Jazz tunes here, Blues riffs there...

Songhoy Blues play to a rapturous crod in the St Andrew Square Spiegeltent

With Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival just around the corner we thought we'd take a look at some of the great venues involved and also tell you about just a few of the fantastic acts taking part.

From huge halls to the most intimate settings, the Jazz Festival (15-24 July) has a real diversity of locations this year - so if you fancy experiencing all of them, here's some key information and tips on what you might want to book for. 

The City Art Centre, Rumba de Bodas and Ali.Na

City Art Centre

A beautiful venue, new to the Jazz Festival, but already well known to fans of Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh International Science Festival. The fifth floor of this great building will be converted into a jazz club loft scene, with 41 concerts in total. 

Artists playing at the City Art Centre include: 

  • Rumba De Bodas play their third and final show of this year's Festival in the CAC, with their joyous cabaret-swing style incorporating Latin, Ska, Balkan influences. CAC: Tuesday 19 July. St Andrew Sq: 17-18 July.
  • London singer-songwriter Ala.Ni has a mysterious air about her, having used her amazing voice to back Mary J Blige and Damon Albarn, while also being compared to a modern Billie Holiday. 19 July and two performances on 20 July. 

Festiva Theatre Edinburgh, Curtis Stigers and Jan Garbarek

Festival Theatre Edinburgh

The largest venue at this year's Jazz Festival, this grand, opulent theatre sits on Edinburgh's longest continuous theatre site - but it's sweet music that'll be thrilling the crowds of 1915! 

Artists playing at Festival Theatre Edinburgh include: 

  • Don't miss smooth crooner Curtis Stigers, as he melts hearts on the opening night of the festival. Friday 15 July.
  • Legend of European jazz, Jan Garbarek, makes his first Scottish appearance in ten years. Unmissable. Wednesday 20 July. 

The Queen's Hall, Warren Haynes and Todd Gordon and Carol Kidd

The Queen's Hall

Enjoy some great sounds in one of Edinburgh's leading live venues - this converted 19th century church has an upstairs gallery and traditional pews surrounding the central area, where table seating will be used. 

Artists playing at the Queen's Hall include: 

  • One of the finest blues guitarists, Warren Haynes' impressive CV includes stints with the Allman Brothers and members of the Grateful Dead, plus a Grammy. Friday 22 July.
  • You can't beat a bit of (Tony) Bennett, and top British jazz singer Todd Gordon agrees. Joining him to pay tribute to the legend will be special guest Carol Kidd. Sunday 24 July. 

Saint Andrew Square Spiegeltent, Davina and the Vagabonds, the Rad Trads

St Andrew Square, Spigeltent

One of two of the ever-popular travelling venues to feature at this year's festival, the St Andrew Square Spiegeltent offers a brilliant spot in the middle of town to catch a performance. 

Artists playing at the St Andrew Square Spigeltent include: 

  • Splitting their time between here and George Square (see below), the sheer energy and talent of Davina & the Vagabonds has made them so popular they're playing every night of the festival! St Andrew Sq: 15, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24 July. George Sq: 16, 17, 18, 22 July
  • Also playing two venues, the Rad Trads are from New York, but play New Orleans jazz, plus 1940's jump jive, Chicago and delta blues, and rock and roll. St Andrew Sq: 19, 20 July. City Art Centre: 19 July (late). 

George Square Spiegeltent, Bratislava Hot Serenaders and Mr Sipp

George Square, Spiegeltent

Like its city centre twin, the spiegeltent placed in the campus of the University of Edinburgh is a fantastic venue for all manner of Jazz and Blues - fast, slow, traditional and contemporary. 

Artists playing at the George Square Spiegeltent include: 

  • Bratislava Hot Serenaders have delighted crowds for the last two years, and it's great that they're back. This 19-piece band, goes for full 1920s/30s period costume, and has the musical talent to back it up. George Sq: 19-21 July. St Andrew Sq: 20 July (afternoon).
  • A festival first timer in 2015, Castro Coleman, aka Mr Sipp, was so popular that he's back for more. Catch his guitar genius and vocal verve to see why he's known as the 'Mississippi Blues Child'. 18-19 July. 

The Festival Theatre Studio, Mads Mathias and Tom Bancroft

The Studio

At the back of the Festival Theatre (above) is the great new theatre space, the Studio, on Potterow first used at the Jazz & Blues Festival last summer. It's an intimate spot with rakes seating to ensure a great view. 

Artists playing at the Studio include: 

  • Making his first appearance at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues festival, Mads Mathias won the 2015 Danish Music Award for Best New Jazz Artist of the Year, and is definitely one to watch. Wednesday 20 July.
  • Bassist Furio Di Castri's band teams up with percussionist Tom Bancroft to create an Italian-Scottish combo who wowed the Turin Jazz Festival earlier in the year. Friday 15 July. 

The Jazz Bar, the Jazz Bar Big Band and Graeme Stephen

The Jazz Bar

A superb New York-style basement bar, the Jazz Bar can hold just 140 people, so tickets are at a premium. It's atmospheric, comfortable and modern, and perfect for whiling away an evening of music. 

Artists playing at the Jazz Bar include:  

  • If you're here for the festival, it's always worth catching the Monday night Jazz Bar Big Band where the best players in Edinburgh come to show off their skills. Monday 18 July.
  • Rising star of UK jazz, Graeme Stephen brings his Quartet to the festival, promising beautiful melodies and rhythms full of surprises. Saturday 23 July. 

La Belle Angele, the Mouse Outfit and the Excitements

La Belle Angèle

This classic Edinburgh venue was home to legendary club nights like Ultragroove and Manga as well as gigs by the Britpop bands of the 1990s, before being destroyed by fire in 2002. Now it's back and ready to rock the Edinburgh scene once again. 

Artists playing at La Belle Angèle include:

  • Horns, funk and classic hip hop breaks are the order of the day when The Mouse Outfit bring their eclectic style and extreme to the Festival. Tuesday 19 July.
  • Continuing the vibrant 60s styles of Etta James, Ike and Tina Turner and James Brown, The Excitements deliver old school soul and gritty R'n'B with power and passion. La Belle Angèle: Monday 18 July. St Andrew Sq: Tuesday 19 July. 

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival runs from 15-24 July and tickets for all events are on sale. Find out more about the Festival, including links to programme and ticketing details.

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