Quattro MacJazz

Why the unusual name ?

The band is made up of 4 internationally acclaimed jazz players from Scotland, but the name “ The internationally-renowned jazz quartet from Scotland” was just a bit too clumsy.

The idea for the band was discussed by clarinetist Forrie Cairns, entertainer and banjoman Alastair McDonald, and Lennie Herd over lunch in a Glasgow Italian restaurant. A couple of glasses of wine later, Quattro MacJazz was born!

In 2016, Forrie retired, with his place in the quartet being taken up by the renowned clarinetist, Hamish McGregor.


Listen to our great sound while browsing. Click to hear the full 6 minute "Whitecraigs Live" version of Hindustan.

Why a 4-piece dixieland band ?

Lennie Herd explains: “We had been experimenting for some time with a four man line-up. With the right four guys, it produces a very clean swinging sound, ideal for traditional jazz classics. It’s also logistically very attractive; no piano to worry about and no drums to carry!” Both Alastair and Lennie had been on Forrie’s radar back in the 1960’s but the three never managed to get together at that time. It was Forrie’s idea to experiment with this line-up in late 2007 and finding a one-man percussion section in Roy Percy made the concept totally viable.

Audience response has been outstanding. Packed houses and multiple encores have characterised the bands outings over the last 10 years.

Forrie's retirement ...

Forrie Cairns, the inspiration for, and founder of Quattro MacJazz in 2006, decided in 2015, after some health issues, to retire from playing.

He was concerned that the high standards he displayed in almost 60 years of his playing career might not have continued, so rather than have this happen in public, he decided to withdraw.

He remains active in his social and family life and still enjoys playing clarinet at home.

Listen to a short Florrie sampler of - Willie The Weeper

More info on Forrie...

Forrie Cairns

The great Scottish clarinet player from the Clyde Valley Stompers era of the 1950's and 60's had the idea to create a hot jazz quartet on his return to Scotland after 30 years based in Zurich and playing all over Europe.

High on Forries list were Alastair McDonald, the legendary Scottish banjo player, vocalist and entertainer, and Lennie Herd, the hottest dixieland trumpeter in the country,both of whom started together in the George Penman Jazzmen in the late 1950’s.

The addition of Roy Percy, the most percussionistic bass player on the planet, completed the original line-up.

In 2016, Forrie retired, with his place in the quartet being taken up by the renowned clarinetist, Hamish McGregor.

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