The Carnival Continues
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival began last Friday and spilled straight out into the city streets. The Mardi Gras on Saturday put New Orleans in the Grassmarket, then Carnival on Sunday filled Rose St, the Grassmarket, Princes St and Princes St Gardens with music, dance, costumes and fun.
Performers came from everywhere; Martinique was represented alongside Germany and Trinidad, and Edinburgh also showed its talents.
The Festival has continued showing off its diversity all week. Polish jazz musicians are being showcased, as are Italians, and within the festival the Scottish Jazz Expo project is running, presenting events produced for this year featuring collaborating Scottish and International musicians. The Breaking Ground series introduces young musicians to the festival for the first time, while other performers are well known to Festival regulars.
There is diversity in the venues too. From the outdoor extravagances of last weekend, to the intimate setting of Le Monde, Dirty Martini, with jazz star Curtis Stigers, to the large and modern Festival Theatre or one of the beautiful tents pitched in George Square Gardens.
But most important is the variety of performances. The big stars are here, as are the newcomers and experts’ favourites. Take this evening: Clint Eastwood’s son, Kyle, brings his band alongside Martin Taylor’s world-class solo guitar for a virtuoso-heavy evening on the 26th at the Festival Theatre. Meanwhile in the Salon Elegance in George Square Gardens, Cecile McLorin and the Salvant Quartet bring jazz’s golden age back to life. Or, in the Bosco Theatre, the eerie soundscapes of Haftor Medbøe & Anneke Kampman ease the audience into a contemporary set of sounds. For those who like to be up a little later, at 11pm The Jazz Bar hosts a jam session, and there’s no knowing who might turn up to play. Those looking for a more energetic night out can wait for the end of the work week when a Friday night visit to the Bongo Club for Four Corners with Sweet Vandals promises an opportunity to dance like it’s somewhere between 1960 and 1978.
And then there’s the Festival’s headlining event: the World Jazz Orchestra, part of the Scottish Jazz Expo. Every musician comes from a different country and the Orchestra will be directed by celebrated Scottish jazz musician Joe Temperley. The concert on Saturday will play a programme of Duke Ellington, covering rarities and hits with the aid of singer Cecile Salvant.
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival will be running until the 29th of July.
Events information and tickets.