The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) celebrates its 20th anniversary in the summer on tour with special guest Eddi Reader.
Alba: Songs of Scotland is an intriguing collaboration of Eddi’s inimitable voice with the wonderful depth of big band sound from Scotland’s National Jazz Orchestra led by director Tommy Smith, and will visit amongst their 11 nights Skye, Uist, Stornoway and Ullapool where they’ll be assured of warm welcomes.
The music and song of Alba naturally stirs strong and mixed emotions informed by history, identity and political ideas.
It seems timely and fitting that they should now be explored by two of Scotland’s most passionate and eminent musical ambassadors.
For two decades, Tommy Smith has led the SNJO through many challenges, and his efforts have placed Scotland on the world map of jazz.
Eddi Reader is, of course, one of the nation’s best loved singers, but she’s also enthralled audiences worldwide and carried with her the spirit of modern Scotland.
Together, they’ve chosen for Alba: Songs of Scotland a wonderful selection of popular airs, ballads and original music designed to fire the Scottish musical imagination.
Many tell the story of love in its many forms: from the devotional and the poetic to the mystical and the fierce.
It’s evoked strongly in the Gaelic of An Ataireachd Ard (the high surge of the sea), reflectively in a Glen of Tranquility, and affectingly in the lilting Loch Tay Boat Song.
Alba would be incomplete without reference to Robert Burns. He was indisputably a love poet with few peers, and Eddi Reader is an admired interpreter of his work.
Her performances with the SNJO are certain to capture the intensity of Burns’ lyrical ardour in famous pieces such as Ae Fond Kiss and John Anderson My Jo.
Eddi Reader tends to sing truthfully and from the heart, with strong emotions tempered by understanding and self-knowledge.
This fascinating partnership with the SNJO is a compelling journey through Scotland’s collective memory with the promise of vivid, vibrant and inspiring music.
Alba: Songs of Scotland will play Iochdar Hall, South Uist on Thursday, June 18th from 8pm and on Friday, June 19th at an Lanntair, Stornoway at 8pm.
Tickets online at www.snjo.co.uk or from the an Lanntair box office on 01851 708 480.