FESTIVAL – Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, 18th – 27th July 2014

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2014 includes the Festival Carnival and the Mardi Gras

Carnival in Edinburgh

The programme for the 2014 Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has been announced with the programme hitting all the right notes!

You can also read our article on Carnival workshops over the next few weeks.

The biggest Festival of its kind in Britain presents a super-charged line-up that will delight Festival regulars and first-timers alike. For 10 groove-packed days from Friday 18th to Sunday 27th July, venues across the capital will play host to the finest jazz and blues talent from all corners of the globe. From bop to boogie-woogie to blues-rock, from samba to swing to soul: there’s something in the programme to suit every mood and musical taste.

Raising the curtain on a brimming schedule of concerts, the Festival is presenting over 140 gigs at 13 venues over 10 days, and offering fantastic opportunities for Festival-goers to get involved – listening, jamming, dancing, uploading pics, and more.

Look out for jazz legends, blues greats, red carpet nights, show-stopping vocalists and swingin’ vintage fun. There’s a showcase of never-before-seen acts in the city under the EDINBURGH FIRSTS strand, cutting edge sounds with the return of CROSS THE TRACKS, and an exciting presentation of 2014 EXCLUSIVES, including the Mandela Day Concert on opening night, and Kaiser Bill Invented Jazz, a special production to mark the centenary of The Great War, in which we make the link between European turmoil and the birth of Jazz. The concert is part of a programme of SCOTTISH JAZZ EXPO projects, where the Festival supports top Scottish musicians and features a host of collaborations between Scottish and international performers.

Free events suitable for all the family

Mardi Gras

Saturday 19th July 2014 sees the annual Mardi Gras in the Grassmarket take place. The historic heart of Edinburgh will become a mini New Orleans for the afternoon.

The Mardi Gras brings non-stop entertainment and a party atmosphere to the Grassmarket, with support from the Greater Grassmarket Business Improvement District. The line-up includes Hamish McGregor Quintet, Jensen Interceptors, Lyndon Anderson, Freddie King, Gramophone Jass Band and Mardi Gras stalwarts the Criterion Brass Band.

Starts at 1pm. Just head along and enjoy!

Jazz Festival Carnival in the sun in 2013

Edinburgh Festival Carnival

Sunday 20th July 2014 sees the Edinburgh Festival Carnival returns for the third year.

The Mound, Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens

The Edinburgh Festival Carnival is limbering up for its biggest – and brightest – year yet! A new parade, starting at 2pm, will see 700 Carnival performers start from the top of the Mound to the West End of Princes Street in an extravaganza of eye-popping colour and high-energy music.

And it’s not just for spectators. The people of Edinburgh are invited to take part in the parade alongside professional musicians, dancers and costumed performers. Individuals, families or groups can attend a range of costume-making, music-making and dance workshops throughout July, or sign up to come along on the day and wear one of the fantastic Carnival costumes.

Once again set Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens abuzz with live music, sequined dancers, feathered costumes, circus performers and street theatre in one big dazzling spectacle under the castle.

The Parade, led by carnival favourites Kalentura from the Netherlands, will lead over 100 live drummers, over 200 international musicians, 150 circus and fire performers, a dazzling range of costumes and puppets, all coming together from 17 different countries (including South Africa, Zambia, the Bahamas, Italy, Germany, Colombia, Costa Rica as well as Scottish and UK acts) down the hill to the West End of Princes Street. The city centre will be an international carnival spectacular.

Music, dance, costumes, and street entertainment in all shapes, sizes, and sounds on Princes Street and in Princes Street Gardens from 2pm – 4.30pm. The event is free.

The parade from The Mound to west Princes Street starts at 2pm.

You can look at our photos from last year’s event.


There will also be Carnival acts and music in the Grassmarket from 2.30pm until 5pm. The Grassmarket will have three stages with street dancing, live music, fire performers, drumming, costumes as well as an amazing range of hot street food stalls serving tastes of the world from paella to Jamaican chicken.

Among the acts participating are Artscape’s Youth Band, a township band from Cape Town, which will be leading workshops prior to Carnival day, then inviting participants to play alongside them in the Parade; Junkanoo Commandos from the Bahamas, alongside their costume-making and music workshop participants; Barefeet from Zambia; Gwanaval from Martinique; Bombrando from Portugal; and the Beltane Fire Society from Edinburgh.

Further information

Further information can also be found on the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival website.

You can like the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival on Facebook and on follow them on twitter @Edinburghjazz

Tickets are available from www.edinburghjazzfestival.com and via The Hub: 0131 473 2000 or in person from Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE

Credit: Simon Williams

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