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Glasgow Jazz Festival gets underway for 2024

Glasgow Jazz Festival launches today with performances from some of the biggest names in jazz set to be hosted in the city across the iconic five day event.

Glasgow Jazz Festival gets underway for 2024

Article Source: Glasgow Jazz Festival
Last Updated: 19 June 2024 10:30

Taking place between Wednesday 19th - Sunday 23rd June 2024, there are over 20 captivating concerts confirmed across Glasgow at well-loved venues, including Saint Luke’s, Mackintosh Church, Òran Mór, Nice n Sleazy, The Griffin and The Glad Café.

Made possible with funding from The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and showcasing everything from the legendary to the up-and-coming, the 38th edition of the festival promises an electrifying line-up that audiences have come to expect of the world-renowned event. Scottish talent will stand shoulder to shoulder with jazz names from across the globe including Vietnam, Japan, USA, France & Canada.

Launching the festivities at the Mackintosh Church is Vietnamese ensemble Đàn Đó who perform alongside Scottish musicians for the unique sold out concert tonight, inspired by saxophonist Quyền Thiện Đắc’s traditional musical background and his research and study abroad.

Elsewhere on opening night, Scottish jazz duo Norman Willmore & Corrie Dick will be challenging traditional notions of folk music at Nice n Sleazy with support from Juliette Lemoine & Chris Amer, while the Michelle Willis Trio gets the jazz celebrations underway at The Glad Cafe in the Southside.

Thursday 20th June sees a number of tributes to legendary musicians. Scottish jazz and soul ensemble Mama Terra recreates songs from the classic album ‘Head Hunters’ by Herbie Hancock, in their own sound at Saint Luke’s, while the collaboration project BLACKSABBATHMODE seamlessly blends BIGHEADMODE's ethereal jazz rhythms and Plumm's soulful melodies, journeying into new musical realms while embodying Black Sabbath's iconic rock style. While kitti's Caledonian Songbook pays homage to songs in the Scots tradition from Robert Burns right up to Paolo Nutini on Friday 21st June at Saint Luke's.

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Kyoto Jazz Massive led by two hugely influential DJs and artists among the Japanese music scene in Shuya Okino (Kyoto Jazz Sextet & owner of The Room in Shibuya) and Yoshihiro Okino (owner of Especial Records). The ensemble will be supported by DJ Rebecca Vasmant. Scottish protest musician Kapil Seshasayee blends R&B, Indian classical and jazz fusion with contemporary electronic genres with support from rapper / singer Raj Mahal.

The Glasgow Jazz Festival is bursting with award winners this year. Over the weekend, Scottish pianist, composer and Mercury Prize nominee and Scottish Album of the Year winner Fergus McCreadie presents music from his latest venture ‘Stream’ at the Mackintosh Church, blending together contemporary jazz with Scottish folklore, while Ben Shankland, winner of the 2023 BBC Radio Scotland Young Jazz Musician of the Year award, performs with his trio at Saint Luke’s. Current Scottish Jazz Awards Best Vocalist winner Marianne McGregor joins forces with Brian Kellock for a special concert of their favourite jazz repertoire featuring exciting improvised solos in an intimate setting at The Griffin.

Making a triumphant return to Glasgow after a hiatus of over a decade, US saxophonist Bobby Watson’s long-awaited comeback is sure to be a highlight of the festival, echoing his 1994 stint as Artist in Residence exactly 30 years ago. A one-time musical director of the hugely influential Jazz Messengers, he has also worked alongside the legendary Max Roach, George Coleman and Branford and Wynton Marsalis. He will be supported by skilful guitarist Nathan Somevi.

Hamish Stuart, an original member of the famed Scottish funk and R&B act Average White Band, brings his unique talents to Òran Mór. Known for dynamic beats and funky rhythms that captivate audiences, he takes to the stage with his band on Saturday night when they will perform two sets for this energetic homecoming show.

The final day sees two afternoon shows with prominent Glasgow songstress Pippa Blundell at The Glad Café and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra reuniting with Orphy Robinson, one of the most engaging and influential voices in British jazz. Following last year’s sell-out concert, this year’s matinee at Saint Luke's celebrates the work of Barbadian trumpeter Harry Beckett.

Closing the beloved week of jazz on Sunday 23rd June at Nice n Sleazy are Nimbus Sextet, one of the most innovative groups in the new wave of UK jazz. Ahead of the release of their hotly anticipated third album, they’ll perform with special guest vocalists Russell Stewart & lissappear, who appear on their recent version of Roy Ayers' Searching, and trombonist / vocalist Christopher Small.

The free Late Night Jam Sessions also return each evening of the festival. The hosts include pianist Fergus McCreadie, vocalist Marianne McGregor and saxophonist Helena Kay, with the sessions providing a crucial platform for musicians to come together to improvise and create unique musical moments into the wee hours of the morning.

Jill Rodger, Director of Glasgow Jazz Festival, said: “For the next five days, we’re thrilled to present the very best of Scottish jazz and host notable international legends in Glasgow. The city is famous for being a music hub so it’s incredible to see that the passion for live jazz music is still strong, 38 years on from the first Jazz Festival in Glasgow. This year is set to be an unmissable one - there truly is something for everyone.”

Glasgow Jazz Festival runs until Sunday 23 June 2024. For more information and to buy tickets, visit: www.jazzfest.co.uk

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