Variety and improv create a magic mix for Jazz Fest

The Haz'art Trio who will play Druid's Mick Lally Theatre this Friday night at 8pm with tickets costing €15.
The Haz'art Trio who will play Druid's Mick Lally Theatre this Friday night at 8pm with tickets costing €15.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Jazz music will be to the fore in the city this weekend, with the annual Galway Jazz Festival running until Sunday, October 8. The event features a host of free shows as well as paid-for concerts – and its eclectic venues include Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre, the University Hospital Galway foyer, the Bierhaus, and the Black Gate Cultural Centre.

“We’ve tried to match the music to the venue,” says Ciaran Ryan of the Jazz Festival, which has been growing in profile and popularity in recent years.

The Haz’art Trio will be in the Mick Lally Theatre at 8pm this Friday night, performing on oud, double bass and drums. Their music draws on Eastern and Western cultures but transcends boundaries.

Cello Ireland will be in Druid this Saturday at 8pm, when four of Ireland’s leading cellists will team up with the Hugh Buckley Quintet for an evening of music arranged by Fiachra Trench.

This fusion is the brainchild of RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra cellist, Úna Ní Chanain and will be part of a double bill with Clare concertina player Jack Talty who’s playing with Graham Dunne, guitar and electronics. Again, it’s at 8pm in Druid and will be preceded by a free Beer and Cheese Tasting at 7, sponsored by Galway Bay Brewery and Sheridan’s Cheesemongers.

More than 50 events will take over the four-day Jazz Festival, with the majority of these being free, says Ciaran Ryan. That’s partly due to public funding and partly because the venues that are hosting gigs have sponsored them.

Jazz is still a minority art form and Ciaran is keen that people will take a risk on shows, he explains. Holding them in cafés, pubs and shops makes that easier.

Kieran Moloney’s Music Shop on High Street, Coffewerk + Press on Quay Street and Galway’s newest café and wine bar, Tartare on Dominick Street, are among the more unusual venues.

Elsewhere, Guitarist Mike Nielsen and pianist Simon Nabatov will join forces for an improv concert in Cava Bodega at 4pm this Saturday, and guitarist Aengus Hackett will host a series of collaborative performances in The Salthouse Sessions on Dominick Street from Friday through to Sunday.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.