9 Edinburgh concerts that will make you a fan of jazz

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BLUES not your thing? Reckon jazz is not for you? Think again, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival director Fiona Alexander recommends the best concerts to introduce the uninitiated to the worlds of jazz and blues.

The Jazz Festival 40th Anniversary Gala Concert (Assembly Hall, 13, July, 8pm, £22.50-£27.50) is an opportunity to sample lots of different styles in one fell swoop as some of the stars of Festival showcase their styles.

The line-up includes Martin Taylor, Tommy Smith, Carol Kidd and Rose Room.

Similarly, the Blues Festival 40th Anniversary Gala Concert (Assembly Hall, 20 July, 8pm, £22.50-£27.50) features Maggie Bell, Bernie Maupin and Tim Elliot.

New Orleans is where it all began and Soul Brass Band (George Square Spiegeltent, 14 July, 10pm, £18.00), will deliver a traditional second line jazz show while Shake Em Up Jazzband (Piccolo, 20 July, 8.30pm, £16.50), are the first all female jazz band from New Orleans to play the Festival.

They’ll join Edinburgh’s own Alison Affleck for A Night In New Orleans (Assembly Hall, 19 July, 8pm, £20.50-£22.50).

Curious about Modern jazz, then Vijay Iyer Sextet (Assembly Hall, 17 July, 8pm, £21.50-£23.50), is one of the hottest bands from New York at the moment.

They re joined by MOBO award winner Zoe Rahman with her trio.

Proving that jazz isn’t always serious, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (George Square Spiegeltent, 18 July, 8.30pm), £20), will deliver dancefloor filling beats – the urgency of hip-hop meeting the heritage of jazz meeting soul of Chicago.

Kurt Elling (Assembly Hall, 15 July, 8pm, £25.50-£27.50) and Curtis Stigers (Assembly Hall, 18 July, 9pm, £30-£32) are two singers who will convert you to liking jazz – if they can’t nothing will.

Elling has been rated the best male singer of jazz ever and it was the New York Times who said it, whilst Stigers tackles the Sinatra songbook accompanied by classic big band.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival runs 13-22 July. For times and full details of all events visit www.edinburghjazzfestival.com