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Jazz from Scotland

Young Scottish Jazz Musician Finalists Announced

Congratulations to all who have made it to the 2017 final.


Conor Murray (Bass)

Photo Credit: Derek Clark Photography

After three years of playing the electric bass and exploring various genres Conor (Born in Donegal Ireland) picked up the Double Bass. His interest in fusion music, particularly the group Weather Report, gradually steered his interest to the more traditional styles of jazz and players like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Over the last three years he has worked with the legendary Irish Saxophonist Gay McIntyre. Now he’s studying in Glasgow under the tutelage of Tommy Smith and plays in the TSYJO band. Conor is now in the process of composing his own music and hopes to record an album and tour Ireland and the U.K.

David Bowden (Bass)

Photo Credit: Derek Clark Photography

Originally from London, David came to Glasgow to study jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he was awarded a 1st and a Yamaha Jazz Scholarship. He is a co-founder of award winning quartet Square One and a member of the Fergus McCreadie Trio. Recent performance highlights have included jazz festivals across the UK as well as performances in Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Holland and Zambia. David is also active as an educator, having worked with SYJO, RCS Musicworks, Fife Council and Sistema Scotland and as a 2016 National Youth Jazz Collective Ambassador.


Fergus McCreadie (Piano)

Photo Credit: Derek Clark Photography

Fergus McCreadie learned the ropes at the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra. He developed quickly and was soon attending the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on a full scholarship. He has been awarded prizes in performance from the RCS and from St Andrews University. He has played alongside musicians such as Bob Mintzer, Mike Stern, Tommy Smith and Iain Ballamy.


Joe Williamson (Guitar)

Guitarist Joe Williamson recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Known for his melodic and creative improvising, Joe performs regularly across the Scottish jazz circuit, and is a founding member of quartet Square One, who have toured both in the UK and Europe. Joe is also a prolific composer and in 2016 was commissioned to write a new work for Glasgow Jazz Festival.


Stephen Henderson (Drums)

Since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in June 2015 with a first class honours in jazz, Stephen has been a part of many different and exciting projects that have given him the opportunity to play in Jazz/World music festivals across Europe. Stephen’s plans to pursue the path of performing his own music in festivals and venues around the world.

Thanks to Hands Up For Trad for funding a photographer to capture all of the semi-finalists playing live; as well as providing portrait shots that everyone can use for promotion! 


The final competition takes place at The Mitchell Theatre (Glasgow) on Wed 1st Feb from 7.30pm, live on radio from 8pm. Tickets are £14 and are available from the Celtic Connections box office 0141 353 8000 and from the website.

BBC Radio:

The show hosted by Stephen Duffy, will broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland’s The Jazz House.

The Prize!

A gig at Glasgow and London Jazz Festivals

A gig at The Blue Lamp in Aberdeen

A recording session and finished digital master recorded and produced at Napier University.

Professional Photographs



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