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Jim Callander 22 Feb 2018

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We were shocked and saddened to hear the news that Jim Callander died on Thursday, February 15 after a short illness.

Jim was the “father of the house”: the person with the longest association with the Jazz & Blues Festival of anyone to date. As with all of our volunteer drivers, Jim was the friendly face who met musicians at the airport or station, welcomed them to Edinburgh, and then hosted them as they moved around town, and finally back to their accommodation throughout their visit.

For many international musicians, the memory of their trip to Edinburgh, can revolve around the relationship with their volunteer driver, and for nearly the entire history of the Jazz and Blues Festival, Jim Callander set the tone – friendly, warm, accommodating, gracious, and extraordinarily committed. Even when Jim lived in Chesterfield, he still took time off work to come to Edinburgh to drive for the Festival.

Jim was hugely popular with the musicians that he looked after, and with many of the teams who have organised and run the Festival. He struck up lasting friendships with many, including ourselves. We will miss him greatly.

Jim, who lived in Alloa, was a graduate in accounting from Aberdeen University, and spent his life as an auditor. His passion for Jazz was behind his volunteering commitment, and in addition to his contribution to Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, he was a stalwart member of Edinburgh Jazz 'n' Jive Club and a leading light in the Stirling Jazz Record Society. His musical favourites were Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and Sidney Bechet, and he was a regular in the audience at many Jazz Festivals, notably Keswick Jazz Festival and Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party.

The funeral will take place on Thursday, March 1, 12.30pm at Mortonhall Crematorium, Pentland Chapel

Fiona Alexander, Agnese Daverio, Roger Spence, Norrie Thomson

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

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