THE 35th Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival starts today, but really gets into the swing over the weekend with a couple of showcase events that are not to be missed. With this at-a-glance guide you’ll discover everything you need to know about the event.
• The Festival gets into full swing tomorrow when, at 1pm, a blaze of colour and beats will transform the Grassmarket into a mini New Orleans for the annual Mardi Gras. Expect band stages, brollie dollies and non stop music in a party atmosphere.
• On Sunday, the Festival Carnival returns for a second year. Princes Street and Princess Street Gardens are the place to be between 2pm and 4pm. More than 35 acts from as far afield as the West Indies and China, and from across Europe, including Hungary, France, Italy, Holland, Germany, Poland, Portugal and will combine to create a Carnival feel. Best of all. It’s free.
• Headline acts for this year’s Festival this year include Jools Holland, Eric Burdon of The Animals, Pharoah Sanders, Tia Fuller, Champian Fulton, Ghostpoet, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert and The Three Bs (Chris Barber, Acker Bilk and Keith Ball).
• The Tron Kirk will transform into a new Festival hub - a club that will open at 10am and run through to late evening with a grand array of performers from contemporary jazz via Edinburgh heroes to vintage jazz.
• Festival tickets and information can be found at www.edinburghjazzfestival.com, by calling 0131-473 2000 or in person from The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh.