Jools Holland and Kurt Elling among big names for Jazz & Blues Fest

Jools Holland will appear at this year's Jazz & Blues Festival.
Jools Holland will appear at this year's Jazz & Blues Festival.
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TV presenter Jools Holland and legendary vocalist Kurt Elling are among the big names set to take the stage for Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival’s 40th anniversary.

A host of artists will travel for the world-famous event in July from places as far flung as India, Ghana and India. Closer to home, the event will feature world premieres from Scottish singer Seonaid Aitken and American clarinet player Evan Christopher with the Scottish Swing Orchestra.

Other artists getting into the swing of things include Davina & The Vagabonds, Mud Morganfield, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, The Average White Band, Chris Potter and Mobo Award winners Soweto Kinch, Zara McFarlane and Zoe Rahman.

Jason Rust, Chair of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, said: “We are celebrating our anniversary with a bang.

“A stellar international line-up with musicians converging on Edinburgh from all over the world, over 150 concerts, plus the Festival’s two free events– The Mardi Gras and the Edinburgh Festival Carnival.”

The festival will be held across multiple venues around the city including the St Brides Centre in Dalry, the Lyra Theatre in Craigmillar, Meadowbank Church, North Edinburgh Arts Centre in Muirhouse and, for the first time, The Assembly Hall in the city centre.

This year also marks the tenth year that the festival has been supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo fund. To celebrate Scottish music in the Year of Young People, the festival will feature performances by 20-year-old bassist Mark Hendry, 20-year-old pianist Fergus McCreadie and 18-year-old singer Luca Manning.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This year, the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival provides another high-quality showcase of jazz and blues from across the world for national and international audiences.

“Scottish musicians will lead new projects that show the breadth of ambition within the jazz and blues sector in Scotland. Through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, the Scottish Government has awarded just under £1.4 million to the Festival since its inception. Artists benefit significantly from the global exposure and Expo funding ensures the festival continues to grow and reach even more people than ever before.”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Convener, Culture and Communities Committee, said: “With new venues in the city centre and across communities, this year’s Festival will bring live music to Edinburgh’s intimate corners and grand spaces in its anniversary year.”

It runs from July 13 to 22.