The week’s best jazz gigs
Sligo Jazz Festival; Tom Caraher Quintet in Cork; Hotter Than July festival in Dublin
Vocalist Sue Rynhart tours this week with Welsh pianist Huw Warren
Tom Caraher QuintetTriskel Arts Centre, Cork
Triskel’s new Saturday lunchtime jazz series, programmed by former Cork Jazz Festival director Sinead Dunphy, kicks off on Saturday with a new quintet led by much-travelled Tralee-based saxophonist Tom Caraher exploring the funky electric universe of Chris Potter and Donny McCaslin. The band also features star Cork trombonist Paul Dunlea, fresh from his own travels as part of singer Michael Bublé’s band, with David O’Connor on guitar, Alan Pentony on bass and Davie Ryan on drums.
Sligo Jazz FestivalVarious venues, runs until Sunday 28th
Over the past 14 years, the Sligo Jazz Project has grown into one of Europe’s biggest and friendliest gatherings of jazz musicians, with a summer school that attracts students and star tutors from around the world. As night falls, the tutors pick up their instruments and fill Sligo’s venues with high quality jazz, infected with a special Sligo vibe that inspires musicians and audiences alike. This year’s performers include Brazilian wunderkind bassist Michael Pippoquinha , ex-Jazz Messengers saxophonist Jean Toussaint, star US vocalist Sachal Vasandi and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland with guest trumpeter Yazz Ahmed. The programme also finds plenty of room for Irish musicians, including Derry-born trumpeter Ryan Quigley, Dublin vocalist Sue Rynhart (with pianist Huw Warren) and innovative Sligo-born guitarist Mike Nielsen.
Sue Rynhart & Huw WarrenCruthú Arts Festival, Longford (also The Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrnes, Kilkenny, Thursday 25; Black Gate, Galway, Friday 26; Sligo Jazz Festival, Saturday 27th)
Irish vocalist and composer Sue Rynhart has carved a pretty unique niche for herself over the last decade, blithely traversing the boundaries between jazz, folk, early music and the avant-garde. Her two albums to date have been as fresh and unclichéd as anything released in vocal jazz in Europe. Her latest project features the acclaimed Welsh pianist Huw Warren, best known as one third of the beloved Quercus trio with June Tabor and Iain Ballamy. It will be interesting to hear into what new spaces the pianist’s subtle and supportive playing will lead Rynhart’s quirky, sui generis compositions and delicate, classically trained voice.
The Modern Irish Quartet feat. David Friedman
Limerick City Library, Limerick
US vibraphonist Tony Miceli has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Limerick Jazz mover, shaker and drummer John Daly, and the Philadelphia-based vibes man returns to the banks of the Shannon this week to host a week-long vibraphone workshop. With him, he brings David Friedman, another virtuoso of the mallets who has worked with Wayne Shorter, Leonard Bernstein, Dino Saluzzi and Yoko Ono among many others. The two visitors are joined by Daly and bassist Dave Redmond for a free concert in Limerick City Library that might be fairly described as unmissable for fans of this less-than-usual instrument.
Michael Pipoquinha Quartet
Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo
Brazilian bassist Pipoquinha has musicians all over the world tuning into his YouTube channel, marvelling at the astonishing technique and musicality of a young player who, at only 22 years old, looks set to follow in the footsteps of Jaco Pastorius and Richard Bona as the sort of virtuoso that makes other bassists wonder what they’ve been doing with their time. The fact that he is bringing his own band all the way from Brazil makes this one gig more than worth the trip to Sligo, but you might as well check out the rest of the excellent Sligo Jazz Festival programme (see above) while you’re there.
JazzGate: The Music of Duke Ellington
Black Gate, Galway
Galway guitarist Aengus Hackett’s summer series at the Black Gate is a perfect opportunity to dip a toe into the music of some of the icons of jazz. This week, the music of the great Duke Ellington, the most recorded composer in jazz history, is under consideration. The guitarist is joined by the talented Galway saxophonist Matthew Berrill with US-born bassist Dan Bodwell and Galway drummer Barry Duffy.
Hotter Than July
Smithfield Square, Dublin
Sponsored by Dublin City Council and programmed by the Improvised Music Company, Hotter Than July is a lot more than just a free open-air concert. It’s a chance for Dubliners of all ages, races and creeds to come together and celebrate the diversity and creativity of the contemporary, multi-cultural city with fun, food and hands-on music and dance workshops happening all day, as well as a programme of music on stage running from 3pm – 9pm. Part of the Big Band Festival of Rhythm which runs from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th. See Event of the Week.