Jazz stars set to trumpet the festival season start

Jazz musicians are kick-starting the capital’s run of festivals today, with performances starting across the city.

The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival runs for the next ten days, with around 70 artists playing at 14 venues.

A free Mardi Gras event will be at the Grassmarket on Saturday and a festival carnival will parade the city centre on Sunday.

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The carnival replaces the usual opening cavalcade and marks the start of festival season in the city. Performing in Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens, musicians, dancers and street entertainers will tour a circuit.

The programme line-up includes Dr John, veteran New Orleans musician, and the only UK performance by The Manhattan Transfer.

Brian Fallon, chair of the festival, said: “Musicians from every continent are coming to play, across all the jazz styles. Our aim is to appeal to everyone, from jazz and blues aficionados to first-timers, young and not so young, in both formal and informal concert settings.”

The festival is the first of seven in Edinburgh in the coming weeks.