City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2018 Gets into Swing


By edg - Posted on 14 July 2018

Marquise Knox at Edinburgh Jazz Festival

The 40th Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival is officially underway and will get into full swing this weekend with its two headline free events - the Mardi Gras and the Carnival.

This afternoon (Saturday 14th July), festival-goers will throng to the Grassmarket for swing, dixieland, New Orleans and trad jazz bands.

On Sunday, the bands play on as over 800 performers don costumes and dance and sashay down the Mound to Princes Street Gardens for an afternoon of free music in the park. The parade starts at at 1.30pm and you can catch live bands until 4pm.

The jazz fest continues until the 22nd July with over 140 gigs throughout the day and evening from old time acoustic blues by the likes of Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton to a performance by home-grown R&B/funk Seventies phenom The Average White Band (21st July), from the pre-war hot jazz of 21-piece big band Bratislava Hot Serenaders to the silky improvisation of the Vijay lyer Sextet.

There’s a vintage and traditional feel to much of the programme, though the festival will be looking to elevate up-and-coming musical talents from Scotland, with a boost from the Scottish government’s Expo Fund.

This year the jazz festival hosts some of its concerts at the Church of Scotland's General Assembly Hall, the tall building on the Mound.

Another venue addition is the Edinburgh University Union building at Teviot Row. With two of the main Jazz Festival venues - the Spiegel Tent and Piccolo - situated in neighbouring George Square Garden, organisers are encouraging jazz festival-goers and performers to gravitate to the Teviot’s cafes, bars and late night Festival Club, with its DJs, bands and late night jam sessions. The venue has been described as the festival's new "social hub" and will be open til 3am.

Photo: Blues man Marquise Knox, from St Louis, after his opening gig at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2018 in Teviot Row last night.