Our website uses cookies. See our cookies page for information about them and how you can remove or block them. Click here to opt in to our cookies

Glasgow Jazz Festival opens in style

Published: 21 Jun 2018

Glasgow’s longest running music festival, the Glasgow Jazz Festival, has opened in style in venues across the city with big names including Mr Jukes and Rose Room Orchestra Fantastique kicking off proceedings in the Old Fruitmarket and St Luke’s venues.

Over the next few days, music fans across the city won’t be far from unmissable live jazz with a diverse and exciting programme for the 32nd edition of the festival. 

Having signed up to the Keychange Project, the initiative that encourages festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022, Glasgow Jazz Festival are already well on their way with 48% of this year’s line-up featuring world-class female musicians, including saxophonist Helena Kay and Arabic jazz trumpeter Yazz Ahmed as well as the inimitable Texan singer Hailey Tuck.  Harpist Alina Bzhezhinska will also celebrate the music of Alice Coltrane in the Recital Room of City Halls on Friday night.

Scottish talent – trailblazers and newcomers alike – is woven through the programme, some keeping the flame burning while others blow expectations apart- Alan Morrison, Creative Scotland

Ian Shaw will perform Shine Sister Shine at Glasgow’s newest Jazz venue, The Blue Arrow on Thursday 21st June. Cited as one of the world’s finest jazz vocalists Ian Shaw will perform his current studio album - a body of work celebrating the actions and art of extraordinary women. Known as one of the jazz world’s supreme interpreters of the popular song form – Shaw showcases new arrangements of works by Peggy Lee, Phoebe Snow, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon.

Tony Momrelle, one of the most exciting and significant soul musicians on the modern British stage, will play this year’s Glasgow Jazz Festival. Tony was lead male vocalist of the famous British acid-jazz band Incognito for more than 16 years, before launching his solo career in 2015. He has also previously toured with some of the biggest and best – including the likes of Whitney Houston, Sir Elton John, Take That and most recently Sade.

Nigel Clark and the Tom MacNiven Quintet will perform a celebratory concert in honour of the late, great Bobby Wellins at Drygate on Saturday 23rd June. Preceding the night of entertainment will be a screening of ‘Dreams are Free’ – a documentary on Wellins’ life. It has been just over 20 years since trumpeter Tom MacNiven recorded ‘Guess What?’ with Bobby Wellins, and this show will mark its re-release with the album being performed in full. 

Widely recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative and imaginative pianists and composers, Alexander Hawkins will take to the Glasgow Jazz Festival stage. Completely self-taught, and with a great love and deep knowledge of the jazz tradition, this will be a concert not to be missed.

Thursday night’s late-night jazz comes in the form of electronic production duo Wuh Oh. Comprising of Pete the human and Baboon the baboon – their hook laced tracked are as berserk as they are danceable. The duo’s primary aim is to have their audience groove to stranger sounds than they ever thought possible with their hyperactive jazz harmony and tricky time signatures. A night of entertainment not for the faint hearted.

Jill Rodger, Glasgow Jazz Festival Director said: “I’ve been really looking forward to this year’s programme and the opening night didn’t disappoint! The following days of musical entertainment will offer a diverse mix of amazing talent and I can’t wait to get along to as many gigs as possible. Ticket sales have been really great for this year’s festival and we would like to thank our audiences, old and new, for their support – we look forward to seeing you over the next few days!”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see Glasgow’s longest-running music festival lead the way by throwing a spotlight on world-class female musicians who push jazz in every possible direction. Scottish talent – trailblazers and newcomers alike – is woven through the programme, some keeping the flame burning while others blow expectations apart. It’s also an honour to welcome so many international stars to such a diverse range of venues right across this musically vibrant city.” 

History of the Glasgow Jazz Festival

The Glasgow International Jazz Festival was founded in 1987, when Glasgow was bidding to become the European City of Culture for 1990. The City had studied the competition and worked out that all major cities in Europe had a jazz festival. If they had one, then so should Glasgow.

From the very beginning, the Glasgow International Jazz Festival brought some of the biggest names of jazz to the City –1987’s programme included singer Sarah Vaughan, Chick Corea, Taj Mahal, Benny Carter and Carol Kidd. Other top headliners include Miles Davis (during the European City of Culture year 1990), Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Guy, Michael Brecker and Tony Bennett.

Glasgow Jazz Festival is supported by Creative Scotland and Glasgow City Council. For the full Glasgow Jazz Festival programme and to buy the last few remaining tickets go to www.jazzfest.co.uk.