Four jazz concerts to check out in Ireland this week

Renowned UK vocalist Norma Winstone flies for two small-scale, intimate concerts

UK vocalist Norma Winstone:  two  intimate concerts with her old friend, Derry guitarist Tommy Halferty

UK vocalist Norma Winstone: two intimate concerts with her old friend, Derry guitarist Tommy Halferty

 

Saturday June 30th

Zrazy
Bagots Huton, Dublin, 8pm, €15/12, dublinjazz.ie
Zrazy – vocalist/flautist Maria Walsh and pianist/saxophonist Carole Nelson – have been writing songs and purveying their winning blend of jazz, soul, bossa and pop for over two decades now, and last year released their sixth studio album, The Art of Happy Accidents. What many people don’t know is that the multi-talented Nelson was also responsible for penning the Italia 90 soccer hit Ooh Aah Paul McGrath. The addition of bassist Jennifer Hallahan makes this all-female trio more or less unique amongst Irish jazz groups.

Sunday, July 1st

John Zorn’s Cobra
Workman’s Club, Dublin, 8pm, €10, facebook.com/dublinjazzcoop
Composer, saxophonist and instigator of downtown weirdness John Zorn “wrote” the piece he called Cobra in the early 1980s, but every time this “composition” is performed, it sounds entirely fresh and new. That’s because it consists not of notes on a page but of a set of verbal rules and instructions printed on cards, which are shown to an indeterminate ensemble of musicians to do with what they will. Guitarist, composer, and instigator of plenty of his own weirdness Shane Latimer (of OKO and Mushburgers) marshals a dozen of the Irish scene’s most adventurous improvisers, including guitarist Chris Guilfoyle, saxophonist Cathal Roche and vocalist Jannike-Linn Herr, for what promises to be an evening of sonic anarchy that will make most other music sound tame and predictable by comparison.

Thursday, July 5th

Norma Winstone & Tommy Halferty
Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrnes, Kilkenny, 9pm, €10, facebook.com/sofasessionskilkenny. Also Friday, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Killiney, 8pm, €15
Thanks to her long-standing friendship and occasional collaborations with guitarist Tommy Halferty, UK vocalist Norma Winstone has been a not infrequent visitor to these shores over the years and for that we may be grateful. One of the most respected and influential singers in world jazz, Winstone has raised the status of the vocalist in improvised music over her long career, from her work with the Azimuth trio with Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor, to her magnificent collaboration with pianist Fred Hersch, to her recent string of ECM recordings with her current trio. The London-born singer combines the technical skill of a senior musician with a disarmingly direct vocal style and a flair for lyrics that avoid cliché and touch on authentic, grown-up emotions, and these two small-scale, intimate concerts with her old friend are a great opportunity to witness a vocal genius up close.

Friday, July 6th

Kontakt: Sound
Grand Social, Dublin, 8pm, €10, thegrandsocial.ie
New music from the ambient region of the improviser’s forest, including electronic processing from violist and composer Sebastian Adams, percussion and singing bowls from sound therapist Miro Baca and samples and found sounds from multimedia composer Anna Murray.

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