So, what is there to hear this holiday weekend?

Well, if you want to stay in the city, there’s lots of free (as in no charge) jazz on.

Strathclyde University Big Band are playing at Cafe Source (downstairs at St Andrew’s in the Square) tonight. The band includes both students and staff, and since previous members have included Alyn Cosker, Paul Towndrow and Konrad Wiszniewski, you’ll possibly get the chance to hear someone really good near the beginning of their career. It starts at 9pm.

Tomorrow, pianist Derek Fairlie’s new quartet are at Brel in Ashton Lane between 3pm and 6pm where they will be playing a jazz funk set.

At 6.30pm on Sunday, keyboard player Marco Cafolla’s Trio are playing “modern jazz and driving funk” at the Butchershop Grill in the West End. Later that evening, there will be the usual Sunday night jam session at The 78.

Alternatively, if you want to indulge in the traditional Glasgow holiday weekend activity of going “doon the watter”, the 24th Isle of Bute Jazz Festival is on in and around Rothesay, starting tonight and going on until Sunday. Highlights of this include

  • Carol Kidd accompanied by Brian Kellock. I believe that this is, understandably, more or less sold out.
  • Bobby Wishart with special guest David Newton
  • Bill Salmond’s Lousiana Ragtime Band
  • Rose Room
  • Mike Whelans
  • Hermie Longalong Quartet

Details of times and prices from the Bute Jazz Festival website. There are Rover tickets available which get you into most of the gigs.

Finally, if you want to celebrate May Day – International Workers’ Day, the reason this weekend is a holiday in the first place – in an even more traditional way, the annual STUC May Day parade assembles in George Square at 11am on Sunday 1 May before moving off to the Old Fruitmarket.

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