Full programmes for both the Glasgow and Edinburgh jazz festivals have now been released. Patrick Hadfield and Mark McKergow, two of LJN’s ‘friends in the North’, have scrutinised both line-ups. Here are their picks, designed to help highlight some not-to-be-missed visitors alongside top Scottish talent.
Glasgow Jazz Festival (Thursday 16 June – Sunday 19 June 2022)
Rebecca Vasmant – With Love From Glasgow (Oran Mor, Sunday 19 June, 3.30pm), who has pulled together a day of acts associated with her record of the same name.
Binker Golding (The Blue Arrow, Saturday 18 June at 10.15pm), the iconoclastic saxophonist renowned for his work in Binker & Moses and his long association with Tomorrow’s Warriors, is bringing his exciting new quintet to Glasgow, playing music from his soon-to-be-released new album Dream Like A Dogwood Wild Boy.
Buster Williams Quartet (St Lukes, Sunday 19 June, 7pm), stellar US double bass performer returns to Scotland (at the age of 76) with his American band featuring Steve Wilson [sax], George Colligan [piano] and Lenny White [drums].
Trypl + Paul Towndrow Trio (Drygate, Thursday 16 June, 7.30pm) promises an energetic session with all-star UK latin jazz outfit Trypl paired up with Glasgow saxophonist Paul Towndrow’s organ trio featuring Pete Johnstone and Alyn Cosker.
Ryan Quigley Big Band (Oran Mor, Friday 17 June, 7pm), the festival gives the chance for a rare outing for award winning trumpet player Quigley’s large group packed with soloists.
And look out for the festival jam sessions, each night till 3am at the Blue Arrow.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (Friday 15 – Saturday 24 July 2022)
Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet (Assembly Roxy, Friday 15th July, 9pm), the US trumpeter makes a welcome return to Edinburgh – he played a remarkable show at the 2015 Jazz Festival.
Xhosa Cole Quartet (George Square Piccolo, Saturday 16th July, 8.30pm) BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year winner brings his exciting quartet to the capital.
Martin Kershaw Octet (Assembly Roxy, Wednesday 20th July, 9pm, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival excels at commissioning new works and collaborations – this year with Poets, a new work by Martin Kershaw. His last commission for 2018’s festival was an exciting suite and this year’s show featuring high calibre musicians such as Paul Harrison (piano), Calum Gourlay (bass) and Graeme Stephen (guitar) promises much.
Fergus McCreadie Large Ensemble (Assembly Hall, Saturday 16 July, 8pm) The Festival has also commissioned Fergus McCreadie to produce an new work for a large ensemble. Based around his long-standing trio with David Bowden (bass) and Stephen Henderson (drums), they will be joined by a second drummer, Graham Costello, saxophonists Matt Carmichael, Harry Weir, Norman Willmore and special guest, trumpeter Laura Jurd, with whom the trio have previously collaborated at the Islay Jazz Festival.
Laura Jurd and Playtime (George Square Piccolo, Monday 18th July, 8.30pm), trumpet maestro Jurd meets local jazz collective Playtime (Tom Bancroft, drums, Martin Kershaw (saxophone), Graham Stephen (guitar), and Mario Caribé (bass), and also performs with her own exciting band, Dinosaur (Assembly Roxy, Sunday 17th July, 6pm).
The festival is celebrating the centenary of the birth of bass legend Charles Mingus with two special events. David Bowden brings together a sextet of Scottish musicians to recreate Mingus’s classic 1959 album Ah Um (|George Square Piccolo, Wednesday 20th July, 6pm), and Emma Smith is taking inspiration from Mingus in a performance with musicians from several genres (Jazz Bar, Sunday 24th July, 9pm).
Jim Mullen (Assembly Roxy, Friday 15 July, 6pm) sees the ace guitarist return to his native land with a set of tunes connected with Robert Burns, alongside David Milligan (piano), Mario Caribé (bass) and Max Popp (drums).
Mud Morganfield (Assembly Hall, Sunday 17 July, 8pm) brings his mojo and the real deal in Chicago electric blues to Edinburgh’s New Town with his band. And he’s the eldest son of Muddy Waters.
De Beren Gieren (Jazz Bar, Monday 18 July, 6pm) sees the quirky Belgian piano trio stretching this classic format to its limits (and quite possibly beyond) with hypnotic riffs, sparkling stride and electo-effects – in a very good way.
European Jazz Workshop Big Band (Festival Theatre Studio, Thursday 21 July, 7.30pm) features top young musicians from the music academies of Oslo, Parma, Glasgow, Hamburg and Nuremberg premiering new pieces that have been inspired by environmental challenges. The visitors are also performing in smaller groups at the Jazz Bar (Wednesday 20 July, 6pm and 9pm, different line-ups for each show).