A melting pot: this week’s must-see jazz gigs

From Ethiopian hybrid jazz to Michael Buckley’s new Thursday-night residency

Mulatu Astatke:  deeply grooving hybrid of 1950s jazz and east-African traditions

Mulatu Astatke: deeply grooving hybrid of 1950s jazz and east-African traditions

 

Saturday, September 16th 

MELTING POT MUSIC

Match & Fuse Festival

DLR Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin 2-5pm, €12/€10, matchandfuse.co.uk

When it comes to European integration, trust jazz musicians, with their adaptability and improvisatory frameworks, to show the way. Forward-looking initiatives like the London-born Match and Fuse network (not to mention Ireland’s own 12 Points festival), are blithely ignoring the Brexiteers, fostering collaboration, connecting scenes and generally delighting in the diversity and promiscuity of contemporary European art music. Billed as “12 musicians, six countries, three brand new bands”, M&F’s first event in Ireland, hosted by fearless Dublin indy label Diatribe, gathers young musicians from across the artistic spectrum - with equal representation from both genders – and asks them to form new, spontaneous ensembles. The strong line-up includes French saxophonist Carla Gaudré of Host and Belgian bassist Anneleen Boehme of LAB Trio, as well as three local rising stars, drummer Brendan Doherty, saxophonist Sam Comerford and guitarist Chris Guilfoyle. – Cormac Larkin

Sunday, September 17th

ETHIO-JAZZ

Mulatu Astatke

Sugar Club, Dublin 8pm, €30 thesugarclub.com (Also Monday)

Admired by Duke Ellington, sampled by Kanye, adored by hipsters everywhere, vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke is known as the “father of Ethio-jazz”, the deeply grooving hybrid of 1950s jazz and east-African traditions that emerged in Addis Ababa in the early 1970s. Astatke was the first African student ever to enroll at Berklee College of Music in Boston and five decades later, he’s still swinging his mallets, still shining his unique light on the connections between post-bop jazz and African rhythms. An extra date has been added on Monday night to meet demand. CL

Wednesday, September 20th

EUROPEAN JAZZ MASTER

Enrico Pieranunzi

St Mary’s Church, New Ross, Co Wexford 8pm €26/€23/€10 newrosspianofestival.com

New Ross piano festival, until now a bastion of classical music, breaks its jazz duck this year in spectacular fashion. When the organisers of this excellent, piano-focused festival asked leading Dublin jazz pianist Phil Ware to choose a jazz musician, Ware went straight to the top drawer: Enrico Pieranunzi is rightly regarded as one of Europe’s greatest jazz musicians, a master of the keyboard who combines the vivacity and swing of classic American jazz with a lyricism and refinement that connects him to the deeper traditions of European classical music. The 67-year-old Roman’s distinguished discography numbers some 60 titles stretching back to the mid-1970s, and includes Charlie Haden’s classic Silence with trumpeter Chet Baker and Pieranunzi’s own Live at the Village Vanguard. A solo performance from this jazz master at New Ross will confirm what some of us already knew – that jazz is preparing to take over as the art music of the 21st century. Ware also appears himself in the afternoon with bassist Damian Evans. CL

PARKER IN SONG

Honor Heffernan: Whistling Girl Tour

St John’s Arts Centre, Listowel, Co Kerry Wed; Friar’s Gate Theatre, Kilmallock, Co Limerick Thurs Also Axis Theatre, Ballymun , Dublin Sat 23rd; Mill Theatre, Dundrum Sun 24th; Moat Theatre, Naas, Co Kildare Thurs 28th; Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey , Co Donegal Fri 29th; Backstage Theatre, Longford Sat 30th

Much-loved and admired vocalist Honor Heffernan has been Ireland’s top jazz singer, there or thereabouts, for the last few decades, and even just singing standards in a darkened basement, she is a riveting performer, combining the talent of a senior jazz musician with the power and pathos of a leading lady. Whistling Girl is something more, a show of her own devising – with her partner and collaborator, pianist Trevor Knight – adapting the words of Dorothy Parker into a cabaret of wit and wisdom that will satisfy aficionados and civilians alike. CL

September 21st

THE GOLD STANDARD

Michael Buckley’s Dublin Standard Time

Bruxelles, Dublin 9pm €10 bruxelles.ie

The news that saxophonist Michael Buckley has embarked on a new Thursday night residency in the centre of Dublin will be music to the ears of many. The city has been without a regular session of this quality since the passing of Louis Stewart, and for those with a taste for the post-bop of Coltrane, Henderson and Brecker, Buckley’s new quartet, Dublin Standard Time – with extravagantly talented Venezuelan pianist Leopoldo Osio, and the A-team rhythm section of bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady – will be required listening. But live jazz is a precarious undertaking at the best of times and the way to ensure that regular sessions like this survive is to, you know, go regularly. CL

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