Award-winning Scottish keyboardist Peter Johnstone launches a new “dream team” group of world-class jazz talents with a tour that includes gigs in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth. The quartet will then head south to play at the iconic Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London.

Milngavie-born Johnstone, who plays piano with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, will be focusing on Hammond organ in a quartet that features New York-based vibes virtuoso Joe Locke, saxophonist Tommy Smith and drummer Alyn Cosker.

A graduate of the jazz course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Johnstone won the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year title in 2012 and went on to win the prestigious Peter Whittingham Jazz Prize with the band Square One in 2015. He is also the recipient of a Yamaha Scholarship.

The musicians in his International Organ Quartet are all players Johnstone has enjoyed working with previously. He invited Locke, who is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading vibes players, to join the group after they shared stages during concerts with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.

“Joe’s always so positive,” says Johnstone. “When I started writing for a new quartet, I could hear organ and vibes working well together in my imagination. So I got in touch with Joe and he immediately agreed to come on board.”

The Herald: Peter Johnstone is one of Scotland's leading jazz musiciansPeter Johnstone is one of Scotland's leading jazz musicians (Image: PR)Johnstone already works regularly with Tommy Smith, both in the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, which Smith directs, and in a saxophone-piano duo, and he and Alyn Cosker also work together in the SNJO and other groups.

Smith has worked with a galaxy of great jazz talents, including Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Mike Stern, John Scofield and Peter Erskine.

“Joe, Tommy and Alyn bring a fantastic range of experience to the group,” adds Johnstone. “Joe has played with everyone from the master jazz pianist Kenny Barron to the Beastie Boys. Tommy has an incredible CV and his international reputation attracts world-leading jazz musicians to work with the SNJO, and Alyn is so versatile, he can play in any style of music, not just any style of jazz.

"I’m really looking forward to hearing what we sound like together.”

The Peter Johnstone International Organ Quartet plays the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen on Thursday October 19; the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow (1pm) and the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh (8pm) on Friday 20th; Perth Theatre, Saturday 21st; Zeffirellis, Ambleside, Monday 23rd; and Ronnie Scott’s, London, Tuesday 24th.