The 2019 Aberdeen Jazz Festival had a higher number of concert-goers than ever before with attendances topping 8,000 with an incredible 420 individual musician engagements.
Thanks to the support of our main sponsor Aberdeen Inspired and funders Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland, the 2019 Festival presented over 80 bands, 42 concerts in 26 venues over the 11 days and went as far as Portsoy and Stonehaven
The 2019 programme launched the first ever Aberdeen Blues Weekend which featured a classic performance from the Queen of Scottish Blues Maggie Bell, ex-Whitesnake stellar guitarist Bernie Marsden and direct from New Orleans, Kenny Neal. The Blues Afternoon rounded off the weekend with Scottish talent Kris Dollimore, Nicole Smit and Aberdeen’s own Gerry Jablonski.
The Festival also featured the best of Scottish Jazz with Artist-In-Residence Paul Towndrow leading a number of different combinations, from his own quintet to guesting with the Aberdeen University Jazz Orchestra. The programme also featured three world premieres, 15 Aberdeen premieres and a host of local musicians presenting special projects including Marisha Addison who celebrated 50 years at the centre of jazz performance in Aberdeen. Local musicians Melodie Fraser, Colin Black, Mary May, Morag McColl and Funk Connection also featured.
It was a superb festival for young talent with the rising stars of UK and Scottish jazz with virtuoso performances from Laura Jurd and Fergus McCreadie, superb sell-out sets from Georgia Cecile and Irini Arabatzi and award-winning saxophonist Matthew Kilner and his band Hamlet. Aberdeen Youth Band Showcases gave a host of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire youngsters their first exposure to playing in Scotland’s premier venue, The Blue Lamp.
Jazz On The Green had a mix of weather conditions from sunshine to hail but the performers and audiences stayed the course to enjoy marvelous performances inside and out, attracting 3,200 people.
Neil Gibbons, chair of Aberdeen Jazz Festival said: “We are delighted by the continuing development of Aberdeen Jazz Festival. It was great to see so many young superbly talented musicians taking part and remains the highlight of the jazz calendar in Aberdeen”
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “Aberdeen Inspired is proud to be a driver in supporting the festival and we’ve had good feedback from our local businesses in the city centre, who have experienced a positive knock-on effect. It’s been great to have so many performances at a wide spread of locations and such a talented range of established and up-and-coming musicians delighting the crowds.”