The best jazz gigs of the week

Vocalist Emilie Conway plays in Galway; Ian Date and Myles Drennan collaborate in Cork

Vocalist Emilie Conway is the special guest at JazzGate: The Music of Billie Holiday in the Black Gate, Galway on Thursday 22nd August. Photograph: Dublin Jazz Photography

Vocalist Emilie Conway is the special guest at JazzGate: The Music of Billie Holiday in the Black Gate, Galway on Thursday 22nd August. Photograph: Dublin Jazz Photography

 

Saturday 17

Ian Date & Myles Drennan 
Triskel, Cork 
Triskel’s Summer Jazz series, curated by former Cork Jazz Festival director Sinead Dunphy, continues this week with a rare concert appearance by Dublin pianist Myles Drennan in a new duo collaboration with Australian guitarist Ian Date.

Drennan, one of the great Louis Stewart’s most trusted collaborators, is a gifted natural musician with an impressive grasp of the jazz piano tradition but opportunities to hear the shy, unassuming pianist play have been rare in recent years.

Date, Australian-born but now resident in east Cork, is a supremely versatile guitarist who worships at the Django Reinhardt altar and knows how to entertain without compromising the music. It will be interesting to see and hear what ground these two disparate personalities converge on.

Fehdah 
Workman’s Club, Dublin 
Irish-Sierra Leonean singer and producer Fehdah – sister of Loah – is another rising star of the Dublin neo-soul scene, and she generally keeps pretty good company when she plays live, so expect a hot band and some deep soul grooves – part of the We Are Workman’s series celebrating the diversity of performers and art forms that feature on the excellent venue’s programme.

Thursday 22

JazzGate: The Music of Billie Holiday 
Black Gate, Galway 
Ella FitzGerald may be the gold standard, and Sarah Vaughan may have won the admiration of the musicians, but of all the great women singers of jazz’s classic era, Billie Holiday is the most loved today, perhaps because her frankly emotional delivery sounds most “modern” to our ears. Dublin vocalist Emilie Conway – known for her thoughtful projects paying tribute to writer Maeve Brennan and composer Alex Wilder – is the special guest at guitarist Aengus Hackett’s weekly JazzGate series, delving into the “Lady Day” songbook in the company of bassist Dan Bodwell and drummer Barry Duffy.

Friday 23

Irish Jazz and Dance Bands Workshop 
Cregan Library, Dublin 
Do you have stories or memorabilia related to the history of jazz and dance bands in Ireland? Bassist and jazz historian Damian Evans, one of the driving forces in Irish jazz history research, is putting out an open call for musicians, family members, promoters and listeners to come along and share their memories of bygone eras at this important workshop. Organiser of the first Documenting Jazz conference in Dublin earlier this year, Dr Evans recently published an excellent article on the early history of Irish jazz in the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, and he is encouraging all comers to bring photos, tickets stubs, old recordings - or just a good memory - to this free event in the Cregan Library on DCU’s St. Patrick’s Campus.

Hugh Buckley & Fintan O’Neill 
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin 
Irish pianist Fintan O’Neill has been living in New York city since the late 1980s – long enough to be considered a US pianist. A respected player and pedagogue on the New York scene, and a former holder of the piano chair with the Nelson Riddle orchestra, O’Neill pays a rare visit home this week to play with his old friend, guitarist Hugh Buckley, as part of a series of lunchtime concerts in the Lady Chapel at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for Heritage Week.  

Saturday 24

Kevin Lawlor Quartet 
Sky & the Ground, Wexford 
Without drummer Kevin Lawlor, Wexford jazz fans would be on short rations, but the dynamic Lawlor keeps the jazz supply pretty regular in the southeast. Joining him in the atmospheric Sky & the Ground are pianist Patrick Molitor, bassist Jack-Rufus Kelly and rising saxophonist Kelan Walsh.

Sunday 25

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble 
Sugar Club, Dublin 
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble have played with Macy Gray and Gorillaz, but the best way to experience the Chicago octet’s mash-up of hip-hop, jazz and funk is to hear them do their own, very polished thing. Raised on music by their trumpet playing father Phil Cohran – who played with the great eccentric of Chicago music, Sun Ra – the eight brothers have basically been rehearsing since childhood and releasing records since 2004. There’s a reason why this is by no means their first appearance at the Sugar Club.

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