ENRG @ ED JAZZ FEST: Weekend One What To See

Sons Of Kemet (Credit: Press)

The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is here and there is a whole lot of stuff on. So much that it might be a bit difficult to get your head around what you want to see. If that’s the case, then fear no more! We’re here to break down some shows over the weekend that are more than worth your time to see.


The New Wave of Scottish Jazz performance is a brilliant way to get to know some of the big names in the young Scottish jazz scene. Graham Costello’s STRATA and The Matt Carmichael Quartet are performing in a dual gig at Teviot Row at 7:30 on Saturday.

STRATA released their debut album Obelisk, producing an incredibly vibrant and exciting sound. Pushing the limits of jazz, diving into minimalist progressive rock and improvisation, they are an incredibly exciting band to see. Graham has surrounded himself with some of the most talented musicians of his generation, with Fergus McCreadie on keys, Harry Weir on saxophone, Liam Shortall on Trombone and Joe Williamson on Guitar, they are an act not to miss.

Matt Carmichael brings his gold classic saxophone quartet to the festival, with McCreadie on keys, and David Bowden on Bass as well, they have an assured and mature sound. Expect complex compositions and power of the saxophone by Carmichael who is quickly becoming a leader in the field.


Nubiyan Twist is a massive ten-piece jazz band based in London. With two singers, four horns and a lot of rhythm they create jazz music with a lot of feeling to it and with influences from all over the world. They cross genres and produce a sound that makes you dance, groove and have the time of your life.

With some tickets still on sale, I would recommend that you grab them while they are still here.


If we’re to be perfectly candid, it feels a little cheeky to put Sons of Kemet on this list since they sold out weeks ago but it would feel wholly incomplete if we didn’t. Simply put, Sons of Kemet are one the biggest names in the London Jazz scene at the moment. If you are able to get a ticket enjoy every moment of this show.

Saxaphonist Shabaka Hutchings leads his band to create brilliant dance-heavy jazz that is redefining the sound in a lot of ways. Fresh from performing at Glastonbury Festival last month this band is on the up and up and the Spiegeltent will be jumping.


Bandakadabra are playing all over the festival so if you don’t get the chance to see them this weekend then don’t worry. But if you don’t see them at all this festival then you are doing yourself a disservice.

A brilliant 8-piece Italian band with a great up-beat jazz sound that has a lot of Swing elements to it. This is a brilliant band for anyone with even a fleeting interest in jazz to go see.


Gianni Denitto is a great saxophonist who actually has his roots in classical music. He’s now moved into a combination of an acoustic saxophone sound with a lot of an electronic sound slammed onto it too. Denitto is a very unique artist in the festival who specializes in creating complex soundscapes that creates lots of different kind of atmosphere and envelopes the audience.

He’s playing at 11pm at the Jazz Bar on Sunday night. Expect soundscapes that will transport you away from the basement of the jazz bar to a whole new plane.

By John Gillespie