10 Jazz Festival Debuts You Won’t Want To Miss

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The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival marks its 40th anniversary this year with a line-up fit for a celebration, and as always there are lots of new delights in store for music fans.

The Festival runs from 13-22 July 2018 and here's a look at ten of the most exciting names making their Festival debuts this summer.

Jazz Festival 2018 Firsts Keyon Harrold 975x400

Keyon Harrold

Having already toured with the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill - and with a Grammy to his name for his playing in Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead - Keyon Harrold’s reputation precedes him as he makes his Jazz Festival debut.

The Jazz Festival says:

one of the world’s most sought-after young trumpeters

Where and when: 

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Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band

The all-female New Orleans jazz band play twice at this year’s Jazz Festival - once in their own performance and again as part of the A Night in New Orleans ensemble performance.

The Jazz Festival says:

energetic solos, hot rhythmic breaks, and a pad of great old tunes that are great for swinging out

Where and when: 

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Marquise Knox

Hailing from St. Louis, guitarist and vocalist Marquise Knox is an exciting young talent guaranteed to bring an authentic blues sound to Edinburgh.

The Jazz Festival says:

a prodigious, rich, soulful voice like Muddy Waters, and...a superb guitarist with a classic style

Where and when: 

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K.O.G. and the Zongo Brigade

Fronted by Kweku Sackey aka K.O.G, the 16-piece Zongo Brigade combine afrobeat, jazz, funk, dancehall, rap, reggae and dub for a high-energy night of West African music.

The Jazz Festival says:

a totally original sound that leaves every crowd dripping with sweat and begging for more

Where and when: 

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Southern Avenue

Memphis band Southern Avenue combine guitar-led soul rock with horns, beats and ballads to present a gritty twist on traditional blues.

The Jazz Festival says:

A red-hot, deeply soulful Memphis blues rooted band that’s turning the scene on its head

Where and when: 

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Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton

A first-timer at the Jazz Festival but a sensational musician, Blind Boy Paxton plays banjo, fiddle, guitar, piano, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones - and spans an impressive range of genres, performing ragtime, hokum, old time, French reels, Appalachian mountain music and blues.

The Jazz Festival says:

the most sensational newcomer in acoustic blues since the originals left us

Where and when: 

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Bokanté

Having already wowed audiences at Jazz Festivals in Adelaide, Montreal, Newport and more, Bokanté bring their unique twist on world music to Edinburgh.

The Jazz Festival says:

dazzling music ranging from Zeppelin-esque blues stomp to folkloric Caribbean kaladja

Where and when: 

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Bomba Titinka

This Italian group take their inspiration from jive, swing and rock’n’roll so audiences can look forward to a retro night full of dancing!

The Jazz Festival says:

a wacky Italian experience fronted by Mr Bricks on vocals and guitar and Wanda Lassarovich on bass, songs and sultry looks

Where and when: 

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Allan Harris

With this year marking the centenary of jazz legend Eddie Jefferson, New York singer Allan Harris will pay tribute for his first appearance in Edinburgh.

The Jazz Festival says:

a concert that reminds what a sensational impact the Detroit singer had on jazz

Where and when: 

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Melisa Kelly and the Smokin’ Crows

This five-piece perform a raft of old favourites from the likes of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and James Brown.

The Jazz Festival says:

a funky mix of blues and soul music...fronted by Melisa’s glorious and powerfully soulful vocals

Where and when: 

And there's much more

Also making their Festival debut in the Jazz Bar this year are Juno, the Robert Balzar Trio, Mezcla, the Rachel Lightbody Trio and the Filomena Campus Quartet, while James Williams will sing Louis Armstrong at St. Bride’s Centre and Lyra Theatre.

Piccolo will play host to Lassen and the Vit Kristan Trio, Hillfolk Noir, Markus K, the Martin Kershaw Octet and Tenement Jazz Band while Teviot Row will see a showcase of new Scottish jazz artists make their debut, along with the Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown Band, the first joint appearance of Curtis Stigers and Martin Taylor, and the Mark Hendry Ensemble.

So if you're looking for something new to check out, then the Jazz Festival is the place to be this July.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival takes place from 13-22 July. Find full listings, ticket details and more.

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