Romanian singer-songwriter Lizabett Russo, Irish traditional music legend Cathal McConnell’s trio and Brazilian music specialists Trio Magico are among the line-up announced for a series of ten online gigs that starts on Monday 22 February 2021.
Filmed at the Traverse Theatre using a five-camera broadcast quality set-up and professional multitrack sound, and organised by the Soundhouse Organisation, the team behind Edinburgh Tradfest, the series features established and emerging acts from the world of traditional folk, jazz, and Americana music.
Singer-songwriter Lizabett Russo opens the series in a duo with leading jazz guitarist Graeme Stephen, merging elements of contemporary jazz, avant-garde folk, and improvisation. Boys of the Lough founder Cathal McConnell sings Irish ballads and plays flute and whistle in his group with fiddler-violist Kathryn Nicoll and harper Karen Marshalsay, and Trio Magico – pianist Paul Harrison, bassist Mario Caribe and drummer Stu Brown – celebrate the genius of Brazilian musician-composer Egberto Gismonti.
To showcase up and coming musicians on the traditional music and jazz scenes, Soundhouse has partnered with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and Newcastle University. The Spotlight Sessions: Jazz on Monday 1 March features bassist Rusty Wishart, saxophonists Josie Girgis and Rachel Duns and Chun-Wei Kang on drums.
Its folk equivalent, on Monday 12 April, presents Scots and Gaelic vocalist Evie Waddell, experimental instrumentalist Jenna MacRory, vocal and instrumental duo Janice Burns and Jon Doran, and string players Chloë Bryce and Luc McNally.
“It’s almost a year since we hosted our last concert in front of an audience at The Traverse,” says Jane-Ann Purdy of Soundhouse, who presented regular Monday concerts in the theatre bar before the Covid pandemic halted live music. “We could never have imagined that in February 2021, we would still be waiting to get back to doing what we love most – connecting musicians with music lovers in a sympathetic room.”
Soundhouse has been able to attract support from Creative Scotland for the venture, which will see 90% of ticket sales going directly to the participating musicians.
“Subscribers to Soundhouse Spotlight will be able to watch a new concert every week from Monday 22 February,” adds Purdy. “Each concert features the very best from the genres audiences have come to expect from us: jazz, folk, Americana, with some classical from Mr McFall’s Chamber and even pop from Dominic Waxing Lyrical.”
The full programme is:
22 February – Lizabett Russo
1 March – Spotlight Sessions: Jazz
8 March – Dominic Waxing Lyrical
15 March – Trio Magico
22 March – The Cathal McConnell Trio
29 March – Emma Smith & Signy Jakobsdottir
5 April – Iain Morrison
12 April – Spotlight Sessions: Folk
19 April – Dean Owens
26 April – Mr McFalls Chamber