Curtain raised on 2016 jazz programme

This summer's jazz fest features one of the most diverse line-ups ever with over 170 concerts over 10 days.

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is one of the top ten Jazz Festivals in Europe, with over 36,000 sales and 67,000 attendances. This year's programme will take place between 15-24 July.

Edinburgh’s distinctive approach sees all styles of jazz and blues presented with equal commitment. The Festival aims to present established jazz and blues lovers with a range of concerts to satisfy connoisseur interests, whilst also offering a raft of events that will appeal to non-specialists. With the City of Edinburgh Council a principal funding partner, the Festival reaches out to encompass soul, r’n’b, hip hop, latin, and other related musics. 

This year, the Festival launches a new venue at the Council's City Art Centre, transforming our top floor gallery into a jazz club loft scene. Together with the Spiegeltents in St Andrew Square and George Square, over half of the Festival’s programme will take place in venues specially assembled for the occasion. Other venues include Queen’s Hall, The Festival Theatre Studio, The Jazz Bar and Heriots Rugby Club.

Programme highlights include Ryan Quigley celebrating Otis Redding’s 75th birthday with The Commitments lead singer, Andrew Strong, and the great New York drummer and vocalist, Bryan Carter, as his guests.

Konrad Wiszniewski reconnects with his Polish heritage, teaming up with the leading pianist of his generation, Pawel Kazmarcyzk.

Tom Bancroft spearheads the Festival’s new partnership with Torino Jazz Festival, by forming a group with that city’s (and one of Italy’s) top jazz musicians, Furio di Castri.

Thunkfish collaborates with the Italian progressive rock/jazz group, NohayBandTrio.

Whilst spending a year in Japan, Seonaid Aitken met the Django guitar specialist, Fumihiko Kono. He subsequently found fame with the Tokyo Django Collective and now they play their first ever concert together in Edinburgh.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: “With over 170 gigs, including rare Scottish concerts by John McLaughlin and Jan Garbarek, there will be an amazing selection of artists at the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival this year.

"The 2016 programme spans a huge range of styles and specialisms, from established stars to new names and everything in-between. For the first time the City Art Centre will be used as a Jazz Festival venue when the top floor transforms into a jazz club loft scene. It will be a stunning location and it’s fantastic to see that over half of this summer’s festival programme will take place in venues specially assembled for the occasion.”

Brian Fallon, Chair of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, said “This year’s programme boasts a stellar international line-up with musicians converging on Edinburgh from all over the world to present over 170 concerts, plus the Festival’s two free events– The Mardi Gras and the Edinburgh Festival Carnival – will take place on the 16th and 17th July respectively."

Ian Smith, Head of Music, Creative Scotland, said: “The big names are out in force at the 2016 edition of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. I have been around long enough to have heard the Average White Band at the start of their incredible journey and to have toured with John McLaughlin so they are particularly welcome back to Edinburgh. To see Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra along with Brian Kellock and Tommy Smith - all deserved giants of the Scottish jazz scene is great to see with the Expo Fund allowing commissions and performances from David Patrick, Ryan Quigley, Konrad Wiszniewski and Tom Bancroft. 2016 looks like a great year for jazz in Scotland!”

All tickets on sale Monday 9 May. Find out more at the Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival website

Bryan Carter

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