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Edinburgh Jazz Festival was set up in 1978 by banjo-player and guitarist, Mike Hart. Mike's initial focus was on traditional jazz and a host of events taking place for free admission in pubs. By the mid-80's the Festival had added ticketed events, and had broadened its musical policy to encompass swing and mainstream jazz and occasionally some more modern groups.
From the Festival's commencement the artistic policy has been to concentrate on musical excellence (rather than the "star system") and to champion spontaneous creativity: music making on the spot in Edinburgh. These virtues have been developed in the 21st Century with the production of a wide range of new music, the establishment of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival Orchestra, and an on-going commitment to supporting Scottish musicians to realise creative ideas, and to link with international musicians. Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has also grown its world outlook, presenting high quality musicians from all over the world.
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