Mini-Autumn Festival Series
The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is hosting a mini-Autumn Festival Series [20 October to 20 November], bringing the best of the current Scottish Jazz and Blues scene out across the city. So lets take a look at what's on offer.
Live at St Brides
The Festival will be hosting 15 of their mini-Autumn Festival Series events at the St Bride's Centre. The former church is situated just outside the city centre in Dalry, and has a fantastic, atmospheric auditorium, with, most importantly, a well-stocked bar! And five of our favourites from the St Bride's programme are:
1. Matt Carmichael: “Compelling”, “striking” and “uplifting” are just some of the press accolades for Matt Carmichael’s irresistible blend of lyrical jazz & lilting folk melodies. The saxophonist’s star is rising with a new album Marram set to be released this Autumn on Edition Records. Here, Matt showcases a new, international sextet who will create a suite of music for this world premiere. Matt is joined by Norwegian pianist Liv Hauge and Rose Logan (fiddle), James Mackay (guitar), Mark Hendry (bass) and Corrie Dick (drums).
2. Seonaid Aitken: Beautiful, beguiling and evocative music blending jazz, classical and folk, all delivered by leading Scottish violinist and vocalist Seonaid Aitken and her handpicked ensemble of Katrina Lee (violin), Patsy Reid (viola), Alice Allen (cello), Emma Smith (double bass) and Helena Kay (tenor Saxophone & flute). Originally commissioned by EJBF as part of our 2021 online festival, the project has also headlined Celtic Connections and released a critically acclaimed album, which has just been longlisted for the SAY Awards.
3. Mezcla: Lead by bassist David Bowden, Mezcla feature some of the prominent jazz players on the scene. Expect world jazz fusion packed with infectious African and Latin grooves, chattering percussion, big warm melodies, and funky riffs. Every musician is a big personality, delivering visceral improvisation alongside powerful solos creating heartening and infectious music. After the huge success of their 2020 debut album ‘Shoot the Moon’, they are working on new music - look out for a new release later this year.
4. Chronicle Tones: 'Chronicle Tones' is a live performance music event which will take you on a journey through the historical evolution of urban music. Presented by Edinburgh Festival Carnival, the gig will showcase a range of local, amateur artists, each with their own individual and unique talents. Keep your ears open as we explore various genres such as traditional African, Afro-pop, Afro-beat, R&B, soul, Hip-Hop, and see how music has been shaped over the years.
5. Paul Harrison: A unique evening of music and film as pianist and composer Paul Harrison presents a live jazz score for the 1915 silent film ‘Alice in Wonderland’. With infectious melodies, beguiling harmonies and rambunctious rhythms, Paul's ingenious music connects the unexpected turns of Alice's adventure with the essence of jazz improvisation. Featuring an all-star band of vocalist Rachel Lightbody, saxophonist Norman Willmore, bassist Brodie Jarvie and drummer Tom Bancroft, the group will use their first set to explore new takes of great songs and instrumentals from cinema over the last century.
Around the City
Continuing the Festival's vision of bringing the best jazz and blues out into every corner of the city, this Autumn Series has some great musicians in a range of striking venues across the city, with five of our favourites being:
1. Kultura [at Leith Arches]: Uplifting, grooving and soulful music mixing jazz, blues funk and even some classical tones. From a starting point of influences that include Brad Meldhau, John Scofield and Dr. John they interweave new tunes, and slick improvisations - a mellow and melodic musical fusion.
2. Toby Mottershead [at Oxgangs Neighborhood Centre]: Steel guitar player, singer, and raconteur, Toby Mottershead takes you on a tour of early blues and roots music in an intimate solo show, which features his extraordinary knowledge of American music from the birth of the 20th Century. He has an uncanny ability to bring it back to life and performs with a compelling authenticity.
3. Tenement Jazz Band [at Heriots Rugby Club]: Reviving the sounds of traditional New Orleans Jazz in Scotland, Tenement bringing new energy and excitement to the classics of the past. Presented in association with Edinburgh Jazz and Jive Club, for this special concert, they are joined by Dick Lee on Tenor and Clarinet. Playing tunes inspired by the likes of Alex Hill, Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morten. Perfect music for (swing) dancing or to nod along to.
4. Jed Potts and the Hillman Hunters [at Leith Dockers Club]: One of the best blues bands on the Edinburgh scene, Jed Potts and the Hillman Hunters play classic 1950s and early 60s American blues, delivered with passion and power. Inspired by American greats, from Freddie King to Howlin’ Wolf, Potts alongside drummer Jonny Christie and bassist Charlie Wild deliver gritty blues, whether laying back into a ballad or digging-in to a hypnotic groove.
5. Ali Affleck & Duved Dunayevsk [at Traverse Theatre]: Making his Edinburgh debut, Duved Dunayevsky is an extraordinary gypsy jazz guitarist. One of the most authentic interpreters of the 1930's style of Django Reinhardt and Eddie Lang, he makes the music fresh and nostalgic at the same time. He is joined by a band that will really swing featuring John Burgess, Roy Percy and Ross Baird, plus the incomparable Ali Affleck [pictured above] on vocals – a must-see!
Blues Afternoon [at La Belle Angele]
The Autumn Series wouldn't be complete without our ever-popular Blues Afternoon. Kicking off the afternoon, Full Fat are a three-piece band who bring class blues and vibrant energy in a set packed with 50’s rockabilly and rock-n-roll influences.
Glasgow-based guitarist Andrew Robert Eustace has the blues in his bones. With gritty vocals and swaying guitar riffs, he skilfully evokes the greats of years gone by. He’s been hitting the festival circuit in 2022 – don't miss his EJBF debut.
Fronted by Gary Martin’s trenchant vocals and harmonica playing, Jensen Interceptors are an all-star band delivering rocking blues straight out of the Chicago tradition. They tear through a mix of covers by the likes of Slim Harpo, Little Walter, T’Bone Walker and Muddy Waters as well as their own original songs as they close the Blues Afternoon.
Jazz for Children
After sell-out performances in Summer 2022, the Festival is once again bringing our Jazz For Kids show to venues across Edinburgh as part of the Autumn Series. This 30-minute show is aimed at kids aged between 3 and 9 and it's the perfect introduction to jazz. Lead by the brilliant saxophonist Sue McKenzie, these fun, interactive workshops cost just £5 for an adult and child. See the full list of dates and venues HERE.
Festival Online Pass
The Autumn Series Online Pass gives you access to streams from 12 stellar Scottish acts...all for just £10! The Online Pass gives you access to the EJBF Digital Hub - the home of our online streams. Concerts will appear as they go live, with an on demand available to enjoy for a month afterwards.