Jazz concert to shake off the festive excess

The Chicago Teddy Bears Society, pictured performing at  292 Club in Rothesay as part of  the 2015 Isle of Bute Jazz Festival
The Chicago Teddy Bears Society, pictured performing at 292 Club in Rothesay as part of the 2015 Isle of Bute Jazz Festival

Waistlines may be bulging after Christmas but Bute’s annual New Year Jazz Concert promises to serve up a feast of an altogether different kind.

The concert on the afternoon of January 2 at Rothesay’s Victoria Hotel is as much a social gathering as a chance to listen to great jazz.

The concert opens with Bute’s own Les Gitanes, Tim Saul (lead guitar), Alec Mack (lead guitar), Keith McIntyre (rhythm guitar) and Paul McKay (bass) who play in the French cafe style popularised by the great Django Reinhardt.

The second set will feature a much larger group of musicians - the Tim Saul Sextet with special guests including Glasgow’s Robert Henderson (trumpet) and Nick Gould (tenor sax) from Edinburgh with the programme including selections from the Great American Songbook and a sprinkling of trad jazz tunes.

Robert Henderson has been a familiar face at both the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival and previous

New Year concerts. A highly versatile trumpeter and composer, his many fans describe him as being “possessed by the spirit of jazz.”

Talented tenor saxophonist, Nick Gould is a fluent improviser and in much demand on the Edinburgh jazz scene. Over the years, he has worked with gigging bands such as the Maria Speight Quintet, Groove Cru and the New Avengers, and has appeared at the Bute Jazz Festival with his own quartet, JazzMain.

Les Gitanes members Alec Mack and Paul McKay will feature while Tim Saul switches from guitar to piano. Former Bute resident David Gray will be making a welcome return on drums and no New Year concert would be complete without the much-loved Anna Harrison providing vocals.

Finally, making a greatly anticipated debut to the New Year concert and the jazz scene are two stalwarts of the Bute Community Band, John Blick on cornet and Ian Selkirk playing flugelhorn.

The Isle of Bute Jazz Festival Committee has brought together a group of talented musicians from both the island and mainland to play a wide variety of traditional and gypsy jazz. Tickets available at www.butejazz.com, at Brechin’s on Bridgend Street, and on the door, price £12.