10 things to expect from Aberdeen Jazz Festival 2019
In just under two weeks, Aberdeen will be filled with the sounds of jazz, blues and swing as Aberdeen Jazz Festival returns from 21 – 31 March 2019.
A stellar line-up of over 70 performers will take to stages across 20 venues to entertain audiences through intimate gigs, open air concerts and foodie events. Here are some of my highlights to look forward to this year:
1. Experience the first ever Blues Weekend
Making a debut this year is the first ever Aberdeen Blues Weekend with a programme of special events for all you blues fans. We’re running a competition to win free tickets to see all-time blues greats Maggie Bell and ex-Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden, visit our pinned post on our Facebook page for more details.
2. Take a tour by music
Explore jazz music through a trail like no other as you spend the afternoon in Aberdeen’s West End to experience live jazz as you visit seven venues with performances from Paul Towndrow and Cat Loud.
Escape the city and tour some intimate venues around Aberdeenshire with Mary May as sings classics from the American Jazz and Blues songbook at the Redgarth in Old Meldrum, The Salmon Bothy in Portsoy and The Old Pier in Stonehaven.
3. Take a trip down memory lane
Noted as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, Ray Charles was the pioneer of soul music creating the sounds that we know today. Relive some of his best loved songs with Charlie Wood and the Aberdeen Jazz Orchestra as they play homage to the jazz legend.
From one jazz great to another, the music of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis is celebrated by Richard Ingham who recreates Miles’ classic Birth of the Cool album with an all-star band including Colin Steele.
4. Foodie events
Get ready to go on safari, but instead of the sounds of wild animals, explore three different jazz sessions as you travel to three different venues for starter, main and dessert.
You can also indulge in a sumptuous afternoon tea that’s accompanied by the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin through the musical stylings of Aberdeen’s answer to the Rat Pack, Oceans 3.
5. Travel back in time
Step back in time with spins, flips and lifts to discover the Story of Swing with the Scottish Swing Orchestra and their dance group through a lively performance through the 1930s and 1940s.
6. Jazz on the big screen
Grab some popcorn, sit back and experience jazz through the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. The jazz magic created by the soundtrack and moving cinematography of La Land returns to the big screen at The Belmont Picture House.
7. Free events
Back by popular demand, Jazz on the Green returns to the streets of Aberdeen with free concerts out in the open of Aberdeen’s Green and surrounding venues. Expect energetic performances from king of keys Adam Usmani, Back Chat Brass and Nimbus Sextet.
8. Celebrate 50 years of music
A well-known face on the jazz scene for 50 years, Marisha Addison celebrates half a century full of charismatic music alongside an all-star band featuring Steve Hamilton, Colin Steele and Alyn Cosker.
9. Late night events
If you don’t feel like going home early there’s plenty of performances to keep you entertained into the evening. The Blue Lamp and the Carmelite are your venues for late night gigs with Mario Caribe, Funk Connection and a Late Night Jam with Paul Towndrow (to name a few).
10. Music from across the pond
Inspired by brass music from New Orleans, the Brass Funkeys perform a playlist of original music and unconventional covers that you may not associate with jazz. They’ve played the stages of Glastonbury, Wilderness Festival and now they debut at this year’s festival with a set that merges funk, R&B, swing and latin sounds.
Those are my top picks but I’ve just scratched the surface on events to attend and there’s plenty more to be discovered over on our what’s on page.