Veterans, virtuosos and vibrant young guns: this week’s jazz highlights

Jim Doherty Trio, Julien and John, Butcher Brown, Tommy Halferty trio, Des Hopkins

Guitarists Julien Colarossi and John Keogh play Bewley’s Café in Dublin on Sunday 19th, with special guest singer Susannah De Wrixon

Guitarists Julien Colarossi and John Keogh play Bewley’s Café in Dublin on Sunday 19th, with special guest singer Susannah De Wrixon

 

Saturday 18

Jim Doherty Trio with Nigel Mooney
Arthurs, Dublin 9pm €10 arthurspub.ie

Veteran pianist Jim Doherty has been a key figure on the Irish jazz scene since the late 1960s when his quartet with guitarist Louis Stewart won awards and plaudits at the Montreux Jazz Festival. These days, the whole history of the music shines through in Doherty’s playing, particularly when he is accompanied by his colleague of long standing, legendary bassist Dave Fleming. The two old friends are joined by sympathetic drummer Dominic Mullan and old-school guitarist and vocalist Nigel Mooney.

Sunday 19

Julien Colarossi and John Keogh
Bewleys, Dublin 5pm €12 bewleyscafetheatre.com

Guitarists Julien Colarossi and John Keogh’s repertoire for two guitars includes favourites by everyone from Stevie Wonder to Coldplay, and their 2016 release, Street Life, proved that the pair, who met on the Newpark jazz programme, have developed their own unique way of presenting them. They will be joined for this early evening concert in the Bewley’s Café theatre on Grafton Street by glamourous singer and actor Susannah De Wrixon.

Thursday 23 

Butcher Brown
Sugar Club, Dublin 8pm €17.50 thesugarclub.com

Richmond, Virginia underground collective Butcher Brown are a growing force on the US jazz scene, working with To Pimp a Butterfly producer Terrace Martin, saxophonist Kamasi Washington and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire to name a few. Their current European tour, which includes dates in Dublin, London and at the prestigious Bimhuis in Amsterdam, is likely to win them friends on this side of the Atlantic too. Multi-horn player Marcus Tenney, drummer Corey Fonville, bassist Andrew Randazzo, guitarist Morgan Burrs and keyboardist DJ Harrison draw from a deep well of jazz, funk and hip-hop, and their “garage punk jazz funk” will have every head in the Sugar Club nodding in approval.

Tommy Halferty Trio
Arthurs, Dublin 9pm €10 arthurspub.ie

Guitarist Tommy Halferty is part of that golden generation of six-stringers that emerged in the 1970s, whose ears were snagged by the speed and technical bravura of John McLaughlin and, a little later, Pat Metheny. But Halferty also has a particular devotion to the more subtle approach of John Abercrombie, and, as the Derryman matures, Abercrombie’s influence is becoming more apparent. Halferty’s excellent trio features the first-call mainstream rhythm team of bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady.

Saturday 25 

Mass in Blue
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin 8pm €25 stpatrickscathedral.ie

Jazz was never the devil’s music, whatever they say, and some of the music’s greatest exponents had their first encounters with a musical instrument in church. Still, the connection between the blue and the sacred has been stretched pretty thin over the years and these days there’s not much for Christian jazz fans to get excited about. Respected UK composer and conductor Will Todd is an expert at getting church choirs to swing like jazz singers – a not inconsiderable task – and his Mass in Blue, a jazz setting of the Latin mass, is a rare chance to swing and praise the Lord at the same time. The composer will be at the piano for this one-off ticketed performance with the Goethe Choir and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Choir Choristers, soprano Hilary Cronin, saxophonist Patrice Brun and bassist Damian Evans. Can I get an Amen?

Sunday 26 

Des Hopkins Dixieland Band
Sin É, Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 1 6.30pm €5 sin-e.ie

Fans of traditional jazz have precious little to amuse them on the live scene these days, so they should thank their Dixieland stars for veteran drummer Des Hopkins and his band. The Hopkins band is descended from the Original Guinness Jazz Band that was popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and this fortnightly early evening romp at Sin É is proof that Hopkins and his vastly experienced group still have what it takes to keep the trad/jazz flame alight. 

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