The best jazz gigs in Ireland this week
Arthurs in Dublin will host the Dirty Jazz Club while Gay McIntyre plays Bennigans in Derry
Derry saxophone legend Gay McIntyre – who once turned down a job with Nat King Cole - plays a weekly session in Bennigans bar in the city on Saturdays at 5.30pm
Dirty Jazz Club
Arthurs, Dublin, 8.30pm, €7, arthurspub.ie
Long-standing jazz groups develop a common language which can lead to the most extraordinary musical spaces where trust and adventure and spontaneity begin to transcend the formal aspects of the music. The Dirty Jazz Club have been playing together for more than a decade, with a remarkably consistent line-up that includes some of the leading players on the Irish scene. But, however good the individual players may be, when drummer Conor Murray, bassist Derek Whyte, trombonist Colm O Hara, trumpeter Bill Blackmore, keyboardist Darragh O’Kelly and saxophonist Cathal Roche get together, the whole is that much greater than the sum of its parts.
Gay McIntyre & John Leighton Trio
Bennigans, Derry, 5.30pm, £5, facebook.com/bennigansbar
In his late teens, Derry saxophonist Gay McIntyre turned down an offer to join Nat King Cole’s touring band because he didn’t fancy all the air travel it would involve. The great singer clearly heard something special in McIntyre’s playing back in the 1950s and it is a pure gift to Derry music fans that McIntyre, now in his 80s, is still playing and sounding better than ever. This weekly gig with pianist John Leighton’s trio is an opportunity to hear a master of mainstream jazz at work, and to connect with a living tradition in the music that stretches right back to the post-war years.
Arthurs, Dublin, 7.30pm, No CC, facebook.com/dcujazz
The regular Monday night jam in Arthurs, organised by the DCU Jazz Society, is a space for undergraduates from the university’s Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance programme to test themselves in a live setting. These kind of informal performance opportunities are a vital part of a jazz training, building soft skills like stagecraft, repertoire and the ability to listen as well as to play, giving tomorrow’s professional musicians a chance to put into practice what they are learning during the day. The missing ingredient is an audience that can bring the magic listening energy, so do the musicians - and your ears - a favour.