TICKETS for the first ever Shetland Jazz Festival have gone on sale at the weekend.
The three day event in early June has been put together by a small group of volunteers who form the Shetland Jazz Club.
They have come up with a varied and hugely ambitious programme that will culminate in an Olympic Suite on the evening of 10 June, the same day the Olympic Torch is to visit Shetland for a few hours.
The festival features the Israeli-born British saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, who returns to Shetland after a highly acclaimed concert in the town hall in February 2009, and Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith, who played a concert in Lerwick last summer.
Other highlights are the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the Nova Scotia Jazz Band, the Becc Sanderson Trio as well as Raymond MacDonald and George Burt of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, who will all be accompanied by a wealth of local talent.
The club’s secretary Jeff Merrifield said: “Shetland Jazz Club is here to promote jazz. People often say “we don’t like jazz”, yet they probably listen to as much jazz as any other sort of music – on TV, in films, in advertisements. John Coltrane even appeared in the background of Bargain Hunt the other day.
“With this first jazz festival we have tried to show jazz in all its wide diversity and live up to the old adage that here is ‘something for everyone’. We hope you enjoy the festival.
The festival is sponsored by Creative Scotland, Shetland Arts Trust, and Shetland Events and Festivals Development Fund.
Tickets are now on sale now from Shetland Box Office at www.shetlandboxoffice.org or by phoning 01595 745555.
Here Mr Merrifield introduces the festival’s programme in his own distinctive style:
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