Glasgow’s folk and world music festival, Celtic Connections, starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday 5th February. It’s not a jazz festival, but tucked away in the extensive programme there are a few jazz concerts, several bands who incorporate a significant element of jazz, and rather more instances of jazz musicians playing in a non-jazz context. There’s also hunners of interesting concerts by fine musicians who play in styles from traditional unaccompanied singing to electronic folk-dance fusion and have absolutely nothing to do with jazz.
Here’s the jazzier bits I’ve spotted during the first week:
Thursday 19 January
If you’re not going to see David Berkman at Glasgow Art Club, there’s a Celtic Connections gig by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Forget all the banjo jokes. Jazz meets bluegrass meets…
Friday 20 January
Fraser Fifield (saxes and whistles) and Graeme Stephen (guitar). Duo set from two musicians equally at home playing jazz or folk.
Carolina Chocolate Drops. Reviving the African-American string band tradition of the twenties and thirties, with a repertoire which overlaps with the jazz and blues of that time. Excellent when they played Celtic Connections a couple of years ago, but this is a slightly different line-up.
Saturday 21 January
Brel has its usual late afternoon session, featuring a band from London called Origami, who are a jazz-funk quartet including drummer Corrie Dick.
In the evening, Ailie Robertson‘s band includes Fraser Fifield and Chris Wallace.
This is How We Fly are a Dublin band described as combining Irish and Swedish folk music with jazz improvisation and electronica. Their line-up includes a bass clarinet which suggests the evening certainly won’t be 100% traditional.
Sunday 22 January
Another appearance by Fraser Fifield, in a band called MOVE who also feature guitarist John Goldie. They’re supporting Shooglenifty’s “part gig, part ceilidh” Shoogle Project.
Monday 23 February
One of the festival’s few out-and-out jazz gigs, by Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan.
Details of venues, times and prices are available on the Celtic Connections website.
Since he’s a very busy man this weekend, what better to finish this post with than a clip by Fraser Fifield?