Jazz from Sweden

Various venues, Scotland-wide, Thu 8 Feb-Mon 19 Mar


The Swedes are finally coming, and if this five-week extravaganza of Swedish jazz is a little later than originally envisaged, it promises to be a memorable one. Assembly Direct and the Stockholm-based Rikskonserter first started to plot an intensive focus on the music of a country with a long history of jazz involvement back in 2005.

A two-day taster at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival that year was intended to herald this festival in 2006, but the dates slipped a little. The events now planned will take place in twelve towns and cities across Scotland, from Inverness and Aberdeen in the north to Biggar and Langholm in the south.

The central belt is well served with events, and the double bill featuring E.S.T. and singer Viktoria Tolstoy in Glasgow (Sat 10 Feb) will provide an early highlight in a programme that ranges from the high quality traditional jazz of the Swedish Jazz Kings and mainstream trumpet ace Jan Allen (who will team up with Brian Kellock) to the cutting edge contemporary music of the aforesaid E.S.T. and the likes of Jacob Karlzon and Fredrik Ljungkvist.

Interaction between the visitors and Scottish musicians is also on the agenda for a number of gigs, and the whole programme will reflect Assembly Direct’s Roger Spence’s contention that Swedish jazz is both very diverse and very high quality.

‘We don’t think there has been a festival with this kind of intensive focus on the music of one country in Scotland before, certainly not on this scale. It is an opportunity to add another dimension to the jazz festival programme, and we believe we can create more interest around a programme like this than just bringing in artists for one-off gigs.’

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