The 33rd Glasgow Jazz Festival has unveiled its full programme for 2019, with locations right across Glasgow set to be bursting with jazz talent this June.
This year’s festival will include iconic new venues House for an Art Lover and The Planetarium at Glasgow Science Centre.
Jazz will be the sound of the city this summer when more than 300 musicians arrive in Glasgow to play over 40 gigs from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 June as part of the festival which has become renowned for hosting some of the biggest names in jazz, blues, soul, funk, R&B, electronic and world music.
Headliners include Ethiopian musician and arranger Mulatu Astatke, known as the father of Ethio-jazz. Mulatu, who has been sampled by hip-hop royalty including Nas, Kanye West and Cut Chemist, will bring his compelling fusion of traditional styles, funk, jazz and soul to the Friday night of the festival at The Old Fruitmarket.
David McAlmont presents Billie Holiday at Carnegie Hall will take place at St Luke’s. Inspired by the legendary 1956 concert, which saw Holiday’s music accompanied by extracts from her autobiography ‘Lady Sings the Blues’. English vocalist and songwriter David McAlmont will give his unique interpretations of the catalogue and quote from her extraordinary life story on the opening night of the festival.
The festival will also welcome the Bill Laurance Trio, led by London-based pianist and founding member of the GRAMMY award-winning fusion powerhouse Snarky Puppy. The group will combine acoustic piano with synths, electronics and effects as they take to the St Luke’s stage on Friday 21 June.
Three of Scotland’s most exciting young jazz bands are set to bring the house down at the Old Fruitmarket on Thursday 20 June. Mezcla, Graham Costello’s Strata and the 14-piece instrumental collective Fat-Suit will deliver a mighty fusion of jazz, rock, and folk.
Fresh from touring with Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, British Jamaican soul singer Ruby Turner will treat audiences to her undeniable vocal talent when she takes on everything from passionate soaring ballads to soulful up-temp grooves at The Old Fruitmarket on Saturday 22 June.
On the closing night of the festival, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Madison McFerrin will showcase her soulful take on acappella to Glasgow. Daughter of jazz royalty Bobby McFerrin, Madison employs her father’s vocal techniques with an added dash of soul and extraordinary vocal dexterity.
This year will see the festival visit brand new sites, as well as much-loved festival favourites across the city like The Old Fruitmarket, St Luke’s and Glasgow’s dedicated jazz club The Blue Arrow. For the first time, gigs will take place at Rost and House for an Art Lover, which will host a stunning recital from young Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie plus rising stars Joe Williamson and Luca Manning on Sunday 23 June.
The Planetarium at Glasgow Science Centre will also offer an exciting new performance space when it hosts Herschel 36. The duo of Stu Brown and Paul Harrison will put on a live performance of their critically acclaimed electronic soundtrack to the extraordinary 1925 German silent film, Wunder Der Schöpfung. The live silent film score will take place under the planetarium’s spectacular state-of-the-art fulldome digital projection system and feature dark, improvised electronic soundscapes with live drumming, spiralling synth melodies and intense musical spontaneity.
With the usual mix of established and upcoming talent from Scotland and the rest of the world, the festival will welcome musicians from Ethiopia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA who will perform alongside a wealth of home-grown jazz musicians to make up this year’s diverse and eclectic programme.
Scottish jazz bands will also be showcased to 120 delegates from across the UK and Ireland as part of this year’s Jazz Promotion Network Conference that will take place during the Thursday and Friday of the festival.
Jill Rodger, director of Glasgow Jazz Festival, said: ‘We always aim to bring a breadth of musical talent from local and international jazz scenes to Glasgow and it’s shaping up to be another fantastic festival this year. Our jazz musicians will be entertaining us at venues all over Glasgow, including at some truly stunning and unique locations.
‘Home-grown talent also plays a big part in this year’s event and this year’s festival is a great opportunity for people to discover the high calibre of jazz talent on our doorstep, as well as enjoy special performances from international artists who will take to Glasgow’s stages to play for us.’
For the second year running, the festival ensures more than 50 per cent of the acts playing include female musicians as part of a pledge to the Keychange initiative to achieve a 50:50 gender balance at festivals by 2022 by continuing to champion female talent from the jazz scene.
The festival takes place thanks to funding from Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland, and is also supported by new charity partner Help Musicians Scotland who will be hosting a panel focusing on building a resilient career for jazz musicians in Scotland.
Creative Scotland music specialist Claire Hewitt commented: ‘This year’s Glasgow Jazz Festival celebrates the diverse influences and voices that make jazz what it is today. As well as being able to see top international artists, audiences will experience the distinctive quality of Scotland’s own energetic and inventive jazz scene, which rightly deserves its place on this international stage.’
Suzanne Miller, Nations Manager for Help Musicians Scotland, said: ‘We aim to be a trusted and valuable support for music creators and we are thrilled to join forces with the Glasgow Jazz Festival this year. The event is always a highlight on the Scottish music calendar each year, with hundreds of musicians involved in bringing some of the very best jazz in the world to the city.’
For more information and to buy tickets for the Festival visit www.jazzfest.co.uk. Tickets are on sale now.