News - Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

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After moving online for 2020, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is back for 2021 with an exciting programme showcasing the amazing music coming out of Scotland whilst welcoming audiences online and in person next month...

Press Release

Running from Fri 16th – Sun 25th July, the festival will feature:

● Twenty concerts livestreamed in front of a small, live audience at Assembly Roxy
● Twenty m pre-recorded concerts including seven specially-created EXPO projects
● Jazz for Kids sessions
● Online workshops as part of the Edinburgh Napier University Jazz Summer School

The programme will celebrate Scottish talent, looking to the future with brand new commissions, and welcoming concerts from our friends across the globe with appearances from Davina & the Vagabonds, Stacy Mitchhart, Soweto Kinch, Hamish Stuart, Tim Garland and Zoe Rahman. With a focus on new commissions and new collaborations, modern jazz fans can expect a real treat. 

The 2019 Festival favourite Soweto Kinch presents two concerts, Laura Macdonald leads a sensational female fronted band which includes pianist Zoe Rahman and Helena Kay, and Brian Kellock pays tribute to Marty Grosz. 

Players from the young hot Scottish jazz scene also feature from Fergus McCreadie’s collaboration with Tim Garland and a new band from Graham Costello. Still in his early 20s, the inspirational composer Mark Hendry presents the world premiere of a new piece focussing on environmental destruction and Matt Carmichael, the Festival's 2021 cover star, unveils a new band Stacy Mitchhart, Sandy Tweeddale, Nicole Smit, Safehouse, Lyndon Anderson, Grainne Duffy, Redfish, Dana Dixon, John Bruce, Jed Potts, Charlotte Marshall and Jensen Interceptors headline a blues programme which ranges from driving Chicago blues to country delta blues and all points in between. 

Festival favourites Jacqui Dankworth, George Cécile, Seonaid Aitken and Alison Burns deliver a wide ranging mix of vocal fireworks. Ali Affleck transports us to early New Orleans, Luca Manning is joined by friends old and new, whilst Davina & The Vagabonds play a concert from Minnesota, dreaming of being in Edinburgh. Paying homage to Edinburgh’s iconic Jazz Bar, Glamour and the Babes and Swampfrog deliver a double bill, ex-Average White Band singer, Hamish Stuart joins Scottish new 12 piece band The Tomorrow Band. Funkmesiter, Aki Remally unveils a new band and a new set, whilst Brass Gumbo deliver Beatles tunes with their funky New Orleans licks.

The festival presents Jazz for Kids, courtesy of Sue McKenzie and delves into the early days of jazz with the Scottish Jazz Archive and Tenement Jazz Band and explores early blues with Blind Boy Paxton.

The Edinburgh Festival Carnival also returns with a three day (16th-18th July) online programme featuring international and Scottish artists including musicians, dancers, poets, acrobats, jugglers and cooks. The programme will feature a vibrant mix of performances and workshops. 

Chair of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Councillor Jason Rust said “The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival team have worked hard to respond to the challenges of the last 12 months. They have presented some incredible online gigs and their efforts show in this hybrid festival which offers something for everyone. We are excited to be able to deliver such a varied programme of high quality online concerts, and we are delighted to be able to welcome some small audiences to Assembly Roxy.”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Convener of Culture and Communities, City of Edinburgh Council added “We are proud to support Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and that the 44th festival can go ahead is an incredible achievement. The endurance of the festivals is testament to their vital relevance to our city now and to their role in the success for the city and the country in future. The involvement across the city in the 2021 Edinburgh Festival Carnival is exciting, showcasing our creativity from Afrobeat in Almond to aerialists in Leith and Capoeira in Gilmerton.”

Concerts will be sold individually, but audiences can buy a Festival Pass for £40 that gives access to all online content as well as a few exclusive extras. You can find the full programme online and information on how to book at and live on social media.

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