Sat, May 31, 2014
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Down with Jazz at Down With Jazz at Meeting House Square
“For music lovers who want to catch some outstanding sounds in relaxed and pleasant surroundings… kick back and bask in some of the finest jazz and grooves Ireland has to offer “
A Year of Festivals in Ireland, The Irish Times, 2013
Down With Jazz, the festival that reels back the decades to the anti-jazz movement of the 30’s, is back for a third edition; this time over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
The 2014 festival coincides with the premiere of Ken Loach’s new movie Jimmy’s Hall, documenting the life of agrarian communist Jimmy Gralton, deported from Leitrim in 1933 after church and state colluded to shut down his jazzy parish dances. This murky episode from history provides the context in which to consider the place of Irish jazz today. And there is plenty to celebrate!
Contemporary and inclusive, Down With Jazz welcomes musicians and music lovers of all persuasions, from funk and electronica, to chamber pop and free improv, with a line up that reflects our diversity today.
The 2014 Down With Jazz festival is a feast of creative rebellion, opening with a bang on Saturday night with the African tinged chamber pop songs and vocal harmonies of DFF, with Niwel Tsumbu, Vyvienne Long, Dave Flynn and their sunshine ensemble. Legendary Irish jazz guitarist Tommy Halferty will follow with his trio of top Irish jazzers - Dave Redmond on bass and Kevin Brady on drums. Dublin foursome OKO present delicately sculpted electro acoustic sounds as well as gritty streetwise funk, with Djackulate on the decks. New Orleans’ style Booka Brass Band play contemporary RnB as well as the old big band playbook, both styles bringing big bite. Saturday night will close with Alarmist embracing jazz, math rock, electronica and formal composition in their vibrant new sound.
An earlier start on Sunday as Umbra take the stage at 6:30pm with an intriguing sound that moves between the rich harmonic world of contemporary jazz and the cyclical grooves of Aphex Twin. Much praised jazz vocalist Lauren Kinsella presents Blue Eyed Hawk a new home for her exhilarating way with words, squeezing the improvisational juice out of every syllable. Another new group that have tongues wagging are the adventurous Ensemble Eriu, beautifully poised between jazz, trad and classical, with no sense of stylistic hierarchy or compromise. Toot Sweet bring their swampy bayou funk to the banks of the Liffey, with a take-no-prisoners horn section. And the musical melting pot that is Manden Express close the ‘fiesta’ for 2014 with a winning combination of good grooves born of African, Latin and Irish souls.
If Jimmy was around, he’d surely encourage you to get down to the Square on the June Bank Holiday weekend, because when you free your behind, your mind will follow.
Meeting House Square, Temple Bar