Islay Jazz Festival
- Kenny Mathieson
- 4 September 2008
If the idea of a successful jazz festival on Islay once seemed more than a touch outlandish, the actuality has been quite the opposite. The Islay Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a line-up that typifies the programming policy over that decade.
The formula from the outset has been to bring together the best of the Scottish jazz scene spiced up with a sprinkling of emerging talents from the USA and Europe, then throw them together in a beguiling setting and allow them to get on with creating some memorable musical experiences.
Bass player Mario Caribe has been a constant presence at the festival, and that distinction will be marked with a celebration concert that will feature Mario in various contexts, culminating in a specially assembled 10-piece band.
Visitors from further afield include Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, who made a powerful impression in the Scotland-wide Swedish Jazz Festival in 2007, and New York saxophonist Jimmy Greene. Each will be heard in several contexts, including within the same band on Saturday, while Karlzon will link up with Tommy Smith in what should be a fascinating duo on Friday.
The Rosetta Trio and Jen Chapin (the singer-songwriter daughter of Harry Chapin) also hail from New York, while local heroes Colin Steele, Phil Bancroft, Kevin MacKenzie and Tam White will all lead their own bands. If you want last-minute accommodation on Islay that weekend, though, best take a tent . . .
Various venues, Islay, Fri 12–Sun 14 Sep www.islayjazzfestival.co.uk