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Shetland Arts has announced a bumper line up of musical acts ranging from Opera to Jazz this October, promising to offer something to tickle every tastebud. The month kicks off with KidO, an interactive opera for children aged between 3 & 4, which uses household objects to demonstrate that, no matter what your age, you can make music out of anything. Directed by award-winning children’s theatre director Lu Kemp, with music by Glasgow-based composer Katy Lavinia Cooper, KidO tells the story of Major who is super-efficient and likes to keep his space neat and tidy. When the chaotic and noisy Magpie arrives looking for a place to store some precious possessions, the two are on a collision course until a friend intervenes to help them live in perfect harmony. The Shetland shows are supported by the Youth Music Initiative.

On Sunday 4th October, renowned bassist, composer and producer Michael Janish brings his band to Mareel for a night of otherworldly sound and infectious grooves. Pairing acoustic performances with real time electronic manipulation Janish’s Paradigm Shift presents a programme of contemporary jazz, electronic, funk, rock, punk and improv. alongside anthemic themes which promise to set everybody’s toes a tappin’.


The band includes Jazz notaries such as grammy winning pianist Cederic Hanriot, (Dianna Reeves, John Patitucci), saxophonist Paul Booth (Steve Winwood, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton), soprano saxophonist Jason Yarde (Sam Rivers, Hermeto Pascoal, Jazz Warriors), NYC-based drum phenomenon Colin Stranahan (Kurt Rosenwinkel, Herbie Hancock) & Drummer and Artistic Director of the Scottish National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Andrew Bain. In addition to the Mareel gig Janisch and his band will be playing a series of concerts and workshops throughout Shetland, including a Saturday night session in Mareel Cafe Bar, in collaboration with JAWS.

Tuesday 6th October sees the return of the International Guitar Night to Mareel, for a dynamic evening of contemporary guitar music. IGN founder Brian Gore will be joined by three of Europe’s finest acoustic guitarists, including the legendary Lulo Reinhardt, contemporary finger style innovator Mike Davies, and multi-genre showman Andre Krengel. This is the second time IGN have brought their show to Shetland, and it is sure to be another not-to-be-missed experience.

Bryan Peterson, Head of Creative Opportunities at Shetland Arts said ‘It’s great to be welcoming Michael Janish back after five years absence - he’s a powerhouse of a bass player and he’s making big waves of the contemporary jazz scene.’ He added, ‘to be able to follow this up with a night of guitar greats, including the magnificent Lulo Reinhardt, who will need no introduction to Shetland audiences, all within the same week is a real treat’.

If that wasn’t already enough, you can round off the month with multi-award winning folk-rock band Skerryvore, returning to Shetland as part of their 10th Anniversary tour on the 23rd and 24th of October, and renowned kora player and praise singer Seckou Keita on the 31st.

Tickets for all these events will be available through Shetland Box Office in Mareel and Isleburgh, online at or over the phone on 01595 745555. Keep an eye on the Shetland Arts & Mareel websites for updates.

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