Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Dilly Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan– what do they all have in common? Yup, you’ve guessed it, they’ve all walked the mean streets of Glasgow at one time or another (although possibly they sauntered along the posher parts of the city).
All of the above have produced their musical magic at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival (although not at the same time – that really would have been one amazing concert!). No, each has provided his own interpretation of the meaning of jazz during the Festival’s 25-year-long history.
Later this month – Wednesday, June 29 to be precise – the city will once again play host to some of the world’s finest jazz performers. Er, did we mention Cleo Laine will be appearing? So’s former Jazz Festival artistes Craig Charles, Carol Kidd, Courtney Pine, Martin Taylor and Lee Konitz.
Headline-grabbing musicians this year are Ramsey Lewis, Oscar-winning composer Michael Legrand, Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke and boogie pianist Leon Russell. And if all that doesn’t float your boat we’re not sure what will.
Those who like numbers will be impressed to hear there’ll be around 250 jazz artists and performers descending on Glasgow between Wednesday, June 29 and Sunday, July 3. They’ll fill16 venues – in and around the atmospheric Old Fruitmarket – and play more than 70 gigs citywide. Tune in to the Homegrown event too which seems to be growing every year and where new and emerging Scottish talent often surprise.
The GFT are getting in on the scene by offering a series of FREE jazz films and interviews to coincide with their Jazz on Film series, running alongside the International Festival itself. Who says Glasgow can’t co-ordinate?!
For the sixth year running the Jazz Summer School will also be striking a chord when professional musicians show the truly humble amongst us just how it’s done. Both the film and teaching events take place at the City Halls.
The mishaps, bad language, joy and tears that go on behind the scenes of the Festival will be on show too later this summer thanks to Sky Arts and their documentary film reportage. The final cut will be shown on the channel at a date to be discussed. It’s all happening man!
Sponsored by the Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Creative Scotland, the International Jazz Festival launched at Ronnie Scott’s in London this year to mark an impressive quarter of a century. The reception was designed to entice London media and celebs up to the Dear Green Place. Whether it’s worked or not, we’ll no doubt be able to tell in the next few weeks.