I live in Edinburgh, Scotland. Having previously worked in the National Health Service, nowadays I review music (in full knowledge that reviewing is utterly subjective) – mainly jazz, traditional music and new classical. I focus mostly but not exclusively on music happening here in Scotland, as it feels important to look outwards as well as inwards.
Many of my reviews are here on Scottish Jazz Space, and also in ‘DooBeeDooBeeDoo New York‘ webzine, Jazzwise website, London Jazz News webzine, Songlines magazine, Jazz in Europe webzine and Women in Jazz Media webzine. A small selection is here: https://www.clippings.me/users/sjs1
My main aim is to spread the word and encourage interest in new music, whatever labels might be attached, particularly all the great music that’s happening across Scotland.
In 2021, in order to address the gender imbalance in music journalism, I became a committee member of Women in Jazz Media https://womeninjazzmedia.com/. Also in 2021, I co-founded the music agency Jazz Forward https://www.jazzforward.scot/ as a means of showcasing some of the diverse musical talent in Scottish Jazz.
I also play drums.
“Over recent years Fiona has become established as a vital journalist specialising in the Scottish music scene, with a particular affinity for jazz and new music. Her connection to the music she writes about, the thoroughness of her knowledge and joy in sharing her insight shines through her effortless prose. Her writing is as engaging as it is expressive and continues to encapsulate the essence of a multitude of diverse new releases.” Simon Thacker – Guitarist, Composer, Band leader, Teacher (personal email, 2020)
“Fiona Mactaggart is a gifted writer, who listens deeply to all aspects of the music, producing thoughtful and insightful reviews.” Diane Moser – Jazz pianist, Composer, Big band leader, Teacher (personal email, 2018)
Regarding new music, “you have open ears.” John Luther Adams – Composer (personal email, 2015)