Ugly Bug music from the 1920s is a snazzy jazzy start to the 2020s for Falkirk

As the old saying goes it doesn’t matter the age of the fiddle if it can still play a good tune.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 10:47 am
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 10:52 am

Or something like that.

Playing cracking material that first filled dance floors a century ago, The Ugly Bug Ragtime Three unleash jazz standards that still cause feet to tap in the digital age.

The band, which plays Falkirk Town Hall on Friday, February 21, features three men who are the cream of Scotland’s jazz crop, firing into a marvellous mixture of rags, blues and stomps from the golden age of this long established musical form.

Having recorded a number of albums, including Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland and C’Mon Meet the Ugly Bug Ragtime Three, the trio has a ton of material to dazzle punters with and set people’s toes a-tapping.

The strength of the Ugly Bug Ragtime Three is the combination of its members.

All successful, respected musicians in their own right, they are even better when they sit in together and let the music fly them to the moon.

John Burgess (clarinet) has played at jazz festivals and clubs all over the world, from The USA and Canada to Northern Africa, The Middle East and Europe. As well as having the live chops, John has also graced around one hundred recordings and has released several albums as a band leader, having shared a stage or a studio with jazz greats like Roy Williams, Digby Fairweather, Forrie Cairns, Ian Bateman, Jim Fryer, Enricco Tomasso Amy Roberts and Stephanie Trick.

Guitarist and banjo man Ross Milligan, meanwhile, has played live and studio sessions with artists like The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, trip hop’s Tricky, Horse, Pee Wee llis, Ute Lemper, Barbara Morrison, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir George Martin and The Scottish Guitar Quartet. He has also written music for the films Get Happy (2015), Butterflies of Bill Baker (2013) and his compositions have appeared on television all over the world.

Providing the thumping bottom for John and Ross, upright bass slapper Andy Sharkey, who teaches music at the University of Strathclyde, has toured the UK and the USA with the hit West End musical The Rat Pack and is a well kent face on the Scottish jazz scene.

The amazing Ugly Bug Ragtime Three are just one of the great turns Falkirk Classic Music Live has secured to play in Falkirk in 2020.

Later this month – Friday, January 17 to be precise – the award wining Fitzroy String Quartet, who formed at the Royal Academy of Music in 2014, will hit the town hall stage to play a little Schubert and whatever else takes their fancy.

Then on Friday, February 7 flame haired violin virtuoso Fiona Robertson, winner of the Royal College of Music’s inaugural Contemporary Music Competition, will give an afternoon concert in Falkirk Trinity Church, running through some Bach and other numbers.

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