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 lyrical yet powerful trumpet of Lorne Cowieson, the banjo and guitar wizardry of Duncan ‘Fingers’ Findlay, the genuinely swinging string bass of Andy Sharkey and the clarinet, saxophones and vocals of John Burgess the NSJB are a fresh take on the classic jazz style. Since 2009 the band 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, 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’.
This is toe tapping and up lifting swinging jazz that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling!
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