Dazzling Dixieland jazz distraction

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A Dixieland quartet’s hot jazz and gospel hopes to strike a chord with a Campbeltown crowd.

Kintyre Music Club welcomes Quattro MacJazz, comprising Alastair McDonald, banjo and vocals, Lennie Herd, trumpet, Hamish McGregor, clarinet and vocals, and Roy Percy, bass, to Lorne and Lowland Old Church Hall on Friday March 15 at 7.30pm.

Alastair first appeared in the late 1950s with the George Penman band and carved out a highly successful career with his breezy folk and gospel oriented shows.

Never forsaking his first love, jazz, he has become one of Scotland’s most loved, most talented and versatile showbiz personalities.

A full-time bassist since 1972, he has performed not only in his native Scotland but also in the USA, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Thailand, East Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

He plays a mean banjo – as Billy Connolly said once in a radio interview: ‘Alastair McDonald…he’s a REAL banjo player!’

For more than 40 years, Lennie Herd has been the first choice Dixieland trumpeter in the country.

At the start of the Scottish trad boom in 1959, he was one of the founders, along with Alastair, of the much-admired George Penman Band.

He has since featured with countless bands across the UK including the Scottish Jazz All Stars, the New Orleans Joymakers and Alastair’s Clan MacJazz.

Lennie has played with a number of Britain’s best musicians including George Chisholm, Alan Barnes, Terry Lightfoot and Humphrey Lyttleton.

Hamish McGregor – playing his famous white clarinet – is undoubtedly among Scotland’s most charismatic jazz performers and his playing career now in its sixth decade.

Self taught, he quickly found a liking for Dixieland music and started his first band aged 19.

In 1984, he formed the iconic Fat Sams Band, known for its high octane, toe-tapping ’30s, ’40s and ’50s era jazz covers.

Fat Sams spanned three decades before being ‘put to bed’ in 2015 and Hamish has now returned to his roots in Quattro MacJazz.

Roy Percy is probably the hardest-working bass player on the British jazz scene.

For 20 years he has been an integral part of Swing 2008, the fine Django-inspired Edinburgh quartet. He has played with Fat Sam’s Band and Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra.

He is the exception to any moan about the absence of a desire to play among upcoming generations, being a quarter of a century younger than the rest of Quattro MacJazz.

Roy can also be found playing in Scottish country dance bands, Rock-a-Billy bands and as part of a group specialising in 19th and early 20th century Italian love songs.

His speciality is the rarely heard ‘slap’ technique but says that his main criteria in any performance is to ‘keep things swinging and drive the rhythm along’.

Quattro MacJazz. NO_c10musicclub01_Quattro MacJazz