Aberdeen Jazz Festival launches with a world-class line up

James-Brandon-Lewis.

James-Brandon-Lewis.

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HEADLINE acts include Curtis Stigers, Ibibio Sound Machine, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, James Brandon Lewis, The Excitements, Fat Suit and many more

The Aberdeen Jazz Festival will launch on Wednesday, running to Sunday 19 March at venues across the city.

Expect unique artistic collaborations, cutting edge performers, funk and dance-fused sounds, timeless jazz favourites, intense art, total relaxation and a good time for all.

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There will be intense jazz excitement at The Blue Lamp, “the best jazz club in Scotland” (The Scotsman), classy vocals at His Majesty’s Theatre, cool sounds at Carmelite, haunting spiritual music at St Machar’s Cathedral, blues, soul, New Orleans music and funk set to raise the roof at The Lemon Tree and gypsy jazz at Queen’s Cross Church. Five local youth jazz bands offer free showcase performances.

The Festival also takes the music to the streets of Aberdeen with a blaze of colour and beats. Jazz On The Green is hugely popular free all day jazz event which features three large outdoor stages in the City Centre, alongside indoor venues in The Tunnels, Carmelite, Belmont, Cafe Drummond and Union Square that will be jam packed with live music from the city’s best jazz, blues, swing and big bands on Sunday 19th March.

American singer Curtis Stigers fronts the Ryan Quigley Big Band singing the timeless and classic songs of Frank Sinatra. Other vocal performances include a new trio from award-winning vintage singer Alison Affleck, the blues inflected vocals of Charlie Wood.

Celebrating 100 years of Jazz the Festival pays tribute to some of the icons of jazz including Colin Steele playing the music of Miles Davis, Rose Room saluting Django Reinhardt, whilst Renegade Brass Band deliver a funky update of traditional New Orleans brass band music.

The Festival has also joined forces with Aberdeen Jazz Orchestra and Aberdeen University Big Band to present on of the rarest Duke Ellington suites of music: The Sacred Concert. Joined by singer Jacqui Dankworth, saxophonist Helena Kay, a choir and tap dancer, the ensemble will perform at St Machar’s Cathedral.

An afternoon is dedicated to blues fans on Saturday 18th March with a triple bill including the unforgettable voice of Connie Lush, the Chicago electric blues of Blues N Trouble and high octane blues from Aberdonian guitarist Gerry Jablonski.

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The iconic Blue Lamp plays host to a programme which showcases three American bands – cutting edge New York jazz from James Brandon Lewis Trio, Miles Davis’s saxophonist Rick Margitza and Grammy nominted classic jazz trumpeter Bria Skonberg. As well as a Scottish/Danish collaboration led by pianist Brian Kellock.

Raising the roof at The Lemon Tree, The Excitements deliver some old school soul, whilst Ibibio Sound Machine’s lead singer Eno Williams evokes Grace Jones over steamy African soul funk and Hillhead Halls will rock to the potent funk of DopeSickFly.

Neil Gibbons, Chair of the Aberdeen Jazz Festival says,  “We’re bringing back the energy and feeling of a real festival, concentrated and fun.”

Featuring 25 concerts, performers from six countries and live music over 5 days, the Jazz Festival invites audiences to come along and join the biggest ever Aberdeen Jazz Festival!

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