THE Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has been given a cash boost to forge links between some of Scotland’s most talented musicians and their counterparts around the world.
The Scottish Government has awarded the festival – which runs until July 28 – funding of £155,000 towards its work to unite musicians from Scotland and those in other countries in a series of collaborative concerts.
The cash has supported the development of nine international collaborations that will perform in Edinburgh and across south and central Scotland in the next two weeks as part of this year’s jazz festival. Two collaborations will go on to perform at festivals in Italy and Lithuania, and work is under way to secure international links for several others.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund ensures that Scotland’s own exceptional talent is placed at the heart of our world-renowned festivals and our artists can benefit from the global exposure the festivals can bring.
“Through the fund, we are exploiting every opportunity to develop important cultural links with other countries.
“We’ve awarded the jazz festival more than £750,000 since 2009 and we’ve seen that money make a real and lasting difference to the growth and reach of the festival and to the many musicians its Expo projects have promoted and supported along the way.”
She said the jazz festival had a proven record of bringing some of the best musicians to Scotland from across the globe, and attracting audiences from far and wide.
“This year’s programme of high-quality collaborations will enthral and delight audiences, and raise the profile of some of Scotland’s best jazz musicians to audiences in Edinburgh, around Scotland and in Europe.”
Roger Spence, producer of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, said: “The ongoing Expo-funded programme has seen Scottish musicians linking with musicians from many parts of the world and creating projects which have long-term impact. It allows for collaborations and ties to be created with countries in Europe and beyond that would otherwise simply not have been possible.
“For the first time, in 2013, we have been able to present some of our extraordinary international collaborations in other towns and cities around Scotland, too. It looks set to be a big success.”
Departure from the norm at airport
MUSIC was in the air as The California Honeydrops entertained travellers at Edinburgh Airport.
Passengers Carly Castaldo and Gina Grable were among those enjoying the performance, which came ahead of the group’s appearance at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, which is sponsored by the airport.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “As a big jazz fan, I am very excited that Edinburgh Airport is sponsoring this year’s festival and I hope our passengers enjoyed The California Honeydrops.”
Highlights of the 2013 Scottish Jazz Expo programme include:
Brian Kellock Copenhagen Trio: Featuring the Scottish piano maestro and two renowned Danish musicians, Danial Franck (bass) and Niclas Carnapgnol (drums). Performing in Edinburgh and Stirling.
Sue McKenzie Dark Grooves and Michel Reis Trio: The Scottish saxophonist fronts her own band with Canadian star cellist Lucio Amanti and great Luxembourg bassist Marc Demuth. Performing in Edinburgh.
Konrad Wiszniewski Quartet and Euan Stevenson Vilnius Quartet: Leading Scottish saxophonist Konrad performs with pianist Euan Stevenson, who leads a band of top Scottish and Lithuanian musicians. Performing in Edinburgh and Vilnius, Lithuania.
Stone Islands, Enzo Favata, Colin Steele, David Milligan: Collaborative project with six Sardinian musicians and six Scottish musicians. Performing in Edinburgh and Santa Teresa Gallura in Sardinia.