Best jazz gigs: Worship at the altars of Will Todd and Metá Metá
Kaleidoscope and Metropolis round out our jazz highlights for the week ahead
American folk singer Rhiannon Giddens tops a varied bill for the season finale of the Kaleidoscope music salon at the Bello Bar, Dublin, on Wednesday
SATURDAY, JUNE 2
Will Todd: Mass in Blue
St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin, 8pm, €20, goetheinstitutchoir.ie
Sacred music is rare in jazz, or is it the other way round? Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck both wrote suites of religious music, but on the whole, jazz musicians have been a pretty godless bunch and their music has been more often associated with the lad with the horns and the cloven hooves. English composer and pianist Will Todd bucks the trend with his Mass in Blue, an epic suite for soprano, choir and jazz soloists first performed in 2003. Todd is in Dublin tonight to perform his own composition, with the Goethe Institute Choir under the direction of John Dexter, along with soprano Sinéad O’Kelly, saxophonist Patrice Brun and bassist Damian Evans. May the Lord graciously hear them.
Black Box, Belfast, 9pm, £14/10, movingonmusic.com
Metá Metá’s inspiration comes from the Candomblé religion of Bahia, in which dancing serves as a pathway to a connection with your own personal Orisha – like a guardian angel, but with soul – so music for this powerfully original Brazilian five-piece is more than just entertainment. But if raw folk music is the roots of their sound, the branches spread out in all directions and fans of psychadelic samba, Afro-Beat, late Coltrane and Sonic Youth won’t be disappointed. The last time Metá Metá played Belfast, saxophonist Thiago França couldn’t make it, so this return visit with a full complement is hotly anticipated.
Bello Bar, Portobello, Dublin, 8.30pm, €15, kaleidoscopenight.com
The sepulchral depths of the Bello Bar are not the first place you would expect to find classical music, particularly not rubbing shoulders with contemporary jazz and award-winning folk, but the Kaleidoscope team have been confounding expectations for nearly a decade now. The monthly cross-genre music salon, curated by violist Karen Dervan and cellist Lioba Petrie, presents its “season finale” this week with an extraordinary programme that includes Suzie Thorn, principal oboist with the RTÉ CO, playing Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto; the Esposito quartet playing Schumann’s first String Quartet; English crossover pianist Viv McClean in a jazz trio with bassist Dan Bodwell and drummer Guy Rickarby; and Grammy-winning American folk singer Rhiannon Giddens with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi performing “Music from South Italy to the American South”. All that, in the basement of a pub in the south city, for €15 – even less if you prebook – is frankly insane.
Arthurs, Dublin, 9.30pm, €10, arthurspub.ie
Back in 1981, Dublin four-piece Metropolis released what may well have been Ireland’s first jazz rock album, Morning Shadows, a slick, well-produced slice of 1970s fusion with a deep bow to Joe Zawinul and Weather Report. The band gigged around Dublin in the late 1970s, and played the anti-nuclear festival at Carnsore Point in 1978, before disbanding in 1982. When they all met by chance more than 30 years later they decided, in classic style, to get the band back together. Each has gone on to distinguish himself as a musician in other styles, but it will be fascinating to hear keyboardist Paul Barrett, saxophonist Keith Donald, bassist Garvan Gallagher and drummer Paul McAteer rediscover the original spirit of Metropolis.