The 2012 Merchant City Festival started yesterday, July 25th, and runs until Sunday 29th.
There’s not much jazz in it, but if you look closely, there is some – or at least some pretty jazzy stuff. Here’s a selection of what’s coming up at the weekend:
On Saturday and Sunday we’re promised some gypsy jazz on the Blackfriars Stage in Bell Street. The precise time is unclear (as is who will be playing it), but the entertainment starts at 1pm and goes on until 9pm both days.
The Federation of the Disco Pimp are playing the Brunswick Stage in Brunswick Street on Sunday 29th. There will be events on the stage from 11am to 9pm, but I can’t find any info about when exactly FotDP will be on.
On Sunday evening, there’s a “Food Tells a Story” event at Cafe Cossachok, in which Glasgow women from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds “will be taking charge of the kitchen to serve up food their mothers and grandmothers taught them to make”, followed by a concert of Eastern European gypsy swing by Koshka, who include Nigel Clark on guitar. This costs £25 for three courses, tea or coffee and shortbread, two drinks, and the music. It starts at 6.30pm.
Moving away from jazz, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are putting on a concert of music by John Cage (born 100 years ago) at the City Halls. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets are free. It doesn’t include the notorious 4’33”, but does include a piece for amplified cactus.
There’s also an audio walking tour giving the musical history of the Merchant City available. You need an MP3 player or smart phone with headphones for this: download the commentary from the Walking Heads website and “follow a fascinating trail from variety theatre to indie rock in 100 years and all in under an hour”. If it doesn’t mention that it was the Glasgow Jazz Festival which first spotted the potential of the Old Fruitmarket as a venue, demand your money back. And if it’s really hip, it will remind you that Peter Nardini recorded a song called “Glasgow Cathedral” and Stewart Forbes played sax on it.