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Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival Logo.


The eighteenth Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival

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Kirkcudbright Artsists Town

Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival is a Company registered in Scotland - No. SC315747 & Charity No. SC038200

2007 Scottish Jazz Festivals Kirkcudbright

A Celebration of Trad New Orleans, Dixieland and Swing Jazz in South West Scotland.


will be held on 11, 12, 13 and 14 JUNE 2015


The 17th annual festival in this unique small Scottish town promises to be even more appealing and exciting than ever by maintaining the high musical standards set by previous festivals. Visitors will have the chance to enjoy top class and highly professional artistes, some on a first time visit, as well as some old favourites,  ensuring that the festival caters for jazz lovers of all ages who appreciate quality as well as variety for their entertainment.

Held from Thursday, 12th to Sunday, 15th June 2014, it is a great time to visit this least populated area of Dumfries & Galloway, only an hour’s drive north of Carlisle. It is known as “the artists town” because, like St Ives in Cornwall, it has that special kind of light, particularly at sunset, which attracted and continues to attract may successful artists to live and work in the region.


The Festival has  a programme of bands and groups, some new to Kirkcudbright, some making a welcome return and featuring international and national musicians, playing a varied selection of hot, swinging, toe-tapping music which should appeal to a wide audience.


From eight o’ clock on Thursday 12th to midnight on Sunday 15th June 2014, some seventeen bands or groups will appear in venues throughout Kirkcudbright providing over eighty hours of musical entertainment.


Opening the festival in rousing style, trumpeter John Shillito’s Select Six from Devon and Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz ( no prizes for guessing its origins) will feature on Thursday evening in the Town Hall and Church Hall – both excellent bands of first class musicians. 


And there’s more to come when the above bands are joined on the Friday by The Vieux Carré Jazzmen from Newcastle and Dennis Armstrong’s Great Northern Jazz Band, drawn mainly from north of England musicians. Local group, Sulwath Syncopators, hosts a jam session and two Edinburgh groups fly the flag for Scotland - Jerry Forde’s New Phoenix Jazz Band and Jim Petrie’s Diplomats of Jazz.

And yet more, as bands from across the country join in on the Saturday. Amongst these are the New Century Ragtime Orchestra with vocalist Caroline Irwin, the Savannah Jazz Band, the Dave Donohoe Band, Mike Lovell’s Six-In-A-Bar, Chris Pearce’s Frenchmen Street Jazz Band, Jim McIntosh and the Jazzaholics and Dick Lee’s Swingtet with Scottish Jazz Singer of 2013, Alison Affleck. Many of the musicians from these bands will come together to form the Kirkcudbright All Stars Band which, with parade marshals and “Brolly Dollies” Denise Gordon, Pamela Bayes and Sandra Mitchell, will lead a decorated Brolly parade through the streets of the town  at 11 am. Look out this year for a visit from “The Sheik of Araby” Following the parade there will be a free concert in the Parish Church of gospel music and song from the Creole Clarinets, Thomas l’Etienne and Uli Wünner, two wonderful musicians from Germany, who will be joined by Gospel Diva, Denise Gordon, who has connections with St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, on vocals.


One of the features of the festival will be the “jazz dine around” on each of the Festival evenings, with small groups providing music for diners in local restaurants, usually from 6 to 8 pm. The groups appearing this year are The Sappers (aka Dick Lee and Phil Adams), guitarists Duncan McCallum and Dougie Harrison with Tom Kincaid and Angus Dick doing  solo piano  spots. These events are very popular and bookings should be made directly with the restaurants to avoid disappointment. In addition, and also for diners, Dick Lee’s Swingtet with Alison Affleck will be at the Selkirk Arms while Jim McIntosh and the Jazzaholics and Creole Clarinets and Friends with Denise Gordon will play at the CocoaBean Factory on the Saturday evening.


And more, with Sunday commencing with the very popular Jazz Church Services in the Parish Church under the direction of Rev Douglas Irving  with music by Sulwath Syncopators and Friends including the Creole Clarinets and Denise Gordon and in Greyfriars with the Dave Donohoe Band.  Following the Church Services, sessions by the Savannah Jazz Band, the New Century Ragtime Orchestra, Jim McIntosh and the Jazzaholics, Chris Pearce’s Frenchmen Street Jazz band, Mike Lovell’s Six in a Bar, the Dave Donohoe Band, Dick Lee’s Swingtet with Alison Affleck and the Creole Clarinets and Friends  will continue  in various venues  through to midnight.


People sometimes say “I don’t like jazz” but the music of this Festival is mainly from the 1920s and 30s, is very melodic, features songs from “The Great American Songbook”, is excellent for dancing and will be played with great skill and love by the band members so come along and give it a try – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!


The programmes, on sale at a number of outlets in Kirkcudbright, show this year’s festival again promising to provide locals and visitors with an extravagant feast of entertainment and fine musicianship played in a variety of styles and catering for all tastes.


For further information on the festival telephone 01557 330467. Festival tickets are available from Solway Books in St Cuthbert Street and from festival venues on festival days.