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What are the artists taking part in this year’s International Festival looking forward to the most? In the lead up to opening night, we've invited a number of performers to tell us what’s on their must-see list.

Here are Aidan O'Rourke's Festival highlights:

1. Hindu Times

Jaimini Jethwa is edgy, hilarious, gritty. A few years ago she performed an excerpt from her one woman play The Last Queen of Scotland at a Lau-Land event and she was knock-out! Bold, haunting, totally Dundonian. This new show looks equally uproarious.

A young woman poses in front of a tower block

Hindu Times

© Ross Fraser McLean

Irresistible pop with a social conscious and post-punk electronic chutzpah. Meryl’s got serious style.

3. Lament For Sheku Bayoh

A tribute to a lost life with resonances with my own International Festival series, A Great Disordered Heart, that looks at community, identity and belonging here in Scotland.

0 Stars

...what we do as musicians is dead if we play it safe

Aidan O'Rourke on Patricia Kopatchinskaja

4. Patricia Kopatchinskaja & Fazil Say

I love, love, love the knife-edge daring and full-body conviction Patricia brings to whatever she plays. She’s a reminder that what we do as musicians is dead if we play it safe, if we don’t risk every ounce of ourselves.

The musician shown seated cross-legged on a stage in an empty theatre, dressed in black and playing the violin.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja

© Eric Melzer

5. The Comet is Coming

This band sounds like nobody else – twisting jazz into something deftly and ferociously new. I’ve seen their sound described as 'the music of the future, but backwards’. I get that!

Aidan O’Rourke has curated A Great Disordered Heart, a series of three concerts and a film exploring the past and present of his home in the heart of Edinburgh’s Little Ireland, for this year’s International Festival.

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