Rothesay jazz parade puts Bute in festival mood

Jenny Brown and Richard White's Fivers lead the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival street parade through Rothesay on Saturday morning.
Jenny Brown and Richard White's Fivers lead the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival street parade through Rothesay on Saturday morning.

HUNDREDS of locals and visitors gathered in the centre of Rothesay on Saturday morning for the centrepiece of the annual Isle of Bute Jazz Festival - the noisy and colourful ‘brolly parade’ through the town.

The 25th festival, featuring 17 bands and 12 venues around the island, began on Friday afternoon and continues until Monday.

Saturday’s parade was led by local resident and lifelong jazz fan Jenny Brown, while one of the silver jubilee event’s biggest guest artists, Richard White’s Fivers, led the musical accompaniment.

The festival, however, isn’t just about ‘trad jazz’ - other highlights on the first day alone included Western Swing with Stretch Dawrson and the Mending Hearts, a Scottish evening with the Bute Ceilidh Band and the hugely talented gypsy jazz quartet Rose Room, led by the stunning Seonaid Aitken.

Other highlights of the weekend’s programme include a family picnic at Rothesay Castle on Sunday afternoon with TJ Johnson’s blues band (weather permitting!), jam sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and a special jazz service of praise at Trinity Church on Sunday evening, led by Penman’s Jazzmen, who performed at the very first Isle of Bute Jazz Festival in 1988 and have returned every year since.

* Click on the link to the right of this article to go to The Buteman’s Facebook page, where we’ll be uploading a selection of Isle of Bute Jazz Festival images during the course of the weekend.