This October, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival presents Shades of Blue – a weekend celebrating the history of the blues and its influence on countless styles of music.  

From 27 – 29 October, nine events will take place across four Edinburgh venues – St Bride’s Centre, La Belle Angele, Leith Arches and The Caves – with a programme of music highlighting the bridge between the rich traditions of the past and the vibrant future of blues music. 


Since its inception, the blues has set the foundation for numerous music genres such as rock and roll, jazz, R&B and country – genres that have had a profound impact on global culture and have helped shape the modern music landscape. 


Shades of Blues will present artists a series of artists who are contributing to the ongoing evolution of blues music, highlighting the musical diversity within the genre. 

The weekend begins with a legend of British blues. After 30 years as a singer/songwriter, and the world’s best harmonica player, Errol Linton has collaborated with musical greats from the blues world and beyond. His exceptional band feature some of the music industry’s most sought after and respected musicians. With support from Blue Milk, a Scottish band harking back to the traditions of turn-of-the-century delta blues. 

On the same evening, St Bride’s plays host to an evening of folk and bluegrass music from two of Scotland’s leading bands. The Fountaineers have taken their traditional classics and contemporary explorations of bluegrass and old-time repertoire to festivals across UK and Europe and now they make their EJBF debut. Fronted by songwriter August Saint-Giles, The Black Denims are an exciting Scottish supergroup with their feet firmly in the roots of folk, bluegrass, jazz, and country music. 

At St Bride’s on Saturday is an afternoon of authentic blues from some of the best on the scene. Opening the afternoon, Daniel Smith is one of the UK’s most original & entertaining blues, jazz & boogie pianists. He reunites with stellar saxophonist and guitarist John Burgess for an eclectic set of down-home blues and stompin’ boogie-woogie! Glasgow based guitarist Al Brown was born to play the blues. He is widely known for his authentic style with clean toned lines, sometimes with a hint of jazz and he closes the afternoon with his band, Al Brown & The Bluelighters.  

Daniel Smith and Al Brown will both present workshops as part of the weekend, taking place at the St Bride’s Centre on Saturday morning.  

On Saturday evening, St Bride’s welcomes King Size Slim. Playing authentic roots music, they are a force of nature and have entertained audiences all over the world with their fat roots boogie sound, unique bluesy voice, and larger-than-life personality. Kicking off the evening, steel guitar player, singer, and raconteur, Toby Mottershead takes a tour of early blues and roots music in an intimate solo set. 

Sunday sees award-winning vocalist Ali Affleck and her all-star band taking to the St Bride’s stage to celebrate the pioneering blues queens who reigned in the prohibition era. With her joie de vivre, and unmatched knowledge of the music of the time, there is no one better to honour this important period in history – the music was bold and the women even more so!  

On Sunday evening, Edinburgh Blues Club present Dom Martin at The Caves. The Belfast born guitarist and singer is a name on the rise, winning UK Blues Awards Best Instrumentalist Award 2022 and drawing comparisons to John Martyn and Rory Gallagher, with nods to the likes of Van Morrison and Foy Vance. 

The weekend closes with an EJBF debut for Gwenifer Raymond at Leith Arches. The Welsh acoustic guitarist plays with a fearless and unique style and her raw and powerful sound is influenced by prewar blues, Appalachian folk, and the guitar players of the American Primitive genre. 

The full programme will be live from noon on Thursday 21 September at and live on social media Twitter | FacebookInstagram