This weekend, Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October, sees a couple of jazz festivals on within driving distance of Glasgow, the ones in Lockerbie and Callander. Like the Islay and Kirkcudbright festivals, they might not feature any major international names, but have established themselves over the years as key events helping keep live jazz alive outside the cities.

Lockerbie Jazz Festival 2011

Lockerbie’s sixth jazz festival kicks off on Friday night with two concerts:

  • The Red Stripe Band
  • Ben Bryden’s Bright Noise: an inventive take on the two tenors plus rhythm section formula led by young saxophonist Ben Bryden, who grew up locally and is now based in New York.

On Saturday, there’s an all-day “Take Six” event at Lockerbie Academy, featuring performances by, among others, the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra, a Bruce Adams – Seamus Blake Quartet, Mike Whellans, The Lairds of Dixieland, and Stewart Forbes, plus workshops and open mic sessions. There will be food and drink all day.

In the afternoon, there’s a blues concert featuring the Lyndon Anderson Band, Mike Whellans, and The Wise Guys.

In the evening, there’s a choice of gigs:

  • Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band
  • The Houston Person Sextet, which has Alan Barnes and Bruce Adams as the other horn players alongside veteran US mainstream tenor player Person.

On Sunday morning you can attend a morning church service featuring the Glasgow Gospel Choir, then it’s back to the devil’s music in the afternoon:

  • Traditional jazz from the Dave Donohoe Band
  • Australian singer Janet Seidel (who’ll be playing in Glasgow on Friday 30th)
  • Alan Barnes and Houston Person with the Paul Harrison Trio.

Information about venues, prices and times can be found on the Lockerbie Jazz Festival website. If you’re planning to go by public transport, the direct train service from Glasgow is pretty infrequent and the last train back leaves before the evening concerts start. Your best bet is possibly to go via Dumfries or Carlisle (or drive).

Callander Jazz and Blues Festival 2011

If you’d rather head north than south, there’s also the Callander Jazz and Blues Festival this weekend. It features a wide range of jazz and blues musicians performing at a variety of venues around the town (and on a steamer on Loch Katrine). There are no big names, but it still has the makings of a very enjoyable weekend. Again it runs from Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October.

Houston Person: