Ruby: it’s great to have festivals like this

Ruby Turner
Ruby Turner

Fife Jazz Festival

For years she’s been the leading light in Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and now Ruby Turner is preparing to entertain an audience in the Kingdom - not once, but twice.

The R’n’B and soul singer headlines this year’s Fife Jazz Festival and has two gigs lined up over the event’s three days.

She’ll be wowing the crowd at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews on Friday, February 6 and then doing it all over again the following day at Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline.

Ahead of her appearance at the festival, Ruby took time out of her schedule to speak to the Press.

The singer songwriter is looking forward to her time in the Kingdom.

She said: “I’m quite excited and right now I’m getting my act together.

“This is part of my latest tour I’ve been planning since last year.”

So what can people expect from the two local shows?

“Oh I don’t know. Expect the unexpected,” she laughed.

“The new album, ‘All That I Am’, is out and I’ll be doing songs from that, and I’ll probably do songs from the old albums too.

“It will be a mix of blues, soul, gospel and more.”

And how important does she find events such as Fife Jazz Festival?

“As a musician it’s vitally important as it keeps us in work and keeps the communities entertained too.

“It’s a wonderful thing to have festivals like this where the whole community can come out and enjoy something together, and it’s great that music can let people do 
that. The whole family thing happening – it’s what makes Great Britain so fantastic.”

Originally from Jamaica, Ruby has a voice that can breathe life and meaning into any song, whether it’s a passionate gospel tune, a soaring ballad, a dirty blues or a funky up-tempo groove.

Her career to date has had many unexpected twists and turns with major tours, theatre and TV appearances. So is there any particular highlights from over the years?

“I don’t know if there’s such a thing as the best thing,” she said.

“The thing is I’ve been doing this for nearly 32 years and the best thing is I’m still doing it.

“I’m very grateful that there are still people out there enjoying the music and paying money to hear it.

“I don’t take any of it for granted.

“The industry is ever changing and you have got to role with the changes.”

Speaking about the changes in the industry, and primarily the increase in the number of ‘stars’ coming through reality television programmes in recent years, Ruby said: “No-one cares how you get there.

“It’s whether you can stay there.

“How you arrive to it is irrelevant. It’s whether you have got the longevity.”

Ruby Turner plays the Byre Theatre in St Andrews and Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline.

Festival packed with many favourites

Major names in jazz, blues and soul are preparing to visit venues across the Kingdom next month. Fife Jazz Festival is back from Friday, February 6 to Sunday, February 8 for its ninth year and the line-up looks bigger and better than ever.

Ruby Turner, soul voice and star singer with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, is set to play two dates in Fife over the weekend. With her own band she’ll perform a set of soul, R ‘n’B and gospel classics at both the Byre Theatre in St Andrews and Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline.

And Ruby is just one of the acts that music fans would be mad to miss. This year’s programme features a range of performances from gypsy swing to Nordic cool; from jazz big band to solo acoustic blues; from Sinatra to soul; swinging modern jazz to hard funk.

The three-day festival is packed with many favourites as well as a host of new acts. One highlight from this year’s event is The Blender, which makes its debut.

It’s a takeover of The Byre Theatre in St Andrews for a late night music happening. There will be live music from a range of acts starting at 10.45 p.m. and running until 2.00 a.m. The music on offer will be a mix of live soul, funk, fusion, jazz and bluesy folk, with one ticket giving access to three stage areas for over three hours of music, six bands and DJ Andrea.

From the Scottish jazz scene, Rose Room - fronted by Glenrothes fiddler and singer Seonaid Aitken - headline Carnegie Hall on the Friday evening recreating the spirit of The Hot Club of Paris with an opening set by the young Michael Bublé vocalist AJ Brown. Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatre hosts ‘The Story of Swing’, Dave Batchelor’s Edinburgh Festival success.

The show brings together the Scottish Swing Orchestra, vocalist Lorna Reid, swing dancers, The Flyright Dance Company and a story told in pictures, words and music of the great names of swing.

For the hardcore jazz fans, why not check out the likes of Brian Kellock’s Trio; Strangeness and Charm; Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset, Ken Mathieson Classic Jazz Orchestra and John Burgess Big Five. There’ll also be performances from festival favourites the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra and Inverkeithing Community Band.

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Full listings:

Friday, February 6

Ruby Turner: Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 

The Big Dance: Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, 8pm.

Rose Room and AJ Brown: Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, 8pm.

The Troublemakers, George Shovlin and The Radars: Watts, Cupar, 8.00 p.m.

Brian Kellock Trio: Byre Theatre Studio, St Andrews, 8.15 p.m.

Saturday, February 7

Havana Swing: St Michaels Inn, St Michaels, 2pm.

Inverkeithing Community Band: Bay Hotel, Kinghorn, 3pm.

Ken Mathieson Classic Jazz Orchestra, John Burgess Big Five:

Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 7.30pm.

Strangeness and Charm: Byre Theatre Studio, St Andrews, 7.45pm.

The Story of Swing: Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, 8pm.

Ruby Turner: Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, 8pm.

The Blender featuring Nick Pride & the Pimptones with Beth Macari,
Fat Suit, The Foo Birds, AJ Brown, 
Gus Stirrat Band, St Andrews Fusion, DJ Andrea: The Byre, St Andrews, 10.45pm.

Sunday, February 8

Frank Holden: Woodside Hotel, Aberdour, 2pm.

Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra: Dean Park Hotel, Kirkcaldy, 3pm.

Blues -Kris Dollimore, Michael Roach: Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 5pm.

Marius Neset & Daniel Herskedal: Byre Theatre Studio, St Andrews, 5.30pm.

Batchelors of Jazz: Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 8pm.