Every year on the Saturday of the Jazz weekend the one and only Jenny Brown leads a parade through the town. It’s a jazz free for all as musicians from many different bands jam together whilst they march casually to the esplanade fountain and gardens. The march is also an opportunity to see the wonderfully colourful decorated brollies and a winner is picked at the culmination of procession.
Don’t miss it!
Saturday morning - meet at Guildford Sq. Exact time to be confirmed.
The Nova Scotia Jazz Band is firmly in the tradition of the swinging Dixieland groups led by Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, and Alex Welsh. Featuring the world class trumpet of Lorne Cowieson, the banjo wizardry of Duncan Findlay, the elegantly swinging string bass of Ken MacDonald and the clarinet and saxophones of John Burgess this sweet and hot quartet are a fresh take on the classic jazz style. Since 2009 the band have released five CD’s and have appeared at the Glastonbury, Kelburn, Crail, Biggar and Swaledale Festivals, and the Tarragona, Keswick, Bute, Pershore, Shetland, Southport, Ayr, Lockerbie, Glasgow, Fife, Inverurie, Swanage and Edinburgh Jazz Festivals and have played concerts all over the UK with their special guests Roy Williams, Jim Fryer, Ian Bateman, Brian Kellock, Digby Fairweather, Richard Leach, Graham Smith, Graham Woodhouse, Gregor Beck and Forrie Cairns.
In 2011 the NSJB won their first award as ‘Best Early Jazz Band’ in the Scottish Jazz Awards and 2012 saw the debut appearance by the NSJB on the silver screen, appropriately enough as the travelling Dixieland band in the TWS film ‘The Happy Lands’. The new NSJB album featuring the wonderful Brian Kellock, ‘The Beale Street Blues’ is out now.
What the papers said.
This was a terrific gig which ensured the festival went out with a bang Ryan Quigley brought a dynamism to proceedings and delivered a series of superb, red-hot solos, His muted breaks on That Da-Da Strain were especially memorable, along with some beautiful, Chet Baker-esque playing on Embraceable You, a gorgeous duet with pianist Brian Kellock who had earlier threatened to blow the roof of the tent off with his sensational playing, notably on what must be the only version of C Jam Blues to kick off with the Death March theme from Star Wars!
Alison Kerr Glasgow Herald
“the classic Dixieland model, played with direct, bluesy concision and presented with humour and creativity”
Rob Adams, Glasgow Herald
“Burgess’s clarinet and sax bubble and simmer their way through the Nova Scotia’s music, shooting it out with the rich toned cornet of Mike Daly, the skittering banjo of Duncan Findlay and Ken MacDonald’s limber double bass”
Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman
Led from the front by the larger than life Burgess the band delivers on every level, Trad jazz this is not : this is music of the great classic period of Bix and Muggsy Spanier but with a clarity that makes it distinctly modern and relevant. This is music of today, of a remarkably high standard with four musicians at the top of their game”
Jeff Merryfield, Shetland Times
The band has been playing in Central Scotland for the past five years and after a spell of retirement from the music business, George (guitar) brought together some of his past colleagues to concentrate on Gypsy style Jazz mainly in the vein of the legendary Django Reinhardt and more recently Bireli Lagrene. Three of the ensemble are brothers! Big Frank Henery (guitar) has a unique style very much of his own and was greatly influenced by the late great Barney Kessell.
He has accompaniment from the younger members of the family in the form of Danny (accordion) and also John (double bass). To complete the quintet is Tony Muir (drums/percussion). All musicians play a wide selection of jazz and their program will display this.
We are pleased to announce that following an excellent response to our funding appeal which has been generously supported by our local community and business, the 24th Isle of Bute Jazz Festival will take place from Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May 2011
We still need funds to make this the best Jazz Festival ever so if you are able to donate you can do it using the PayPal donate button over on the right hand side of this page
Formed in summer 2010, Rose Room comprises virtuoso violinist and vocalist Seonaid Aitken, Jimmy Moon on double-bass with guitarists Tom Watson and Tam Gallagher completing the line-up on solo and rhythm guitars respectively. The music embraces many of the songs of the swing jazz era with a dash of western swing thrown in for good measure.
Tom Watson and Tam Gallagher are probably best known for their work as Swing Guitars, first came to prominence after winning the Danny Kyle open stage at 2001 Celtic Connections, they have since performed at festivals in the UK and Europe and have established themselves as a formidable live act.
Seonaid Aitken is well known as a solo artist in her own right and indeed is a fellow Danny award winner having received the award in 2010. Seonaid also performs with her own Seonaid Aitken Set, playing music rooted in a more traditional folk style but with a modern twist. Rose Room is a new direction for Seonaid having developed a passion for swing jazz listening to Stephane Grappelli.
Jimmy Moon needs no introduction to guitar players. Long term member of The Moonshiners bluegrass band, number one guitar builder in Scotland, his instruments are played throughout the world by the cream of musicians, however it is the double bass that Jimmy turns his hand to in Rose Room.
Nothing more needs to be said other than to prepare to be entertained and charmed by this exciting new band.
Seonaid Aitken – violin and vocals
Tom Watson – guitar and vocals
Jimmy Moon – double bass
Tam Gallagher – guitar and vocals
Catch them here :
Sat, 30 Apr, 12:30pm
“Academy Swing”, the swing band of Rothesay Joint Campus have been performing at the Bute Jazz Festival since 2004 and this year will be opening the festival. The band has made quite a reputation for itself in the past few years and performs regularly in the local community and further a field at venues such as the Loch Fyne food fair. It has also toured regularly throughout Argyll giving community concerts and schools demonstration performances on Islay, Mull, Oban and Mid Kintyre.
Academy Swing plays in a varied selection of styles, from trad jazz through to big band, through to present day popular music. The band is led by Tony Spencer, the Island’s Instrumental Music Teacher. Tony is a professional clarinettist who for fourteen years held the post of principal clarinet with the Band of the Grenadier Guards in London.
Bobby Wishart is one of the greatest jazz musicians in the UK.
His band is a byword for quality and one of the finest combos performing today. When you consider the people that Bobby has worked with you begin to realise why he has such a big reputation in the world of music.
Over the years Bobby regularly performs and broadcasts with his own groups which feature the very best of the young, as well as the more established Scottish players including…
- Carol Kidd, Voted UK No 1 Jazz Vocalist
- David Newton, Voted UK No 1 Jazz Pianist
- Sandro Ciancio, percussionist - the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and a member of Hue&Cry.
- Robert Henderson BAFTA nominated Composer Arranger Trumpeter
- Gino Ciancio No 1 Maltese Jazz & Fusion Pianist, Arranger/ Composer
- Grant Mitchell, Pianist Arranger Producer with Lisa Stanfield
- Ewan Vernal – Deacon Blue & Capercaillie
- Graeme Duffin Guitarist Wet Wet Wet.
Bobby has also performed with Ronnie Scott, Annie Ross, Salena Jones, Kiki Dee, Maggie Bell, Stevie Winwood, John Barry (Composer of Film Scores) Memphis Slim and Marion Montgomery to name just a few.
He plays on the Soundtracks for “Chewin The Fat”, “Offside”- Tam Cowan, and the Karen Dunbar series as well as an appearance on BBC TOTP’s with the Graham Lyle Band
Other credits include Lecturer in Jazz and All Music Course Jordanhill College, Founder/ Lecturer in Jazz Improvisation and Jazz Saxophone RSAM, Founder and Musical Director National Jazz Institute, Founder Member and Artistic Director, European Youth Jazz Festival and Member of Music Committee Scottish Arts Council.
We have a Myspace page with some of our music uploaded for you to enjoy. CLICK HERE to visit our page.
Current members of our trio are:
Paul McKay (bass) plays fretless 5 string upright electric double bass and also a Yamaha fretless 5 string bass guitar and uses Ashdown bass amplification. He recently acquired a new Ashdown Super Fly amplifier which is alleged to prevent hernias, but we have yet to see the results and he is always constructing new speaker cabinets which are allegedly lighter than their predecessors. Paul played professionally for many years in the world famous Halle Orchestra and brings a wealth of experience to our music.
Tim Saul (keyboards) plays Roland digital pianos and Hammond organ and uses Roland keyboard amplification. The current piano is a much used (and very heavy) RD150 model with Roland KC amplifier and a new addition, a Hammond XK-1 drawbar organ which feature on the audio tracks on the MySpace page. Tim also teaches jazz theory, guitar and bass guitar at the local Rothesay Academy and was also a part-time tutor on the Argyll College NC music course. His musical experience covers 45 years, playing in dance bands, big bands trad & modern jazz ensembles and covers all styles from The St. Bernard’s Waltz to jazz funk & fusion.
David Gray plays kit drums and also appears with the Phil Mason Jazz Friends with Tim & Paul on their monthly Trad jazz extravaganza at The Esplanade Hotel in Rothesay.
We now a have a fourth member of the band. Caroline Gorman has joined as our vocalist and specialises in the songs of Billie Holiday. Caroline appeared with the trio at the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival in May 2008 and won a great reception from the audience.
John Denman also appears with us from time to time, playing vibraphone. John is a talented organist with a vast repertoire and brings his esperience to our band to recreate the sounds of the MJQ.
We have also enjoyed working with Jonny Boston at the 2009 Bute Jazz Festival and also with Norman King (tenor sax), presently working in Thailand, who is a regular guest with the trio during his UK visits
A long time fixture on the British and European club, concert, TV, radio &festival circuit, as a solo former,band leader and session musician, and having toured in Canada and the USA, Mike Whellans is once again making his mark in the UK - he went down a perfect storm at, the 2005 Glastonbury Festival.
Born in the Scottish Borders Mike began his musical life in the late 1950s/early 1960s playing his father’s
drum kit. By age 14 he was playing in local dance bands and in 1969 Mike
decided to turn professional.
In the early 1970s, Mike teamed up with Aly Bain, the brilliant and renowned traditional fiddler
from the Shetland Islands, and for four years toured the UK, Europe, USA, and Canada, showing
off his ability for playing amazingly clean and crisp flat-pick guitar behind Aly’s fiddle; a very
dynamic duo!He was also a founder member of the Irish/Scottish line-up of The Boys of the
Lough, but left them after a year to follow a solo career.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Mike lived in Denmark and toured all over Scandinavia, Germany and
the Low Countries, as well as working back home in the UK touring solo and turning out with
those madcap Scottish musos, The Vindscreen Vipers Skiffle Group (Tich Frier, Bill Nolan,
Malky McCormack and the late Danny Kyle) and the Block Bros Blues Band from Edinburgh.
Now, Mike’s back home again in the Scottish Borders and working as Scotland’s only (as far as
we know) one-man blues band - and there aren’t that many in the UK either - with his guitars,
mouth-harps, vocals and drum-kit - and of course his show-stopping, “mouth percussion”.Since
returning to Scotland, Mike has developed a creative partnership with Robin Morton, head of
Temple Records. With Robin as producer, Mike has released two successful records for the
Temple label with another in the pipeline for release in Summer 2008.
If you’re not familiar with Mike Whellan’s music (see: http://mikewhellans.com) then it’s pretty
much unashamedly good rockin’ 12-bar blues played in Mike’s inimitable style on 6- and 12-
string guitars (picked with great precision and at eye-watering speed), mouth-harp (masterful and
packed with music describes Mike’s mouth-harps - it’s as he’s filled them up with great music and
then he just blows it all out of them towards you), and a wee tottie drum-kit. And the other
things he can do with his mouth? Well, you’ve just got to see and hear his show-stopping vocal
percussion; a real tour de force - got to be witnessed to be believed (you just have got to hear his
self-penned “Smile on Your Face” and his take on Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker’s “Train Time” -
mighty!). Added to this; he sings, is a drummer of no slight talent (it was his first instrument
after all), writes songs, and seems to have boundless energy.
Mike Whellans doesn’t believe in doing things by halves. A Whellans gig is straight from the hip
energy so you’ve got a great entertainment in prospect with the most dynamic one-man blues
band any side of the Forth delta.
And, you’ve probably guessed it, you only see one guy on-stage, but close your eyes and you’re
confronted with a full band sound!
Mike, being based in the Scottish borders, and ’self-contained’ with his own PA and wheels, can
play an enormous range and style of gigs pretty much anywhere in the UK - well, nearly anyway.
And, of course, he’s very well used also to playing abroad.