Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2023: A Celebration of Musical Talent

edinburgh jazz & blues festival musical talent

Various venues in Edinburgh, 14-23 July 2023. Live Review

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival showcased over 110 concerts across ten days, featuring a wide variety of talented artists and memorable performances. Navigating between venues and attending as many shows as possible made for an exhilarating experience, with the occasional snack break in between to refuel.

Spotlight on Scottish Talent

The festival highlighted the abundance of talent found in Scotland, with the event organizers expertly curating line-ups and bringing together musicians to create new and interesting collaborations. Out of the twelve shows attended, several stood out as truly exceptional.

Zoe Rahman’s Unique Collaborations

Zoe Rahman

Pianist Zoe Rahman played two concerts during the festival, each with a different group of musicians. In her first show, she collaborated with Playtime, a regular jazz night in Edinburgh featuring Tom Bancroft, Martin Kershaw, Graeme Stephen, and Mario Caribe. The ensemble experimented with various pieces brought by each musician, giving everyone space to improvise and create unique performances.

In her second show, Rahman brought together her regular trio, including Alec Dankworth on bass and Gene Calderazzo on drums, along with Helena Kay and Laura MacDonald on tenor and alto, respectively. The diverse group created lively performances, with each player contributing impressive solos.

Matt Carmichael and Liv Andrea Hauge’s Cross-Cultural Exchange

Matt Carmichael and Liv Andrea Hauge

Saxophonist Matt Carmichael and Norwegian pianist Liv Andrea Hauge have collaborated multiple times following a cultural exchange program. During the festival, Hauge performed with her trio, featuring Georgia Collins on bass and August Glännestrand on drums, and invited Carmichael as a special guest. The musicians played an open and impressionistic style of music, with Carmichael’s folk-influenced saxophone fitting seamlessly into the mix.

Colin Steele’s Stramash: A Folk Fusion

Colin Steele

Trumpeter Colin Steele’s reformed Stramash brought a folk flavor to the festival, combining a string section and traditional instruments with his quintet. With arrangements by Dave Milligan, the band produced a joyful and exuberant atmosphere that left audiences wanting more.

Other Notable Performances

Phil Bancroft Trio Breathes New Life into Standards

Phil Bancroft Trio

Saxophonist Phil Bancroft, joined by his brother Tom Bancroft on drums and Mario Caribe on bass, played a set of jazz standards. Bancroft’s passionate performance revitalized these familiar tunes, engaging the audience and leaving a lasting impression.

Arild Andersen Trio: A Duo in Disguise

Arild Andersen Trio

The Arild Andersen Trio, missing drummer Thomas Strønen due to travel issues, transformed into a duo performance with Tommy Smith on saxophone. The improvisational nature of their set, featuring Andersen’s compositions and Norwegian traditional tunes, captivated the audience.

Fergus McCreadie Trio’s Intimate Residency

Fergus McCreadie Trio

The Fergus McCreadie Trio held a residency at the Pianodrome, a unique venue constructed from recycled pianos. Their energetic live performances, recorded for a potential live album, showcased the trio’s exceptional musicianship and dynamic chemistry.

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2023 succeeded in blending diverse musical styles and collaborations, highlighting the exceptional talent within the Scottish music scene.

About Me

I’m Dr. Miles Beaumont from the charming town of York in the UK. I’ve spent over three decades as a medical doctor, helping people and contributing to important research. I graduated from Oxford University, and ever since, I’ve devoted myself to improving the health and lives of others.

When I’m not practicing medicine, you’ll find me soaking up the world of jazz music. It’s been a passion of mine since I turned 30, and I’ve been an active part of York’s jazz scene ever since. Whether it’s going to local gigs, listening to records at home, or just enjoying the rhythmic and improvisational magic of jazz, it’s a big part of who I am.