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Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival presents four-day online festival

Published: 20 Jul 2020

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival Online

Edinburgh Jazz & Blue Festival will mark the dates of the 43rd Festival by presenting a four-day online festival.

Starting on Thursday 23rd July, the festival includes a mix of new sets made under lockdown conditions, solo home videos, a selection of great content from our video archive, a host of talks, and late-night DJ sets.

The programme features a host of Scottish luminaries including Martin Kershaw’s five star Octet, paying homage to the writer David Foster Wallace, and Graham Costello’s STRATA Expanded. Rising star, pianist Fergus McCreadie plays two concerts - one with winner of the Young Scottish Traditional musician of the year fiddler Charlie Stewart and one with recent winner of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards for Best Newcomer: singer Luca Manning.

Chair of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Councillor Jason Rust says: “We are excited to be able to deliver such an exciting online programme in 2020 which covers the range of great music that the Festival is famous for. We were sorry that we could not stage the live Festival as usual this year, but hope this celebration of the music that we love will fill the gap in some small way. We look forward to welcoming you to our various online homes”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Convener of Culture and Communities, City of Edinburgh Council says: “We are proud to support Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and that the 43rd Festival can be celebrated, especially under the current extraordinary circumstances. The endurance of the Festivals are important to a successful future for the city and the country and I am delighted that this imaginative online Festival offer will encompass the best of Edinburgh-based, Scottish and international talent in a stylistic mix from the early years of the music right up until today’s, and our future talent."

There are newly recorded live sets from Tom Bancroft’s Playtime team, Seonaid Aitken’s, popular quartet Rose Room celebrate their 10th anniversary, Harry Weir’s explosive Trio AKU! play a mix of hard hitting heavy rhythmical originals and covers of music by Shabaka Hutchings, Fela Kuti and Young Fathers among others.

The festival reaches out to children with Jessie Bates and Haftor Medbøe presenting a duo set covering a day in the life of a toddler through songs about getting ready and dressed, going out and about, bath time and, finally, bed time.

The ever-popular Blues Afternoons feature with Sandy Tweeddale, Jed Potts, Liz Jones, Main Street Blues, and a new birthday set from Nicole Smit.

The festival will also broadcast videos from a host of singers including Lorna Reid, Georgia Cecile and Katie Whittaker reprising her smash-hit show, celebrating Etta James.

Alan MorrisonHead of MusicCreative Scotland said: "With new material and archive favourites from Scotland’s best musicians, its emerging stars and virtual visitors from abroad, this year’s Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival sets the standard for all online festivals to follow. This is no mere digital substitute but an exciting, inventive platform for music that pushes the creative envelope and encourages jazz fans to drop in on gigs by artists they haven’t experienced before. Rising to the challenge of these troubled times, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival continues to be a vital part of Scotland’s music scene."

Collaborations have been key to the festival’s success and this year is no exception as BBC Radio Scotland’s Jazz Nights joins the festival on Sunday. Host Seonaid Aitken celebrates with a special mixtape featuring artists who have played the Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival, including EJF archive concert performances by Dave Milligan, Haftor Medboe & Jakob Karlzon. Plus special home DJ sets from Ali Affleck and Rebecca Vasmant for the festival after party on Jazz Nights. Norrie Thomson from Edinburgh’s Jazz Archive charts the development of jazz in Edinburgh in the early years. The festival also investigates jazz, electronics and new technologies at a conference presented with Wide Days, bringing together a panel from Scotland, Italy as well as TEFOS (The Edinburgh Festival of Sound).

Keeping its international connections, the festival will feature musicians from USA - Joplin Parnell from New Orleans, plays with Alison Affleck and Nashville bluesman Stacy Mitchhart records a special solo set just for the festival. Haftor Medbøe is joined by Norwegian trumpeter Gunnar Halle and Danish bassist Eva Malling. T.U.N. (Torino Unlimited Noise) presents a double header the Scotland’s Stu Brown. From Belgium, ESINAM’s Jazz Bar performance from last February is reprised, whilst from Holland, Tin Men and the Telephone make their Festival debut with their award winning interactive live concert.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture for Scotland says: “Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is an event that focuses on and champions Scottish talent, and I am pleased they are able to continue that focus in 2020. Thanks to the Scottish Government’s EXPO funding, the Festival has been able to delve into its digital archives to present music made by musicians from all over Scotland.”

To celebrate this summer’s event, the festival has launched a new supporters scheme welcoming donations and patrons from customers who want to support our work.

The full programme can be found at www.edinburghjazz.co.uk and on social media: