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Glasgow Jazz Festival 2024

Glasgow Jazz Festival has unveiled its programme for 2024, with performances from some of the biggest names in jazz set to be hosted in the city next month. From Wednesday 19th – Sunday 23rd June 2024, over 20 events are confirmed across Glasgow and tix are available here
Celebrating 20 years of programming the Glasgow Jazz Festival, Director Jill Rodger said:
“We are delighted that some of the biggest names in jazz will be joining us this summer, the 38th festival is set to be another iconic edition of this annual event. This year’s line-up showcases everything from the legendary to the up-and-coming, promising an electrifying mix that festival audiences have come to expect from our event. We’re thrilled to present such an eclectic line-up of jazz luminaries at this year’s festival, from international to local talents, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”
a person standing in front of a building

Photo by Louis De Carlo

One of Jill’s personal highlights will be welcoming US saxophonist Bobby Watson back to Glasgow. One-time musical director to the great Art Blakey, Bobby Watson is best known for his unparalleled improvisational prowess. Jill said, “He first appeared in the festival programme in 1990 when Glasgow was European Capital of Culture – the first Glasgow Jazzfest that I worked on – at the Tramway as part of our biggest programme ever featuring Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, BB King, Lee Konitz and John McLaughlin. Bobby returned to Glasgow 30 years ago – in 1994 – as Composer in Residence, working with the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra and his own bands. His last visit to Glasgow Jazzfest was to the Old Fruitmarket in 2008 and he will make a triumphant return with his Quartet to play this year at St Luke’s on Saturday 22nd June.”

This year sees the festival return to well-loved venues including the Mackintosh Church and Òran Mór in the West End, the City Centre’s Nice N Sleazy, Saint Luke’s in the East End and The Glad Café in the Southside. The line-up showcases everything from the legendary to the up-and-coming and promises an electrifying line-up that festival audiences have come to expect of the world-renowned event.

Spiritual jazz act Mama Terra will recreate songs from the classic album Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock while Kitti’s Caledonian Songbook pays homage to songs in the Scots tradition from Robert Burns to Paolo Nutini.

Winner of 2023 BBC Radio Scotland Young Jazz Musician of the Year, pianist Ben Shankland performs an afternoon show, as well as Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra who reunite with Orphy Robinson, one of the most engaging and influential voices in British jazz.

Across the city in Òran Mór, a diverse array of jazz virtuosos takes centre stage – from the smooth, intricate melodies of the Jim Mullen Trio to the funky rhythms of original member of the Average White Band Hamish Stuart and his band. International sensations Kyoto Jazz Massive will transport listeners on a mesmerising journey, blending Japanese and French influences into a harmonious fusion of sound.

The Mackintosh Church will present the inimitable Fergus McCreadie Trio. Fresh off their nomination for the prestigious Mercury Prize and crowned winners of the ‘Scottish Album of the Year’ in 2022, this Scottish ensemble will showcase their captivating compositions and virtuosic performances alongside tracks from their new album Stream.

The Nice N Sleazy stage will showcase the dynamic duo of Scottish saxophonist Norman Willmore and drummer Corrie Dick. Having graced stages at festivals across the UK, they will bring their electrifying energy and infectious rhythms to the heart of Glasgow. BLACKSABBATHMODE is a collaboration between nu-jazz duo BIGHEADMODE and distinguished multi-instrumentalist Plumm inspired by the legendary rock band, Black Sabbath. Fresh from touring the UK as support to Nadine Shah, Scottish protest musician Kapil Seshasayee fuses R&B, Indian classical and jazz fusion with contemporary electronic genres.

The free Late Night Jam Sessions will also return every evening of the festival. The hosts include vocalist Marianne McGregor and saxophonist Helena Kay, and the sessions provide a crucial platform for musicians to come together to improvise and create unique musical moments into the wee hours of the morning. Marianne said: “Glasgow Jazz Festival is an unmissable event in the calendar and the Late-Night Jam Sessions are legendary, supporting Scotland’s emerging talent and providing a space for artists to collaborate, experiment and stretch their creative practice. This year is set to be an unforgettable one, so I’m really excited for my own singers Jam Session on opening night and to once again experience the very best jazz talent across five days in a city which is always bursting with rhythm and creativity.”