Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival prepares to swing this summer

Some of the world’s finest musicians will be taking to the stage next month at the 23rd Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival.

By Brian Yule
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 2:33 pm
Rose Room will be one of the headline acts for this year's Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival
Rose Room will be one of the headline acts for this year's Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival

Running from June 9-12 there will be a packed schedule of performances in various venues throughout the town, including halls, restaurants with dining options and open air events.

This year a new single event ticket will be on offer for those looking to dip their toe in the water and try out jazz for the first time.

In addition, the weekend ticket covers any of the (non-dining) performances for the whole four days, and there are also day and afternoon/evening tickets available.

One of the unique highlights is the Brolly Parade, held on the Saturday morning of the festival, as the streets of Kirkcudbright come alive as musicians march through the town followed by visitors and locals with their decorated umbrellas.

Leon McCaig, convenor of the festival, said: “For the 23rd festival, arguably one of the best ever line-up of bands will be in Kirkcudbright for the event, as 13 bands featuring musicians from across the UK and Europe present a cornucopia of music including classical New Orleans jazz, American “territorial” jazz, jump-jive, gypsy jazz, rhythm & blues, western swing and maybe even some Latin jazz and bebop.”

Highlights of this year’s line-up, which is supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Galloway Glens Scheme, include –

Two-time winners of the Scottish Jazz Awards Best Band, Rose Room, deliver a blistering display of Grapelli/Reinhardt gypsy jazz.

Led by Seonaid Aitken on violin and vocals, Rose Room also features Tam Gallagher on rhythm guitar, Tom Watson on solo guitar and Jimmy Moon on double bass.

The Kirkcudbright International All Stars featuring German clarinetists Thomas L’Etienne and Uli Wunner, Dutch pianist Harry Kanters and English bassist Andy Crowdy and drummer Jack Cotterill will perform a selection of jazz standards and tunes from the Great American songbook.

EB’s Five Go Jazzin’ – Ewan Bleach on clarinet and saxophones, Mike Daly on cornet, John Fenner on banjo and guitar, Jim Swinnerton on bass and Jack Cotterill on drums – have come together specially for the festival to give their interpretations of tunes and ballads from the 1920s-40’s.

The full line-up – Rose Room, Jake Leg Jug Band, E B’s Five Go Jazzin, Kirkcudbright International All Stars, The Red Stripe Band, Eagle Jazz Band, Jazz By 5, The Auld Toon Stompers featuring Ali Affleck, The Big Easy, Washington Whirligig, Ewan Bleach, The Harmony Hounds, The Figiro Trio.

Shops and businesses are being encouraged to decorate their windows with a Judy Garland theme, as 2022 marks the centenary of her birth.

The festival is encouraging the involvement of schools and youth groups by giving out free student tickets to those in education, while children who take part in the Brolly Parade will receive a goody bag, courtesy of The Cocoabean Company.

Tickets for the festival are available online at, call 01557 330467 or at Willow in St Mary Street.