Dundee Jazz Festival swings into action

Charlotte Marshall by Kirk Lothian

Charlotte Marshall by Kirk Lothian

Dundee’s annual Jazz celebration swings into motion from November 16-20 in a number of venues across Dundee and presents a host of musical styles – from nostalgic swing to cutting edge modern jazz; bebop to hip-hop; and Delta Blues to rootsy blues rock. View the full programme on their website.

Dundee and Angus College’s Gardyne Theatre is set to host four concerts including; ‘The Story of Swing’ with The Scottish Swing Orchestra – a tale of musical legends recounted in music, pictures, words and dance moves from the Flyright Dancers; a double header of blues-rock-soul with American powerhouse Nikki Hill Band and Scottish musicians, Charlotte Marshall & the 45s. The Gardyne Theatre will also host gypsy swing with Vardo and Rose Room, who feature their special collaboration with The Capella String Quartet and saxophonist, Konrad Wiszniewski, recreating the excitement of Rive Gauche Paris of the 30’s and 40’s with Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt; as well as a classy modern jazz night with New Yorker, Aaron Diehl who makes his Scottish solo piano debut, Scottish stars Brian Kellock and Tommy Smith, plus the sensational young pianist, Fergus McCreadie’s Trio.

In the city centre, The Reading Rooms host a special concert by jazz saxophonist and rapper, double MOBO award winner, Soweto Kinch. There’s a high class acoustic blues double bill at the Frigate Unicorn with Mike Whellans and Blues’N’Trouble front-men, Tim Elliott and Sandy Tweeddale.

After a gap of many years, the Festival returns to The Rep with a late night Saturday club gig in the bar, featuring saxophonist, Gordon McNeil’s Quintet.

Over the last three years, Jazz In The Ferry has established itself as a hugely popular event in its own right, with five venues presenting high quality jazz and blues, and audiences buying a single rover ticket that enables roaming across every venue. This year’s programme is packed with talent, including Brass Gumbo; Ali Affleck’s Copper Cats; John Burgess’ Ugly Bug Ragtime Band; Subie Coleman and Kevin McKenzie, and Al Hughes.

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Soweto

Agnese Daverio, Festival Producer, said: “We are delighted to invite so many great international and local musicians to play in Dundee, from the likes of American Nikki Hill and Aaron Diehl to Dundonians Gordon McNeil and Vardo.

“We’re also very excited about our new collaboration with the Reading Rooms, and our return to the Rep for the late jazz night session. The Gardyne Theatre remains our core venue with its great acoustics, comfortable seating and easy parking. This year we’re presenting more activities in the city centre with the aim to grow the festival further in the years to come.

“We’re hoping to engage with a wide range of people from the local community, from older generations to younger music fans, hence our programme is very varied and presents a different flavour every night – from edgy sounds by rapper/saxophonist Soweto Kinch, to rootsy rock by Nikki Hill and classic jazz tunes from the swing era presented in the Story of Swing by the Scottish Swing Orchestra.

“As jazz is a term that umbrellas over many different styles of music, we are presenting Jazz in the Ferry, an afternoon packed of great music, during which eight bands will be taking the stage across five venues, and where audiences can freely roam between sites with a rover ticket.

“This event is also great for those who are not quite sure whether jazz is for them or not, as it gives them the opportunity to explore and sample different genres at once.”

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Full listings

The Scottish Swing Orchestra presents The Story of Swing
Gardyne Theatre, Wed 16 November, 7.30pm, £15

The Swing era brought us so much classy music, from jazz to mainstream pop, from Glenn Miller to Duke Ellington; Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald. Dave Batchelor, The Scottish Swing Orchestra and their dance group and live projections take you on a breathless breathless race through the chronology of swing, taking you back to those times of extraordinary excitement and the pop music of the 1930s and 40s. The Story of Swing, a tale of musical legends recounted in music, pictures, words..and dance moves by the Flyrights Dancers.

Click here for more info.

Nikki Hill Band / Charlotte Marshall & the 45s
Gardyne Theatre, Thur 17 November, 7.30pm, £15

Nikki Hill is “a revelation…a spunky rocker with a thrilling voice, charged stage persona and a killer band” (Downbeat). A charismatic powerhouse who blends all the flavors of American roots music, from country blues, gospel and rockabilly to hard rock. Her gritty and raw voice with Stax soul dynamics ranges from smooth and dreamy to floor-buckling intensity. With a no-filter energy, and explosive live show, Nikki and her band deliver a sound that will make you believe in rock ‘n’ roll again!

Sizzling Scottish soul/blues band Charlotte Marshall & the 45s open the concert with a rollercoaster of 60s soul and R&B classics with razor sharp vocals, and deep funky groove. A must-see live force not to be missed.

Click here for more info.

Rose Room with Konrad Wiszniewski & The Cappella String Quartet / Vardo
Gardyne Theatre, Fri 18 November, 7.30pm, £15

The hottest ticket in Scotland right now! Classy vintage swing and gypsy jazz played by a band that combines brilliant musicianship and warm personality. Fronted by fiddle player and sophisticated songstress, Seonaid Aitken, Rose Room recreate the excitement of Rive Gauche Paris of the 30’s and 40’s with Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Tonight, especially for the Festival, they are joined by the sensational swinging saxophonist, Konrad Wiszniewski, and the String Quartet that backs all the stars, from Madonna to Rod Stewart, The Capella Quartet!

Dundee based Vardo, influcended by the Parisian Bal Musette style, open the concert with artistry, fun and feel-good music, and palpable emotion. With Calum McKenzie (bass), Dave Rattray (guitar), Kevin Murray (guitar) and George Carmichael (accordion).

Click here for more info.

Soweto Kinch
Reading Rooms, Fri 18 November, 8pm, £10, STANDING, 18+ only

Double MOBO Award winner Soweto Kinch is one of the British jazz scene’s brightest stars. His distinctive brand combining technically brilliant, bebop-influenced alto saxophone and imaginative, incisive, hip-hop lyricism; ignores musical barriers to deliver thrilling live concerts infused with showmanship and sheer energy. Soweto takes the stage with his trio to celebrate the launch of his new album “Nonagram, a musical antidote that inspires us to see new visions of the surrounding world”, taking inspiration from a subtle and intelligent interaction that traverses the realms between art and science.

Click here for more info.

Acoustic Blues Evening with Tim Elliot & Sandy Tweeddale + Mike Whellans
Frigate Unicorn, Fri 18 November, 8.30pm, £10

Blues ‘n’ Trouble’s Tim Elliott and Sandy Tweeddale get together to refresh some old school blues classics. Tim’s voice and trenchant harmonica is showcased in the free spirited, spontaneous style of pre-war rural blues.

They are joined by the undisputed master of the one-man blues, Mike Whellans, playing electric and acoustic guitar, mouth harp, drums and mouth percussion. “Amazing ability…totally brilliant” (Mike Harding, BBC).

Click here for more info.

Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock / Fergus McCreadie Trio
Gardyne Theatre, Sat 19 November, 7.30pm, £15

Sharing the stage for a special festival double billl is the most exciting new Scottish jazz talent for a decade, Fergus McCreadie. A phenomenal technician for his age, he’s progressing so rapidly it’s hard to keep track of his artistry. Originally inspired by Oscar Peterson, he now ranges across the entire jazz piano tradition, and playing new music of real substance. His band infuse everything with huge personal emotion. Catch him now, with David Bowden (bass) and Stephen Henderson (drums).

Click here for more info.

Late Night Jazz at the Rep with Gordon McNeil Quintet
Dundee Rep, Sat 19 November, 10.30pm, £5

The Late Night Session at the Dundee Rep is back! One of Scotland’s leading jazz musicians, saxophonist Gordon McNeill, kicks off the new and hot late night session with his band featuring Malcolm MacFarlane (guitar), Ricky Linn (drums), Iain Mathieson (keyboard) and Mark Austin (bass). They recreate the vibe of New York’s 7th Avenue South jazz club, paying homage to jazz legends such as Steps Ahead, Mike Stern, Bob Berg, Jaco Pastorius and Chick Corea.

Modern jazz fusing the spirit of jazz, with the energy of funk and rock.

Click here for more info.

Jazz in the Ferry
Various Venues, Sun 20 November, 2-5pm, £10

Bruach Bar, Gulistan House, Papa Jacques, Post Office Bar, Sol Y Sombra

The Sunday afternoon packed with top class musicians returns to Broughty Ferry with three hours of music across five intimate venues.

From big band and bebop to swing and vintage with a  nod to fusion, funk, blues and soul the Ferry programme covers a broad spectrum of music and with  a rover ticket you can roam from venue to venue and discover different music genres and atmospheres.

Click here for more info + to see the full artist lineup.