Enjoy live music at Kirkcaldy’s first jazz festival

Jazz singer Grace Black has been the main organiser of Kirkcaldy's first jazz festival. Pic: George McLuskie.
Jazz singer Grace Black has been the main organiser of Kirkcaldy's first jazz festival. Pic: George McLuskie.

Locals in Kirkcaldy are being invited to look out their dancing shoes and enjoy a weekend of live music at the town’s first jazz festival.

The event takes place this Saturday (October 27), at the Adam Smith Theatre and Sunday, (October 28), at the Dean Park Hotel.

Fergus McCreadie Trio are performing at the Langtoun Jazz Festival.

Fergus McCreadie Trio are performing at the Langtoun Jazz Festival.

It features a wealth of local, national and international names and organisers say there is something for everyone at the two-day spectacular.

On the Saturday there are five bands to enjoy at the theatre – Fergus McCreadie Trio (1.30-2.30pm); Lights Out By Nine (3-4pm); James Brown is Annie (4.30-5.30pm); Modern Vintage Dance Band (6-7pm) and Lewis Benzies Trio will play during all intervals.

There will also be a jam/open mic session with Liz Dicks and friends at the KUSI Club in Kirkcaldy on the Saturday night from 9-11pm.

On the Sunday there will be performers from seven bands/groups at the Dean Park Hotel. They include: Busking Sharks Community Band (noon to 1pm); Inverkeithing Community Big Band (1.30-2.30pm); Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra (3-4pm); Grace Black and Ray Martine (4.30-6pm); Jerry Forde’s New Phoenix Jazz Band (7-8pm) and King Louis and The Primas (8.30-9.30pm). King Ion Guitar Duo will play during intervals.

Lights Out By Nine are set to perform this weekend.

Lights Out By Nine are set to perform this weekend.

Local jazz singer Grace Black, who is the event’s main organiser, explained where the idea for the Langtoun Jazz Festival came from.

She said: “It came about after we heard the Fife Jazz Festival was not happening in February this year. Jazz Scotland, which runs it, didn’t include it in its programme. So a group of us on Facebook, who enjoy jazz, had a discussion and we decided to organise an event ourselves.

“We know there is an audience out there for live jazz music. We managed to put a programme together of some of the acts we would like to see.

“We then went to secure funding and got small amounts from Fife Council, Kirkcaldy4All, Fife Charities Trust and Richard Michael from FYJO did a free concert for us to help our fundraising.

King Louis and The Primas will perform at Kirkcaldy Jazz Festival.

King Louis and The Primas will perform at Kirkcaldy Jazz Festival.

“We also had fundraising from concerts by Andrea Carlson and gypsy jazz band, Rose Room.”

Grace said a fundraising dance is also being held ahead of the festival on October 20 with Cow Cow Boogie at Overton Community Centre in Kirkcaldy.

Grace continued: “There will be something for everyone. On the Saturday we have Lights Out By Nine who are really well known – they are probably more funk than soul – and we have the Modern Vintage Dance Band who take modern songs like Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and perform them in a vintage style.

“We have more modern jazz music on the Saturday, whereas the Sunday features more traditional jazz.

Why not head along to the Langtoun Jazz Festival this weekend.

Why not head along to the Langtoun Jazz Festival this weekend.

“It is all good for dancing though and we have cabaret-style rooms so people will be able to get up and dance!”

Grace, who is from Glenrothes, started performing as a jazz singer in 2006 at the age of 46.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006-07 and after having treatment, she started performing concerts to raise money for cancer charities and she has continued to sing ever since.

Grace said: “I have always loved jazz. I used to sing in the choir at school, but it was only when I was in my 40s that I had an opportunity to perform, so it just goes to show it is never too late!

“I worked for 19 years at Forbo Nairn in Kirkcaldy and after I was made redundant I started working on the switchboard at St Andrews University a few days a week. I would perform concerts at the weekend and in the evenings.”

She now performs with Ray Martine, who accompanies her on the keyboard, and she has been doing this for the past five years.

They are due to perform a Christmas concert at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes on December 13. Grace added that special discount packages are available for the festival.

And jazz lovers who want to take in all the events can buy special day passes in advance.

A Saturday pass covering all events at the Adam Smith Theatre costs just £30; for £25 a Sunday pass is available covering all events at the Dean Park Hotel. A weekend pass, covering all events, is just £55.

Details of the festival are available on Langtoun Jazz Facebook page or email langtounjazz@yahoo.com. VIP passes can be booked online by making a donation to www.gofundme.com/langtounjazz or messaging Langtoun Jazz on Facebook or emailing langtounjazz@yahoo.com.

All individual concerts on Saturday and Sunday can be booked through the Adam Smith Theatre, except for Grace Black and Ray Martine which has to be booked through the Langtoun Jazz Facebook page or by emailing: langtounjazz@yahoo.com