Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: 2019 line-up

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival returns for its 42nd edition this July with more than 130 gigs across the city

Feature by The Skinny | 26 Apr 2019
  • Ibibio Sound Machine live at Edinburgh Blues and Jazz Festival 2017

This year's Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival brings together more than 130 gigs featuring acts from across the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America, at venues across the city from 12-21 July. It's a massive programme, but three highlights stand out straight away.

Sons of Kemet, the explosive quartet led by the skronking saxophone of The Comet Is Coming bandleader Shabaka Hutchings, bring their mammoth sound to the festival. Sadly they'll only be bringing the two drummers with them; they've been playing with four for some festival shows under the banner Sons of Kemet XL, but we still reckon they'll make a pretty massive impact. Afrobeat-jazz-indie crossovers Ibibio Sound Machine return to the festival after a five-star show in 2017, and Graham Costello’s STRATA – one of Scotland's most intriguing and genre-melding jazz outfits – play a show in a special expanded line-up. Read about the influences behind Costello's sound in our Under the Influence feature from our February issue.

The Jazz & Blues Festival kicks off with a weekend-long Carnival – more details on that will come shortly – and the opening weekend also sees four stages of music in the Grassmarket for a free Mardis Gras-style celebration. Bristo Square will serve as a focal point for the festival, with free gigs and programming in the square and at Teviot. 

Find full details of this year's Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival line-up at edinburghjazzfestival.com