Mira Opalinska Quartet and NeWt with Silke Eberhard

Anyone who still needs convinced that jazz has become a truly international music only needs to look at the line-up of the two bands playing in Glasgow on Thursday night. And they each include a female instrumentalist in a key role.

The Mira Opalińska International Quartet are playing at the Recital Room in the City Halls, as part of a three date mini-tour which goes on to the Reid Hall in Edinburgh on Friday, then to London on Saturday. Pianist Opalińska is Polish, but has been resident in Scotland for several years now, and the rest of the band is made up of two Scots, Konrad Wiszniewski on saxes and Douglas Whates on bass, and a Finn, Olavi Louhivuori, on drums. Louhivuori’s band Oddarang were very impressive at Glasgow Jazz Festival a couple of years ago, and he is currently the drummer in Tomasz Stanko’s band. The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10.

At much the same time, another international outfit, the Edinburgh-based Canadian-Australian-Scottish trio NeWt are playing at the Glasgow Art Club with special guest, German saxophonist Silke Eberhard. They collaborated on a rather fine album “NeWt 2 featuring Silke Eberhard” last year, and this concert is part of a tour promoting it. They’re playing five dates as a quartet in Scotland and the north of England this week (The Blue Lamp in Aberdeen on Tuesday, the Jazz Bar in Edinbugh on Wednesday, Glasgow on Thursday, then on to Manchester on Friday and Newcastle on Sunday), then the basic trio of Chris Greive (trombone), Graeme Stephen (guitar) and Chris Wallace (drums) have a further six gigs in April. Rob Adams interviewed Chris Wallace about the band and their collaboration with Eberhard a few weeks ago. Thursday’s concert starts at 8pm and tickets cost £6.

I presume that the different promoters active in the Glasgow area must each have independently reached the conclusion that Thursday is a good night to put jazz on. It’s just a shame that it splits the audience – I suspect I’m not the only person who would like to go to both of these concerts.

However, it’s not the only day there’s live jazz to be heard. On Tuesday 29th, the University of Strathclyde’s BA Applied Music Jazz Orchestra, directed by Stewart Forbes, are playing in the City Halls’ Recital Room at 5.30pm. Tickets are £4.

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