As in the previous two weeks, this survey is concentrating on the jazz and jazz-related music on at Celtic Connections, and ignoring the wealth of other interesting music in the festival. There’s Kathryn Tickell, and Lau, and Mary Gauthier, and the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final, and lots of other goodies, but they’re not what I’m going to be focussing on.
Thursday 2nd February
Blues of the World. Four bands from different countries, merging the blues with their own native traditions.
The Hidden Orchestra. Jazz-electronica fusion.
Friday 3rd February.
Omar Sosa. Outstanding Cuban pianist who mixes jazz with Cuban and African elements. He’s here with his band the Afreecanos Quintet (sax, trumpet, bass, percussion and “live drum’n’bass”). Support comes from Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf.
The Average White Band, perhaps the funkiest band ever to come out of Scotland, in a show which also features jazz singer Niki King, the great Dundee songwriter Michael Marra, and pop-soul outfit Hue and Cry (who once toured using a horn section of Tommy Smith, Phil Bancroft and Colin Steele).
Saturday 4th February
Singer Maria Speight plays the Saturday afternoon spot at Brel.
The Federation of the Disco Pimp support Newcastle soul duo Smoove.
Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns. New Orleans singer exploring the styles of the 20s and 30s, backed by a traditional New Orleans marching band. A double bill with the Wiyos.
Sunday 5th February
Vieux Farka Touré. Malian singer and guitarist, son of Ali Farka Touré.
Then that’s it for another year.
Information about times, venues and prices are available on the Celtic Connections website.
I hadn’t heard of Ibrahim Maalouf, who’s supporting Omar Sosa at the Tramway on Friday, but his new album gets an excellent review on the Jazz Breakfast blog. Here’s a taster: