz Piano at the university and has enjoyed success with his History of Jazz Piano concerts, will be giving workshops in learning a Blues, learning a Standard from the Great American Songbook and learning a contemporary modal tune. He will also take participants through a Miles Davis transcription showing how to learn from the masters.
The workshops will be over three sessions - 6th, 13th and 20th April - and will cost £5 per session for non-music centre members (music centre members attend at no charge).
For more information click here