Sweeter by the dozen: 12 Points heads up this week’s jazz highlights

The 12 Points festival brings new sounds to the Sugar Club. Plus: legendary drummer Joey Baron joins Sami Moukaddem; Michael Buckley reopens his House of Horns

Experimental Irish violinist Ena Brennan – aka Dowry – is one of a dozen fresh-sounding artists performing at this year’s 12 Points festival, running from Wednesday for four nights at the Sugar Club, Dublin

Experimental Irish violinist Ena Brennan – aka Dowry – is one of a dozen fresh-sounding artists performing at this year’s 12 Points festival, running from Wednesday for four nights at the Sugar Club, Dublin

 

Nigel Mooney Quartet

Arthurs, Dublin Saturday September 1st 9.30pm, €10, arthurspub.ie

Guitarist and singer Nigel Mooney’s quartet – with pianist Johnny Taylor, bassist Barry Donohue and drummer Dominic Mullan – is one of the more polished units on the Dublin scene, delivering the Gripewater Blues Band founder’s take on classic 1950s jazz with consummate skill.

Sami Moukaddem Quartet feat Joey Baron

Whelans, Dublin Sunday September 2nd 8pm €12 whelanslive.com

Guitarist Sami Moukaddem is of Lebanese and Brazilian extraction, but he has been based in Dublin since the mid-1980s, and his music is a fascinating amalgam of his background and the various influences he has accumulated over the years. A trained psychologist, the guitarist is currently producing a documentary on depression, and this concert, featuring drum legend Joey Baron, will form part of the finished film. Moukaddem’s quartet also features bassist José Carlos Flores and saxophonist Brendan Doyle, but most interest will inevitably focus on Baron, a major figure in contemporary US jazz who has shared a stage with Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Frisell and John Abercrombie among many others.  

Orlando Molina Quintet

Workman’s Club, Dublin Sunday September 2nd 7.30pm €11/€10 facebook.com/dublinjazzcoop

Venezuelan guitarist Orlando Molina mixes original compositions and classics of the Latin American jazz repertoire with a talented group that includes fellow Venezuelan Leopoldo Osio on piano, Cape Town saxophonist Chris Engel, bassist Cormac O’Brien and drummer Brendan Doherty. Part of the musician-run Dublin Jazz Co-op series.

Michael Buckley’s House of Horns

Bruxelles, Dublin Tuesday September 4th 9pm €10 facebook.com/buckleysax

Leading Irish saxophonist Michael Buckley starts a new residency off Grafton Street this week with his powerful nine-piece House of Horns band, featuring some of his most regular collaborators, including vocalist Margot Daly, keyboardist Paul Finlay and drummer Jason Duffy. The sound of 1970s fusion groups such as The Brecker Brothers and Steely Dan are the inspiration, but Buckley in particular has the contemporary sensibility to take the music somewhere fresh.

12 Points

The Sugar Club, Dublin Wednesday September 5th to Saturday September 8th 8pm 12points.ie

Peripatetic new music festival 12 Points (say it in French and you’ll get the reference) alternates every year between its base in Dublin and another European city. Over the years, this unique boutique jazz festival has visited Porto, Umea, San Sebastián and elsewhere, but 12 Points is back in Dublin this year for its 12th anniversary. The idea is to identify – through open selection – a dozen emerging bands from across the European jazz scene and give them a platform to showcase their music to an audience that includes influencers and opinion-formers from the European jazz scene, including record companies, promoters and journalists. But the most vital ingredient in any 12 Points is an open-minded, generous-hearted local audience prepared to take a leap of faith and check out new bands and new music they have never heard before. In an era where the wearyingly familiar dominates the airwaves and the concert circuit, 12 Points stands out as a beacon of fresh sounds and courageous music making, and should be supported by anyone who wants to hear where European creative music is headed in the 21st century. 

Plaza Real

Arthurs, Dublin Thursday September 6th 9pm, €10 arthurspub.ie

Rising Dublin bassist Barry Donohue pays loving tribute to the music of 1970s fusion demigods Weather Report with a talented group that includes keyboardist Darragh O’Kelly, saxophonist Chris Engel and drummer Shane O’Donovan.

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