New Sensations: The young Scottish talent headed to the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2018
- Brian Donaldson
- 12 July 2018
This article is from 2018
Scotland has no shortage of top jazz players of a certain vintage, but young acts are not to be dismissed
While the 2018 Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is awash with established Scottish figures such as Tommy Smith, Carol Kidd, Brian Kellock, Konrad Wiszniewski, and Colin Steele, some observers are more likely to be excited by the raft of emerging talent on display. Given that we're deep into the heart of Scotland's Year of Young People, it's fitting that a number of fresh performers will be lighting up the city this July. And nowhere is that better exemplified than at Teviot Row for the New Wave of Scottish Jazz night (14 Jul). Across two hours, you'll hear the Mark Hendry Octet, Luca Manning with Alan Benzie, and the Fergus McCreadie Trio.
At 20, McCreadie led his band to their debut album last year. Turas (Gaelic for 'journey') had some critics namechecking McCoy Tyner and Esbjörn Svensson as sonic touchstones for McCreadie's piano work. Also aged 20, bassist Mark Hendry has been praised for his maturity and ability to create magic across various genres. His octet plays at the New Wave show, while he's aiming to drag around 23 musicians up on stage for his Large Ensemble show (20 Jul).
At just 18, Glasgow's Luca Manning has both time on his side and a velvety set of tonsils. Almost taking on veteran status is Manning's pianist, Alan Benzie, who is well into his 20s now, having become the BBC Scotland Jazz Musician winner when he was 17. He's packed a lot into his years having studied at Berklee College of Music, played with Tommy Smith's Youth Jazz Orchestra, and spends time in Japan, a country whose culture has heavily influenced his sound.
As well as the acts on the New Wave night, other young Scottish talent can be viewed over the festival's duration including the Matt Carmichael Quartet, Fraser Urquhart, The Alyn Cosker Group, Georgia Cécile, and the Tom Gibbs Quartet.