AN UP AND coming jazz pianist and composer from the Wee County has attracted not one, but two nominations in a prestigious awards scheme.

Piano prodigy Fergus McCreadie, who developed a passion for music as he grew up in Dollar, has been nominated in two categories for the Jazz FM Awards 2021.

The 24-year-old and his trio – including David Bowden on double bass and Stephen Henderson on drums – released their highly-anticipated second album Cairn at the start of this year.

All penned by Fergus, it features nine compositions and is in the running for Album of the Year in the public vote categories.

McCreadie, who left for Glasgow a few years ago to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has also been shortlisted for UK Jazz Act of the Year and he is establishing a presence as a composer, pianist, and band leader.

Speaking to the Advertiser, he said: “Just to be nominated is quite surprising and nice in and of itself.

“I don't think it was even on my radar that being up for one award, let alone two awards, was a possibility so when the email came through that we've been nominated, that was pretty surprising.

“Winning isn't a priority for me necessarily, just being included amongst really respected musicians and being up for the award is just more than cool enough in my eyes.”

McCreadie's music rooted in Scottish tradition, combining jazz and folk influences with critics praising his elegant, nuanced and captivating music.

He began his musical journey at the age of seven, but admits it did not appeal to him until he saw a jazz pianist perform live in what was a “lightbulb moment”.

Years of practice later he was accepted to the jazz course at the conservatoire in Glasgow, where the folk scene is going strong.

The Dollar native began composing his own music as when it comes to jazz, many tunes – and indeed the genre – originate from overseas.

He said: “While I really enjoy playing all that American music it doesn't quite maybe feel authentic because I am obviously not American, I'm Scottish.

“The way around that is to write music I can really authentically feel is mine and belongs to me.”

Looking ahead, the trio has also working hard on their next release with an album due next year.

He could not reveal a title yet, but told the Advertiser that all the music has been recorded with artwork, titles and promotions to come.

McCreadie said: “The new album is similar to Cairn maybe in that there's still a focus on the fusion between jazz music and folk music.

“But, more so than Cairn, the pieces that I've written really fit well together.”

Indeed, Cairn was more of a collection of pieces and McCreadie hopes the upcoming CD will be closer to “one big suite of tunes that should, hopefully, connect together nicely”.

Public voting is open for the Jazz FM Awards until this Friday, September 24.

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