9 Must-See Jazz Festival First Timers

Jazz 2016 Firsts 975x400

Friday 15 July is the first day of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2016! So we thought we'd take a look at some of the bands and individuals playing the festival for the first time.


Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0008 Layer 1Pixel hail from Norway, and merge indie rock and jazz with a no-holding-back attitude - so they're sure to get the crowd going!

The Jazz Festival says: "knotty jazz compositions with boisterous grooves and radiophonic vocal choruses"
Festival Theatre Studio, Mon 18 July, 20:00

Amythyst Kiah

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0000 Layer 9Tennessee singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah brings alt-country blues with a Southern Gothic Twist with a show which include covers of old time blues classics as well as her own original songs.

The Jazz Festival says: "complete authenticity and authority - a hugely compelling and distinctive new artist"
City Art Centre Fifth Floor, Sun 17, 19:30 and Mon 18 July, 22:00

Daymé Arocena

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0001 Layer 8First time in Edinburgh for this fantastic Cuban singer, whose music combines a hugely diverse and powerful vocal performance with intense rumba and conga beats.

The Jazz Festival says: "her live performances are phenomenal delivered with energy and raw passion"
George Square Spiegeltent, Sat 16 July, 22:00

Bryan Carter

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0002 Layer 7Cover star of the Jazz Festival's brochure, American percussionist Carter is here in residence for his first visit, appearing at no fewer than four shows, twice as a guest and twice in his own right.

The Jazz Festival says: "his philosophy [is] of timeless jazz qualities: swing and rhythmic groove; sharp, clever tunes; and crisp, punchy solos"
With John Burgess Big 5 - City Art Centre Fifth Floor, Mon 18 July, 19:30
With his quintet, Young Swangers - City Art Centre Fifth Floor, Wed 20 July, 15:30
With Ryan Quigley Band - Queen's Hall, Thu 21 July, 20:00
The Music of Romance - St Andrew Square Spiegeltent, Fri 22 July, 19:30

Doug MacLeod

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0003 Layer 6A first timer here, but a veteran of the American blues scene, MacLeod is a guitarist, singer and songwriter from St Louis - so authenticity is guaranteed.

The Jazz Festival says: "an achingly emotive singer, a poignant song writer and a masterful guitarist"
City Art Centre Fifth Floor, Fri 15 July, 17:30

Lisa Mann

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0004 Layer 5Playing the bass and singing the blues, Portland, Oregon's Lisa Mann is the real deal. Soulful sounds performed with true conviction.

The Jazz Festival says: "one of the best voices in the blues, deep rooted in Koko Taylor, Etta James, and Bonnie Raitt"
City Art Centre Fifth Floor, Fri 15 July, 19:30

Shayna Steele

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0005 Layer 4Having sung backing vocals for the likes of Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Bette Midler and John Legend, Steele's credentials are impeccable as she brings her own sound to Edinburgh.

The Jazz Festival says: "dynamite vocals, gutsy, sassy, on-stage personality"
St Andrew Square Spiegeltent, Fri 22 July, 22:00

The Bridge

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0006 Layer 3A first Jazz Festival show for Italian saxophonist Dario Terzuolo's quartet, although many will know him from the massively popular and immensely fun group, Bandakadabra.

The Jazz Festival says: "bridging the gap between styles and generations with innovative re-arrangements of the great jazz standards"
The Jazz Bar, Mon 18 July, 19:00

Tokyo Django Collective

Jazz 2016 Firsts 488x200 0007 Layer 2As their name suggests this trio from Tokyo, came together as fans of the great Django Reinhardt. This summer they'll play two gigs, one with Scotland’s leading swing jazz fiddler, Seonaid Aitken.

The Jazz Festival says: "an exciting Japanese take on the Gypsy jazz sound... world class sensitive and creative playing"
With Seonaid Aitken - George Square Spiegeltent, Sat 23 July, 19:30
City Art Centre Fifth Floor, Sun 24 July, 15:30

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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