Lanarkshire actress Blythe Duff set for new role alongside jazz band


She was one of TV’s best policewomen – now Lanarkshire actress Blythe Duff has a different beat; with a jazz orchestra.

The former Taggart star, who grew up in East Kilbride and then moved to live in the Burnside area of ​​Rutherglen, will be the narrator of Tales of the Tribe, a new show by the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra which goes on tour next month.

The show will feature newly written music and poetry by four of Scotland’s greatest poets, Meg Bateman, Christine De Luca, Peter MacKay and Tom Pow, as well as narration by Blythe.

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Top traditional musicians Phil Cunningham, Julie Fowlis, Megan Henderson and Michael McGoldrick will also join a soundtrack composed by SNJO’s conductor Tommy Smith.

Saxophonist Tommy said Lanarkshire Live “Scottish traditions are full of fascinating stories that capture the imagination of people of all ages.

“I wanted to present these tales in a way that made strong use of Scottish musical heritage as well as storytelling to present the characters and creatures in a realistic way while appealing to families and fans of traditional music and big band jazz.

“The traditional musicians we work with are among the leaders in their field.

“They are incredibly skilled, and we will showcase their skills and spontaneity on accordion, whistle, fiddle, flute and more to create a natural link between traditional music and jazz.”

Julie Fowlis previously worked with Tommy Smith on the soundtrack to Pixar’s megahit Brave.

She tell us “I’ve always had a fascination with creatures from beyond. These characters and belief systems say a lot about our past and those who came before us.

“Gaelic songs dealing with the supernatural so often have exceptional melodies and stories, so it’s no wonder they have stood the test of time.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to create a music program with Tommy, the SNJO, Blythe and my old friends Phil, Mike and Megan and I’m really excited to bring this project to the stage.”

Tales of the Tribe travels to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on May 12, Aberdeen Music Hall on May 13 and Queen’s Hall Edinburgh on May 14.

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Henry R. Wright