Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2021

After moving online for 2020, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is back for 2021 with an exciting programme showcasing the amazing music coming out of Scotland whilst welcoming audiences online and in person.

From Fri 16 – Sun 25 July, the festival will feature:

20 concerts livestreamed in front of a small, live audience at Assembly Roxy
20 pre-recorded concerts including seven specially-created EXPO projects
Online workshops as part of the Edinburgh Napier University Jazz Summer School

The programme will celebrate Scottish talent, looking to the future with band new commissions, to the past with the Scottish Jazz Archive, and celebrating concerts from our friends across the globe with appearances by Davina & the Vagabonds, Stacy Mitchhart, Soweto Kinch, Hamish Stuart, Tim Garland and Zoe Rahman.

Concerts will be sold individually, but audiences can buy a Festival Pass for £40 that gives access to all online content as well as a few exclusives.

With a focus on new commissions and new collaborations, modern jazz fans can expect a real treat. Our 2019 cover star Soweto Kinch presents two concerts, Laura Macdonald leads a sensational female fronted band which includes pianist Zoe Rahman and Helena Kay and Brian Kellock’s trio makes a rare appearance. Players from the young, hot scene also feature from Fergus McCreadie’s collaboration with Tim Garland, a new band from Graham Costello and, still in his early 20s, the inspirational composer Mark Hendry presents the world premiere of a new piece focussing on environmental destruction

Stacy Mitchhart, Sandy Tweeddale, Nicole Smit, Lyndon Anderson, Grainne Duffy, Redfish, Dana Dixon, John Bruce, Jed Potts, Charlotte Marshall, Jensen Interceptors headline a blues programme which ranges from driving Chicago blues to country delta blues and all points in between.

Festival favourites Jaqui Dankworth, George Cécile, Seonaid Aitken and Alison Burns deliver a wide ranging mix of vocal fireworks. Ali Affleck transports us to early New Orleans, Luca Manning to the hippest joint in the city whilst, direct from Memphis, Davina & The Vagabonds play a concert dreaming of being in Edinburgh.

Paying homage to Edinburgh’s iconic Jazz Bar, Glamour and the Babes and Swampfrog deliver a double bill, ex-Average White Band singer, Hamish Stuart joins Scottish 12-piece band The Tomorrow Band, funkmesiter, Aki Remally unveils a new band and a new set, whilst Brass Gumbo deliver Beatles tunes with their funky New Orleans licks.

The festival presents ‘Jazz for Kids’, courtesy of Sue McKenzie and delvers into the early days of jazz with the Scottish Jazz Archive.

The Edinburgh Festival Carnival returns with a three day (16-18 July), online programme featuring international and Scottish artists including musicians, dancers, poets, acrobats, jugglers and cooks. The programme will feature a vibrant mix of performances and workshops.

The full programme will be live from noon on Tuesday 8 June at www.edinburghjazz.co.uk and live on social media Twitter | FacebookInstagram

Chair of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Councillor Jason Rust says: “The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival  team have worked hard to respond to the challenges of the last 12 months. They have presented some incredible online gigs and their efforts show in this hybrid festival offering. something for everyone, we are excited to be able to deliver such a varied programme of high quality online concerts, and we are delighted to be able to welcome some small audiences to Assembly Roxy.”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Convener of Culture and Communities, City of Edinburgh Council says: “We are proud to support Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and that the 44th festival can go ahead is an incredible achievement. The endurance of the festivals is testament to their vital relevance to our city now and to their role in the success for the city and the country in future.  The involvement across the city in the 2021 Edinburgh Festival Carnival is exciting, showcasing our creativity from Afrobeat in Almond to aerialists in Leith and Capoeira in Gilmerton.”

Angus Robertson, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture says: “2021’s Scottish Jazz EXPO programme champions Scottish jazz creativity and excitement, It is gratifying to see the wealth of youthful talent from across Scotland producing such dynamic and creative work which can be seen digitally raising the profile of our exceptionally talented musicians to audiences in Edinburgh, around Scotland and internationally.  I am proud to award £120,000 through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund to support that important aim.”

Clare Hewitt, Music Officer, Creative Scotland says: “Huge congratulations to the festival and all of the musicians involved on an ambitious programme that will keep artist connected with audiences from across the globe, despite the challenges faced by the pandemic. The exciting 2021 programme celebrates the country’s diversity of sounds by showcasing the very best musical innovations and creativity coming out of Scotland and embraces new work exploring the climate emergency that faces us all. With brand new commissions and collaborations, jazz fans can expect a real treat.”