All that jazz to mark festival's anniversary

A packed audience at Rothesay's 292 Club went home with smiles on their faces following a great afternoon of musical entertainment marking the 30th anniversary of the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival.

Photo by Stephanie Pegg. Jazz concert at Rothesay's 292 Club.
Photo by Stephanie Pegg. Jazz concert at Rothesay's 292 Club.

The Sunday afternoon concert opened with the Bute Ukulele Band and featured a new programme of popular well-rehearsed and polished numbers ably demonstrating the huge progress this group of local enthusiasts has made over the last couple of years.

Isle of Wight-based jazz musician Richard White, a stalwart of the jazz festival in its latter years, then took to the stage with Tim Saul (keyboards) and Paul MacKay (bass). The first set taking on an experimental Scottish Island Discs format during which Richard was interviewed by Mike Archbold, interspersed with classic numbers like Rosetta and You’re Driving Me Crazy.

Richard talked about his early life and musical influences, including those first concerts with Tim Saul as part of the Goose Island Syncopators and later Saul and White, where they performed in white tie and tails.

Photo by Stephanie Pegg. Jazz concert at Rothesay's 292 Club.

His move to London opened new doors. Highlights including appearances with the Temperance Seven, Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band and a United States tour with the Rio Trio Band covering 33 states with concerts in hotels and theatres in small towns but also a memorable appearance at the Carnegie Hall.

Asked which jazz legend he would most like to be castaway with on a remote Scottish island, his explanation of the revolutionary influence made by Louis Armstrong on the development of jazz, brought appreciative applause from the audience.


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The second set was pure jazz with Richard demonstrating his vocal talents as well as the rich creamy sound of his unique clarinet along with some of the other instruments in his collection including a monster bass saxophone.

Some delicious ‘calorie free’ cakes, to quote jazz festival chairman, Tim Saul, and other refreshments were laid on by the Bute Kidney Patients Support Group in aid of its fund raising campaign for a dialysis unit on the island.

Bute’s next jazz concert will be on November 24 with the ever popular Glasgow-based band, Rose Room.