The Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra was originally formed by Jimmy Blair as part of his wider music school in the early 1970s. The original orchestra was also split into smaller orchestras, and these competed at Preparatory, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced levels at National competitions.
During the 1970s, the orchestra was a dominant force on the competition scene. It won competitions in all orchestra sections and many of the band members won group, duet and solo sections.
The band also played concerts at home and abroad – there were foreign trips to France, Belgium and Canada. With the untimely death of Jimmy Blair, the band was taken over by his wife Lola. In 2009, award-winning accordionist Gary Blair, Jimmy Blair’s son, breathed new life into the band, bringing together new, talented accordionists to form the Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra.
JBAO has been going from strength to strength. In February 2010 we came first in all the sections at the West of Scotland Championships. At the British Championships the Advanced Orchestra secured first place in both sections, while the Elementary Orchestra gained two thirds.
Below are some videos from the original orchestra performances. Any original band members are more than welcome to contact the band with any photographs, videos or memories they may have of the original orchestra. Please enjoy the videos below of the original band in concert.
JBAO in 1984
JBAO in 1984
Below is a short compilation of photographs from the original Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra and members of the Jimmy Blair School of Music. The sheer amount of trophies dotted throughout the pictures goes to show the level of teaching that Jimmy had been delivering. He had consistently produced top British players —some of them world class.