Kinneff Old Church’s concert this year is to be a Jazz Concert which will be held in St James’ Church, Stonehaven at 7.30pm on Friday 20 April.
The performer is Scotland’s leading jazz pianist, Richard Michael who originally hails from Stonehaven. Richard is visiting Professor of Jazz at St Andrew’s University and is one of Scotland’s most versatile musicians, who has influenced a generation of teachers and students with his innovative methods of teaching improvisation through thirty years work with Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra.
As a pianist and organist, Richard gives recitals on The Art of Improvisation and can improvise in any key, in any style at the merest hint of a theme! He is Radio Scotland’s “Jazz Jargonbuster” and has demonstrated many styles of Jazz in “The Jazz House”, and has opened up classical music to a new audience in “Classics Uncovered”. He also appeared with Phil Cunningham in BBC2’s 6 part series “Scotland’s Music”.
Kinneff Old Church is associated with one of the best known episodes in Scottish history. In 1651, Dunnottar Castle was besieged by Cromwell’s forces and the garrison commander, realised that its capture was imminent. To save the regalia, his wife and Christian Grainger, wife of the parish minister of Kinneff, devised a plan to smuggle them to safety, bringing them to Kinneff. Rev James Grainger and his wife wrapped the regalia in linen cloths and the “Honours Three” were safely buried beneath the pulpit under the clay floor of the ancient Church. At the Restoration in 1660 the Honours were returned to Charles II and placed in Edinburgh Castle, where they lay forgotten. Rediscovered by Sir Walter Scott the Honours were restored to the people of Scotland and have been on view in Edinburgh Castle ever since.
Currently there is a major fund-raising exercise for the renovation of 6 of the windows which are in danger of falling out. The Church is open daily and there is a display detailing the history of the event and the Crown Jewels. Tickets for the Jazz Concert cost £10 and can be purchased from Giullianotti’s, Evan Street, Stonehaven or from Diana Peters 01561-362412. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night.