Glasgow Jazz Festival Programme and New Initiative Announced

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Wednesday 20th – Sunday 24th June 2018

Glasgow Jazz Festival has launched their full 2018 programme for this year’s summer festival.  Organisers have also announced a brand-new partnership with the Keychange Project –striving to achieve a more inclusive music industry, encouraging festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022.


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Glasgow Jazz Festival, the city’s longest running music festival, has today (30 April, 2018) on International Jazz Day announced their full programme for the 32nd edition. The summer festival will bring yet another richly diverse programme with a wealth of international and home-grown jazz talent performing at some of Glasgow’s most iconic venues.

Already announced to headline the festival is former front-man of Bombay Bicycle Club, Mr Jukes, who will bring his debut solo album to this year’s festival, a project full of material that revives his long-standing interest in jazz, soul and R&B. Music legend Georgie Fame will also return to the festival to showcase his much-loved blend of jazz and rhythm & blues with his Family Trio, as well as Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – one of Africa’s biggest and longest running orchestras.

Bahrain-raised, London-based trumpeter Yazz Ahmed will be taking to the Glasgow Jazz Festival stage this summer. Yazz has played with a huge variation of notable names, including Radiohead, who’s ‘Bloom’ track is covered by Yazz on her latest album ‘La Saboteuse’ – an album of music that encapsulates the dreamy enchantment and exotic nations of her Bahrain heritage fused with the polygenesis jazz scene of her London home.

Led by virtuoso violinist and last year’s Scottish Jazz Awards ‘Best Vocalist’ Seonaid Aitken – Glasgow based Rose Room (dubbed as Scotland’s leading ‘Hot Club’ swing band) join forces with top Scottish saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski and the award-winning Capella String Quartet to celebrate the vintage sound of the 1930s with the The Rose Room Orchestra Fantastique. 

DJ-Producer Rebecca Vasmant will bring a fresh new twist to dance music with her love of jazz when she opens for already-announced Mr Jukes in the Old Fruitmarket on Wednesday 20th June.

Alina Bzhezhinska and her Quartet led the 80th birthday celebrations for Alice Coltrane around the UK and their celebrated set that was part of ‘A Concert for John and Alice’ at last year’s London Jazz Festival – Alina and her critically acclaimed quartet will bring this celebrated material to the City Halls Recital Room on Friday 22nd June.

Singer-songwriter Sophie Bancroft will play Glasgow’s brand-new jazz venue The Blue Arrow as part of this year’s festival. Heralding from one of Britain’s top jazz families, with brothers Tom and Phil, she has since gone on to have a highly successful career with a unique blend of jazz and folk influences. Following a collaboration between Bancroft and American pianist Louis Durra for the Made In Scotland showcase at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Songs Quartet emerged and the resulting ‘Songs’ was listed in The Herald’s Top 50 albums of 2015.

The Bitches Brew project was conceived by double-bassist Emma Smith as a night of music written, improvised and performed by some of the best female instrumentalists around. In response to the assumption that the woman in the band is mostly the singer, Bitches Brew focuses on the female instrumental player and the end result is an eclectic night of music that celebrates a diverse variety of talent playing, dancing and pushing the boundaries of creative music.

Vocalist and songwriter Georgia Cécile will launch her debut album as part of the festival while 2015’s Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year and 2018’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award winner Helena Kay and her trio KIM will also play.

Glasgow Jazz Festival also continues to support up-and-coming talent. Part of London’s ‘Jazz Re:Freshed’ Ashley Henry plays the piano with a beauty and sensitivity that usually comes from a lifetime immersed in jazz.

Claire Martin and Jim Mullen will celebrate the music of one of the most iconic guitarists in jazz history, Wes Montgomery. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the passing of the self-taught, Grammy-winning star who left an amazing body of work during his lifetime which ended tragically early. Award-winning UK jazz musicians – vocalist Claire Martin and guitarist Jim Mullen, will pay their special tribute to this hugely influential musician as part of this year’s festival on Friday 22nd June at St Lukes. The show will feature an array of well-known Montgomery tunes, including ‘Willow Weep for Me’, ‘If You Could See Me Now’ and ‘Goin Out Of My Head’.

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.

Tony Momrelle is one of the most exciting and significant soul musicians on the modern British stage. 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.

Clarinettist and composer Arun Ghosh, winner of ‘Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year’ at the 2014 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, will be performing music from his new album ‘But Where Are You Really From?’ at this year’s festival. As a renowned innovator of modern Indo Jazz, Ghosh’s ensemble will incorporate jazz, rock, folk and South Asian styles for this night of outstanding musical entertainment.

In 2017, after an absence of four years, Glasgow Jazz Festival revived the Scottish Jazz Awards. On Sunday 3 June 2018 these prestigious awards will return to Glasgow to celebrate Scotland’s vibrant jazz scene. A panel made up of industry specialists will choose the shortlist for the awards and the nominees will be announced with a public vote deciding the winner of each category.

Jill Rodger, Director of Glasgow Jazz Festival, said: “Year on year we endeavour to bring an exciting and varied line-up of big name artists alongside up-and-coming musicians to Glasgow’s audiences. We’re really excited to be announcing this eclectic line-up and we look forward to welcoming jazz fans old and new to some of Glasgow’s most iconic music venues in June.

“We have always endeavoured to celebrate the fantastic female jazz musicians that are part of our ever-evolving jazz scene, so we’re delighted to also announce that we are now part of the Keychange project – a fantastic initiative that will hopefully empower individuals to work together towards a more inclusive music industry.”

The Glasgow Jazz Festival will take place in various exciting venues across the city including the Old Fruitmarket, St Luke’s, Drygate and The Hug and Pint. The festival will also be taking place in Glasgow’s first ever dedicated jazz club – the brand-new venue The Blue Arrow. The festival is once again taking place with support and funding from Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland.


For more information and to buy tickets for the festival please visit Tickets go on sale at 12 noon on International Jazz Day – Monday 30th April.




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