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Fergus McCreadie Trio

4PM, 9 May 2020 Herr Nilsen, Oslo, Norway

Fergus McCreadie Trio

8PM, 10 July 2020 Victory Hall, Benderloch

Fergus McCreadie Trio

8PM, 11 July 2020 The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool

Fergus McCreadie Trio

8PM, 31 July 2020 St Margaret's, Braemar


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Labeled as "the most exciting new talent to emerge from Scotland in a decade" (Jazz Scotland), the Fergus McCreadie Trio are poised to take a place as one of Jazz's most compelling outfits. Comprising of McCreadie on Piano, David Bowden on Bass, and Stephen Henderson on drums, the music in an innovative blend of Jazz and Scottish Traditional Music. The compositions are new, fresh and exciting - but they also strike that point of familiarity for a listener that can make them seem like songs they have known since childhood. Improvisational freedom clashes with the rugged beauty of Scottish landscape to create a space where an audience can languish in the vivid imagery of Scotland's scenery while also being challenged by the unpredictable nature of improvised music. Particularly notable about the trio is their deep empathy and connection with one another - the band have a group dynamic that can only be achieved through years of playing, performing and recording together.

In 2018, the trio released their debut album, 'Turas' (Scottish Gaelic for Journey) to rave reviews. The album features 8 original compositions, designed to take the listener on an auditory journey of the band's native land. From the West Hebrides to the East Neuk of Fife, the music paints an evocative picture of the landscapes it has taken inspiration from. The Scotsman described the album as "Erik Satie on Islay Malt rather than Absinthe" while famous magazine JazzWise labeled the trio as "simply outstanding". The strength of the album was affirmed at the 2019 Scottish Jazz Awards, where the trio were awarded the prize for "Best Album". McCreadie, Bowden and Henderson are also awards winners in their own right - McCreadie is a winner of the Best Instrumentalist at the Scottish Jazz Awards, while Bowden is a former Young Scottish Jazz Musician and Henderson named "one to watch" by JazzWise.

in 2019, the trio embarked upon their first international tour - their 18 concerts took them to Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, and Ronnie Scott's in London, as well as across Scotland. Future plans include more dates in Autumn (including a performance at Stockholm Jazz Festival), and another album in 2020.

"Precocious talent may abound in circles but it is rare that they elicit such a warm and positive feeling...compositions that are impeccably played, memorable and thought provoking by turns." – Jazz Views

“Simply outstanding” – Jazzwise

“A virtuosic technique…high in emotional depth” – Tommy Smith

“Think Erik Satie running on Islay Malt rather than Absinthe” – The Scotsman

“Prodigious, cascading technique while communicating warmth of personality” – The Herald

The Album

Fergus talks in depth about his debut album Turas.

"Most of the tunes on the album represent places that I’ve been in Scotland throughout my life. I think the sense of place is very important. Having travelled a lot of Scotland and being a lover of all things Scottish has really influenced how I approach music and it especially comes through on this album. So I wanted the title to reflect that. I settled on Turas, as it’s the Gaelic word for journey. Just “Journey” would have been too on the nose for me, and I think the word itself suits the character nicely."

The Culearn Mill

This composition was written during an intense writing period at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 where I came up with most of the pieces. I was fascinated by the tension of going between three different sounds on the same root note (E Phrygian, E Dorian and E Lydian) without a complete resolution in any of them, as neither of them are really ending modes. I also wanted to write something in an odd time signature, hence why it begins in 7, but naturally the piece seemed to want to go to a 6/8 scottish jig mode so I let it do so. I like improvising in the jig mode in particular, as it feels very loose and there are a lot of places myself and Stephen can go in it. The Culearn Mill is a cottage in Balquhidder, which is about an hour north of Stirling. The three of us stayed there for a few days before the album recording to rehearse and workshop the music.


This is an earlier composition of mine, which I wrote in September 2016. It was leading up to the Islay Jazz Festival and during a practice session I came up with the melody over the repeated bass note idea, and everything seemed to come very naturally after that – I finished writing it in under an hour. About this time I had been practicing Beethoven’s 15th Piano Sonata “Pastorale” a lot (my favourite classical piece) and I think the structure of the exposition of the piece influenced this tune a lot. I hadn’t named it until we got to the Islay Jazz Festival Gig, but while we were playing it in the Ardbeg Distillery it hit me that this was a very special gig and a very special location, so it seemed fitting to name it after the beautiful setting we were in. Ardbeg is also my favourite whisky.

The Back Burn

I wrote this because I wanted to write something that wasn’t so complex – more of a tune for blowing on than anything else. It’s pretty simple (although the melody is quite tricky) and it’s designed to sound like a Scottish reel. This came from the same writing period as the Culearn Mill. It’s named after the glen behind my home area in Dollar, where I used to run about as a kid.

The Teacher

The oldest composition on the CD. I wrote it in late 2015, after having listened extensively to Thomas Strønen’s album, Time Is A Blind Guide. On this album he adapts a lot of Norwegian folk sounds into his own writing, and in particular the track “Lost Souls” really pushed me to write this piece, as I loved the soundworld that he’d created. The reason I called it “The Teacher” is because it’s based entirely on the black notes of the piano, and the first thing I remember learning related to improvisation was when my first piano teacher said “if you make up anything on all the black notes of the piano, it’ll sound like it’s from the far east.”

Hillfoot Glen

This tune came from the opening sound, which is a D7sus4 sound with the 3rd added in, played up and down the piano with the sustain pedal on. I was obsessed with this sound for ages, and tried for a long time to come up with a good melody to go over it. Eventually I came up with the melody on the CD, which naturally felt as if it wanted to go into time. I enjoyed the sort of rolling feeling that was generated on the track, as if one was going for a walk. I got the idea to call it “Hillfoot Glen”, as the start almost sounds like a waterfall in a glen, and the rest feels like a bumpy walk, which the Hillfoot Glen in dollar is. This piece probably took the longest to write, as it was very difficult to unify the ideas together as a coherent whole.


I can’t actually remember when I wrote this, but it was a while ago. At the time I just wrote it as a straight ballad but it didn’t really work to me. About a month before the album recording I was still figuring out the tracklist, playing through some old tunes, and this one just popped into my head for the first time in ages and ages. I realised that it would work better as an out of time ballad. I named it after Mull as I’ve been there many times, and love the tranquillity of it, and also how dramatic the scenery can be (especially the weather at the coast). The rising and falling of the dynamics is almost meant to imitate the rising and falling of the waves at the port, or the rising and falling of the landscape.

The Set

This is the only tune on the album that doesn’t really have a story behind it. I knew that naturally what I was writing was coming out quite Scottish, but I hadn’t really taken anything deliberately from folk music until I wrote this. It’s a jig and a reel, the reel especially coming out as very much in the folk idiom. I also kind of wanted to have something which was me improvising on a reel, but as if it was a jazz standard, so that the notes were Scottish but the approach was jazz. I think this is probably the closest it gets to trad music on the album.

The Old Harbour

This tune came from an obsession I was having with really basic harmony, where I just took triad shapes and moved them through the diatonic scale. The tune completely comes from that. In order to keep it interesting however, I’ve put in a couple of key changes, but the concept stays the same. I also enjoyed this feeling of it sounding really simple, but actually being quite complex – it feels like it’s in four, but actually on the page it’s in 6, with a couple of exceptions. It’s probably the hardest tune to improvise on in the CD, because of this need for it to be simple while actually not being so. I named it after an old abandoned harbour in Anstruther, where I was staying for a few days – it looked tranquil, even in its abandonment.

My writing process usually is nothing more than me sitting at the piano messing about with an idea, until it morphs into something more than that. Each of these tunes has come from a sound or a concept that I’ve been messing around with, until it’s taken shape. I usually don’t name tunes until after I’ve finished them – I like to take my time with naming the pieces, so that I really know where they’ve come from and what they remind me of in my life.

Latest News

  • 2019 Spring Tour!

    2019 Spring Tour!

    Very excited to announce a trio tour for this coming Spring! We'll be playing the tunes from Turas, and we'll have a bunch of new compositions to share with you. Dates range from the Highlands to the Nordics to the South - keep an eye out at www.fergusmccreadie.co.uk for more additions to the schedule!

    Here's a low-down of where we'll be playing:

    4th April - Nottingham Arts, Nottingham (UK)

    5th April - The Crypt. London (UK)

    14th April - The Tron, Glasgow (UK)

    25th April - Glenn Miller Cafe. Stockholm (SE)

    26th April - Nefertiti, Gothenburg (SE)

    27th April - Herr Nilsen, Oslo (NO)

    2nd May - Jazz Cellar 11, Vilnius (LI)

    3rd May - Philly Joe's, Tallinn (ES)

    4th May - BlygeHarry, Stavanger (NO)

    10th May - Catstrand, New Galloway (UK)

    13th May - Perth Concert Hall, Perth (UK)

    14th May - Rose Theatre, Edinburgh (UK)

    24th May - The Village Hall, West Kilbride (UK)

    25th May - Greenock Arts Centre, Greenock (UK)

    28th May - An Tobar, Mull (UK)

    29th May - Skye (TBC) (UK)

    30th May - Eden Court, Inverness (UK)

    Hopefully see you out there!

  • Thank You! - An End of Year Round-Up

    Thank You! - An End of Year Round-Up


    Just a small round up email from me, plus a couple of things to look forward to next year - let's get started!

    2018 saw the release of 'Turas' - the first album by myself, David and Stephen as a trio. We're still really happy with it (even with it being recorded over a year and a half ago!) and the reception was lovely - here's a couple of quotes that it got:

    "Think Erik Satie running on Islay Malt rather than Absinthe" - The Scotsman
    "prodigious, cascading technique while communicating warmth of personality and the ability both to convey a sense of place and landscape and make a melancholy phrase somehow spiritually uplifting" - The Herald
    "An effervescent mix of reeling folk melody that still retains a contemporary Jazz sensibility" - JazzWise

    With the music from the album, we played in a few different places over the course of the year, starting with our home town of Glasgow with a four date run in The Blue Arrow. We then went on to play at Jazz In The Round in London, Leith, Stirling and Islay in Scotland (among others) and 2 dates at the Oslo Jazz Festival - a particular highlight for us. If you've been to one of these dates and that's why you're on this list, thank you! It's been a pleasure to play to a lot of really nice people this year. Here's a nice video from the London date: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2uxxl6K1RY

    Speaking of trio gigs, I can't say much at the moment, but we've got a really exciting trio tour planned for this spring, where we'll be bringing the music to more places than ever before. Keep an eye out in January for an announcement on this, and hopefully we'll be in a venue near you very soon...for the mean time, here's a couple of Glasgow dates at the start of the year in the mean time.

    22nd January - Celtic Connections, supporting Lolanders: https://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/event.aspx?event=1/lolanders-featuring-fraser-fifield-oene-van-geel
    15th February - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Fridays at One:

    I also had a really nice year with the other people and bands that I play in - both Matt Carmichael and Mark Hendry released great albums which were a real pleasure to be a part of, while with Werkha I got to travel to Estonia, Austria and Germany, all places I'd never been before! And with Graham Costello's STRATA, we released a live EP which captures a very special performance at the Tolbooth in Stirling, and recorded the music for a debut album which is launched in Glasgow on the 10th February - get tickets here! https://www.synergyconcerts.com/events/c4ddf4c0-ce3b-0136-31ff-0e6bf7c8d00a

    And that's it for a wrap up - I just want to take this opportunity at the end of the year to say thank you to everyone who has streamed a track, bought an album, watched a video or come to a show - you make this worth doing. Here's to a successful 2019 - see you out on the road!


  • Oslo Jazz Festival

    Oslo Jazz Festival

    Not long back from Oslo Jazz Festival! What an incredible experience - not only was it lovely to play to some lovely audiences (encores at both gigs!) but myself, David and Stephen saw some great bands as well. Fred Hersch, Jon Christensen and Seamus Blake were some of the more famous names that were great to see, but we also saw and hung out with, among others: Juno, Britta Virves Trio, Bangkok Lingo, General Post Office and Hvalfugl. All of them so great, and so different! An inspiring meeting with Fred Hersch where we got to have a drink and talk about music was a highlight of the trip - he's an incredible musician.

    Looking forward, the next thing in the diary is Matt Carmichael's Quartet Tour, visiting four different places. Looking forward to going on the road with these guys, Matt's music is super fun to play and the energy is always great. Then after that it's the Islay Jazz Festival - I'm looking forward to playing a trio set there, but also will be great to play with Graham Costello's Strata and the Stephen Henderson band. For the first time, I'm also playing in duo with Tommy Smith, which is very exciting! You can find out more here - http://www.islayjazzfestival.co.uk/programme.html.

    In October/November, I'll be heading out for some more trio dates across Scotland, as well as going to Berlin and Salzburg with Werkha for the first time. Hopefully see some of you out on the road in the coming months!