Jazz quartet set for bank holiday concert on island

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A young award-winning jazz act will be showcasing their talents on Bute at the traditional May Day Bank holiday Sunday concert, organised by Isle of Bute Jazz Festival.

The Luca Manning Quartet comprises vocalist and composer Luca Manning, pianist and composer Alan Benzie, Mark Hendry, who composes, arranges and plays bass, together with 2016 Young Drummer of the Year, Tom Potter.

The venue for this Sunday afternoon concert on May 5 is Rothesay’s 292 Club, with a start time of 2.30pm.

Tim Saul from Isle of Bute Jazz Festival, said: “It promises to be one of the most exciting new line-ups to play on the Isle of Jazz for a decade or more.

“Voted 2018 ‘Rising Star’ at the Scottish Jazz Awards and nominated in the ‘Best Vocalist’ category, Luca is inspired by a whole range of performers and musical styles while remaining firmly rooted in the jazz tradition.

“Currently in his second year at the Guildhall School of Music studying for a Jazz degree, Luca has played major London venues such as Pizza Express Jazz Club and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, and last year became a vocal chair holder with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

“Luca could be said to have performing in his genes – his grandmother is the celebrity Glasgow auctioneer, Anita Manning, of BBC ‘Bargain Hunt’ fame.”

Speaking about the rest of the quartet, Tim added: “Pianist Alan Benzie’s credentials are impressive – BBC Scotland Young Musician of the Year at just 17 plus a string of other plaudits including the prestigious Billboard Award at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. He started on violin at the age of eight and switched to piano after discovering jazz in his teens. Since then he has not looked back and studied with the famed Joanne Brackeen and Laszlo Gardony at the Boston based Berklee College of Music.

“Mark Hendry’s interest in jazz coincided with him switching from electric guitar to double bass at the age of 14. He studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has performed at both the London and Edinburgh Jazz Festivals, and with bands like STRATA, the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Fergus McCreadie Trio.

“At 18 Tom Potter has already played at venues like London’s Royal Albert Hall and spent two years as the drummer of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra and was invited to join the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra.

“He was a member of the four piece indie band Bad Jeff, and featured in the Barnados advert, ‘Believe in Me’.”