Dancing on the ceiling and swinging on the sofa: this week’s jazz gigs

This week, we look at some of the best jam and regular jazz sessions happening around the country

Australian saxophonist Daniel Rorke hosts Dwarf Jar Jazz on Wednesdays

Dublin Jazz Jam Session

Grand Social, Dublin, Monday August 14th,8pm, Adm free thegrandsocial.ie

Italian bassist Marco Santaroni was the original founder of these internationally flavoured sessions at the Grand Social, but he has been joined by US-born drummer Chris Hokamp and Polish bassist Maciej Blizinski in bashing this weekly open jam into shape. All musicians are welcome, but they do expect you to have a basic grasp of your instrument and a few jazz standards up our sleeve.

Jazz Improv


Crane Lane, Cork, Tuesday August 15th, 9pm, Adm free pauldunleamusic.com

Trombonist and big band impresario Paul Dunlea is one of the Cork jazz scene's prime movers, and he is the force behind the weekly jam sessions at the Crane Lane theatre, now running for an impressive eight years. Dunlea calls the meeting to order with his own group that includes pianist Cormac MacCarthy, bassist Eoin Walsh and drummer Davey Ryan – then it's opened up to the floor and anyone who thinks they have what it takes is welcome to join in.

Paul Dunlea runs Crane Lane’s Tuesday night improvs

Lounge Quintet

Leeson Lounge, Dublin, Tuesday August 15th, 9pm, Adm free

For the last five years, the darling Leeson Lounge – an institution in the south city – has hosted this popular session featuring some of the most experienced hands on the Dublin scene: trumpeter Bill Blackmore, saxophonist Peter Dobai, guitarist Tom Harte, drummer Tom Dunne and bassist Paid MacConnailóg. The repertoire is unabashed hard-bop from the pens of Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver et al, but there's always a few surprises, and with such well-connected musicians on stage, you never know who might wander in.

Dwarf Jar Jazz

Dwarf Jar cafe, Dublin, Wednesday August 16th, 7.30pm, Adm free facebook.com/satumusikk/

The stage at the Dwarf Jar cafe is suspended improbably above the bustling coffee shop floor, and reached by a death-defying ladder. Risking life and limb every week to get their jazz on are Australian saxophonist Daniel Rorke and a roll-call of Dublin musicians, including bassist Cormac O'Brien, drummer Matt Jacobson and guitarist Chris Guilfoyle.

Sofa Sessions

Billy Byrne's, Kilkenny, Thursday August 17th, 9pm, Adm free facebook.com/sofasessionskilkenny

To declare an interest, these regular Thursday night concerts are curated by this journalist, and on Thursday night my own Rural Electrification Scheme is the featured band. The back room in Billy Byrne’s, at the top of John Street in Kilkenny, is a cosy, intimate room, full of sofas and comfy chairs, and the idea is to get people off their own sofas to try one of ours; the lure is top-quality jazz. There’s music every Thursday, it’s nearly always free, and, over the last two years, visitors have included New York/Berlin hipsters Fireplace Dragon, Irish supergroup Roamer and top UK pianist Kit Downes Trio, as well as a wide cross-section of players from the Dublin scene.