There are jazz festivals, festivals for rock, folk and classical music but very few festivals which cover all these genres. Perth Festival of the Arts certainly does this again with this year’s programme featuring such well known names as Nigel Kennedy, Nicola Benedetti, Jools Holland, Marcus Brigstocke, Justin Currie and The View. There is a full scale opera, Pucinni’s Tosca, a world-class choir, Tenebrae and the might of the imposing Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Free concerts and exhibitions also feature, and as well as a performance of HMS Pinafore, where audience members are the chorus and can even dress up.
Recent headliners at the Festival have included Van Morrison, The Proclaimers, KT Tunstall and Calvin Harris. This year Dundee’s The View headline at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 20th May. Scottish singer songwriter Justin Currie, the voice of Delamitri, will also play the hall, as will Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and Chris Difford. Their Perth Festival performances have been so well received that they are spoken of as “our resident house band”. Martin Taylor and Alison Burns perform a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald in a new Festival venue, The Loft in South Street.
A Scottish triple bill of The Treacherous Orchestra, Rachel Sermanni and Adam Holmes and the Embers will surely be a highlight of this year’s event. ‘Swinging at The Cotton Club’ is the action-packed show celebrating the music, dance, and songs of the Cotton Club – New York City’s legendary nightclub of the 1920s and ‘30s. The exciting dance and music of the Cotton Club is recreated by the fabulous The Lindy Hop Dance Company, the world’s premier jazz dance ensemble. More exciting shows include Children’s Classic Concerts and Scottish Opera’s visiting opera roadshow.
Young musicians are nurtured by the Festival and there are daily lunchtime concerts by Perthshire Schools, a recital by Helena Kay, originally from Perth showcases her skills on the saxophone and a performance by Perth Youth Orchestra. There are many free events, including the popular ArTay marquee, packed full of the best of contemporary Scottish Art and lots of local exhibitions.
The Festival, founded in 1972, and now 46 years young, is one of Scotland’s oldest continuously running arts events and runs from 15th to 27th May. The Festival is a registered charity. Over the years it has grown from its classical and opera roots to embrace a wide range of art forms.
Tickets will go on sale on the 27th March. Friends of the Festival can book from 20th March. More information on each of the shows is available at www.perthfestival.co.uk