The Glasgow International Jazz Festival was started in 1987, when Glasgow was bidding to become the European City of Culture for 1990. The City had studied the competition and worked out that all major cities in Europe had a jazz festival. If they had one, then so should Glasgow.
From the very beginning, the Glasgow International Jazz Festival brought some of the biggest names of jazz to the City –1987’s programme included singer Sarah Vaughan, Chick Corea, Taj Mahal and Benny Carter. Other top headliners include Miles Davis (during the European City of Culture year 1990), Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Guy, Michael Brecker and Tony Bennett. This year, our 26th Festival, boasts a line-up including Ginger Baker, George Benson, Robert Glasper, and many more fantastic acts.
Glasgow International Jazz Festival also showcases the wealth of Scottish performers, in 1987 Festival represented by Carol Kidd, Martin Taylor and Tommy Smith, all of whom returned to help us celebrate the 25th GIJF in 2011.
Jazz comprises of a whole range of styles, from trad and Dixie to free jazz, and the GIJF always has had a rich and varied programme. We’ve also reached out to encompass world music, blues and hiphop crossovers, aiming to provide something for everyone.
The Late Night Jam Sessions are also a well established regular, and though the venue has changed over the years (this year in the Thistle Hotel), the excitement of seeing top names jamming into the early hours hasn’t!