Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Jazz festival kicks off in Edinburgh

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Media captionThe Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has begun

The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has begun.

Now in its 40th year, the event got under way with music from the New Orleans based Soul Brass Band.

There are more than 140 gigs planned over the event's 10-day duration, with a particular focus this year on young musicians.

The Mardi Gras will be held on Saturday and the Edinburgh Festival Carnival on Sunday. Both events are free to the public.

Image caption Music from the New Orleans based Soul Brass Band

Jason Rust, chairman of Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, said "We are celebrating our anniversary with a bang.

"A stellar international line-up with musicians converging on Edinburgh from all over the world, over 150 concerts, plus the festival's two free events- The Mardi Gras and the Edinburgh Festival Carnival - will take place on the 14 and 15 July respectively".

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "This year, the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival provides another high-quality showcase of jazz and blues from across the world for national and international audiences.

"Scottish musicians will lead new projects that show the breadth of ambition within the jazz and blues sector in Scotland.

"Through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, the Scottish government has awarded just under £1.4m to the festival since its inception.

"Artists benefit significantly from the global exposure and Expo funding ensures the festival continues to grow and reach even more people than ever before"

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