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This year’s Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival gets underway on Friday 31st. As with the Glasgow festival earlier in the year, there are few international stars), but the overall programme looks very strong. Most of the big names are in the bluesy part of the festival: Eric Burdon, Jack Bruce, and TV pianist Jools Holland

One of the strengths of the Edinburgh festival is the variety of music covered, from classic old-time jazz to the avant-garde, with a good dollop of blues thrown in as well. There are also four geographic strands: Danish jazz (Chris Minh Doky, Sinne Eeg, Peter Rosendal), Norwegian jazz (Morten Gunnar Larsen, Elephant9, The Thing), French jazz (Sophie Domancich, Jacques Louissier, Baptiste Trotignon) and Scottish jazz (Colin Steele, Konrad Wisniewski, Carol Kidd).

What would I be spending my money on if I was in Edinburgh? Probably some of these:

  • Atomic (All-star contemporary Scandinavian quintet, which includes Magnus Broo and Paal-Nilssen Love)
  • Enrico Pieranunzi (a trio concert, plus one of music by or based on Scarlatti)
  • Joe Temperley and the EJF Orchestra play Duke Ellington (your chance to hear Temperley and Bobby Wellins in the same band)
  • Makoto Ozone (with his big band, and in a quartet with Tommy Smith)
  • Dick Hyman (in various contexts)
  • Barbara Morrison (doing a series of gigs)
  • Roy Hargrove (with an acoustic quintet, not his funk band. There’s an interview with him in today’s Herald)

Full details on the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival site.