A Bute of a jazz festival as star names return

Richard White's Fivers prepare to lead the brolly parade at the 2015 Isle of Bute Jazz Festival.
Richard White's Fivers prepare to lead the brolly parade at the 2015 Isle of Bute Jazz Festival.

The 29th Isle of Bute Jazz Festival is upon us this weekend, and as in previous years there’s a bumper programme sure to whet the appetites of all music-lovers.

Making a welcome return to Bute is Martin Bennett and his Old Green River Band, Richard White’s Fivers, Jazz Main, Anth Purdy, Jamie Brownfield, the Savannah Jazz Band, The Chicago Teddy Bears and Penman’s Jazzmen.

George Macdonald is also back this year, bringing with him his open mic sessions at the Struan Bar.

New to the festival in 2016 is Swingology, with their distinctive gypsy swing style all the way from Liverpool.

Another new act on this year’s bill is Jenny and the Jazz Cats. Jennifer Andrew, although born and brought up in Glasgow, has strong family ties to the island. Jennifer’s vocals have been likened to Barbara Dickson and Eddi Reader - be sure to make a note in your programme to catch her performance.

On a sadder note Jenny Brown who was the seemingly indestructible leader of the annual jazz brolly parade passed away in December 2015. This year’s festival will be lead, appropriately, by Jenny’s son Paul and his partner Rosie - judging will take place at around 10.45am on Saturday in Guildford Square, with the parade setting off at 11am.

If you haven’t got your tickets for the festival, don’t worry there’s still time. just pop along to the Festival shop in East Princes Street - next to Glen’s Electical Shop.

Be sure to check The Buteman website during the course of the festival for a run-down of each day’s notable performances.