It is with profound heartbreak that the board of the Scottish Jazz Archive bids farewell to the Queen of Scottish Jazz, our dear friend and poster-girl, Fionna Duncan who passed away in the early hours of the 6th of December. Fionna was the very first to be interviewed for the SJA and performed at our inaugural event. Fionna has been at the centre of Scottish jazz life for over 60 years and her loss is simply unimaginable. A force of nature as a talented, gutsy and creative performer, Fionna was also tireless in her generosity of spirit towards the generations of young musicians that followed her. There are few amongst us who have not at one time or another been touched by her warm-hearted support and Scotland’s jazz scene is left significantly poorer without her. The memory of Fionna will provide an ever-lasting lesson in how to be a truly world-class musician while indefatigably supporting all around her without judgement or prejudice.

Below is a recording of Fionna performing ‘Mention My Name In Sheboygen’ accompanied by the Scottish Jazz Advocates.

Rob Adams has written a beautiful account of Fionna’s remarkable life in music in the The Herald and Jim Gilchrest an appreciation in The Scotsman.

Photo credit: Alan Shedlock