THE STARS came out to shine for Sligo's irrepressible Jazz Ladds as they celebrated an incredible 40 years in the music business at a crammed Hawk's Well theatre on Saturday night last.
More than a dozen top musicians, including Cathy Jordan from Dervish, the Waterobys' Steve Wickham and Rolling Stones session player, James Blennerhasset, revved up a mjusical whirlwind to honour the jazz pensioners who have become a Sligo institution. Veteran Jazz legends Gay Mcintyre, Des Hopkins and P.J. Duffy travelled from Derry, Kildare and Mayo respectively to join in a night of nostalgia and mirth.
Presenting band members with a ' lifetime achievement award' to the backdrop of a standing ovation, Cathy Jordan summed up the emotion of the night: "This trophy can go on your mantlpiece, but it's what's in our hearts that counts most, and the Jazz Ladds will always have a special place in all our hearts."
Band members, Roddy Gillen, Mickey Brennan, Paraic Potter, Robert Burnside and Denis Phelan were joined at various stages by musicians such as Kieran Quinn, Eddie Lee, Eddie Lynch, Eddie Mcfarlane, Donal Mclynn, Flukey Gorman, the Sligo Concert Band, the Quay Street Band, and No Crows, but one of the biggest ovations of the night was reserved for the missing legend, the great Carl Neilsen, a founder member of the Jazz Ladds, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
On a showcase night for Sligo's unique musical talent, the Ladds brought the house down with a rollicking finale of 'Everybody Loves Saturday Night' - and, so it seems, does everybody love The Jazz Ladds, too.