The best jazz concerts to go to in Ireland this week

Music with pizza in the Liberties, a festival in the Donegal Gaeltacht

Donegal brothers Conor and Michael Murray

Donegal brothers Conor and Michael Murray

 

Saturday, November 30th

Sheryl Bailey & Peter Moc Group
Arthurs
, Dublin
Czech-born guitarist Peter Moc first presented his tribute to the music of guitarist Emily Remler in 2015 in collaboration with the great fusion guitarist Larry Coryell. Since Coryell’s death in 2017, the annual event has become a dual celebration, with high-profile guests joining Moc’s group to remember both Remler and Coryell, including guitarist Nir Felder and saxophonist Grace Kelly. This year Moc invites respected US guitarist and pedagogue Sheryl Bailey, who holds the prestigious assistant chair at the guitar department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, to join a group that also includes violinist Klara Janu, bassist Andrew Csibi and drummer Kevin Brady.

Sunday, December 1st

Dublin Jazz Co-Op: Maurício Ribeiro
Workman’s Club, Dublin, facebook.com/dublinjazzcoop
Dublin vocalist Jennifer McMahon takes over the curation reins at the kaleidoscopic Dublin Jazz Co-Op series this month, and first up is a visit from Brazilian guitarist and singer Maurício Ribeiro. A vastly experienced musician who has worked with some of the greats of Brazilian music, including Toninho Horta and Alceu Valença, Ribeiro presents songs from his latest album, Sozinho e bem acompanhado (solo and well-accompanied).

Plaza Real
Arthurs
, Dublin
Bassist Barry Donohue’s father gave him a copy of Weather Report’s masterpiece Heavy Weather when he was 13 and thus another young life was diverted from the path of ordinary music. Now one of the most respected young jazz musicians on the Dublin scene, Donohue may not be the only bassist to be captivated by the sound of the great Jaco Patorious, or the era-defining music of Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, but his talent-rich Plaza Real band – with saxophonist Chris Engel, keyboardist Darragh O’Kelly and drummer Shane O’Donovan – is one of the gutsiest and most authentic homages to Weather Report you’re ever likely to hear on a Dublin stage.

Wednesday, December 4th

Pizza Jazz
Lucky’s
, Meath Street, Dublin
There can’t be many places in the world, let alone Ireland, where you can order pizza and hear the music of Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra and Weather Report played live while you eat it. But that’s exactly what’s on the menu at this Liberties pizza joint from three of the Dublin scene’s leading musicians, keyboardist Darragh O’Kelly (see Plaza Real above), bassist Sean Maynard Smith and drummer Brendan Doherty. Music starts at 8pm.

Thursday, December 5th

Phil Ware Trio
Arthurs
, Dublin
UK-born pianist Phil Ware has been one of the leading pianists on the Dublin scene since his arrival on these shores in 2000. As a tutor on the Jazz Performance degree at DCU, Ware has become an important mentor to the next generation of pianists, but the teaching has meant he is less active as a performer these days, particularly leading his own superb trio. So here’s a rare chance to catch the talented pianist – one who is steeped in the classic piano tradition of Wynton Kelly but also has an ear for modern pianists like Brad Mehldau and Enrico Pieranunzi – with his long-standing collaborators, bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady, themselves two of the most sought-after musicians on the Irish scene.

Friday, December 6th

Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival
Falcarragh, Co. Donegal, twinpeople.club
Since returning from the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow in 2018, Donegal twin brothers Michael and Conor Murray have been leading the charge for jazz in the northwest of the island, working and touring with their mentor, Belfast drummer David Lyttle, and appearing regularly at Bennigan’s Bar in Derry. Quixotic as it may seem, last year the two 22-year-olds started their own festival in the village of Falcarragh in the Donegal Gaeltacht last year and their two-day Winter Jazz Festival returns this week with a small but perfectly formed programme. The weekend is headlined by respected UK vocalist Cleveland Watkiss, winner of the vocalist category in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2017, and the line-up also includes guitarist Lucian Gray, a rising star of the Canadian jazz scene, and Scottish pianist Steve Hamilton, who is a member of legendary drummer Billy Cobham’s touring band, along with Derry guitarist Joseph Leighton’s trio, and a trio led by David Lyttle. The brothers, Michael on saxophone and Conor on bass, perform a lunchtime gig themselves on Saturday. See website for venue details.

Sunday, December 8th

Dublin Jazz Co-Op: Matt Dowie Trio
Workman’s Club, Dublin, facebook.com/dublinjazzcoop
Vocalist Jennifer McMahon’s second offering as curator of the Dublin Jazz Co-Op series, in the Workman’s Club intimate upstairs room overlooking the Liffey (see also Sunday, December 1st) is a mix of gypsy jazz and funk standards from a new trio featuring electric guitarist Matt Dowie, acoustic guitarist Matthew Hunter and guitarist and bassist David Browne Murray.

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