Grammy winners galore ready to take centre stage

Emma Gallagher

Published 19/07/2014 | 12:00

Jazz renegades The Bad Plus, who will open the Sligo Jazz Festival in the Hawk's Well on July 22nd
Alan Broadbent, two time Grammy winning pianist, orchestrator and conductor who is Sligo Jazz Project's principal piano tutor
Steve Rodby, 13 Time Grammy Winning bassist, who will be in Sligo for the week as tutor and performer

Musicians from around the globe are making their way to Sligo for the ninth Jazz Festival, which begins next Tuesday.

Musicians from around the globe are making their way to Sligo for the ninth Jazz Festival, which begins next Tuesday.

Here, artists of all ages and backgrounds spend a week in the company of multiple Grammy winners and jazz greats.

Sligo Jazz Project is behind the ever-popular summer school and festival.

Organiser Eddie Lee said the event promises an 'inspirational' week for music fans.

He added: "Musicians come from all around the world for this event, not surprising as it is both world-class and affordable.

"The reason all of this comes in at such a good price for participants, is that we are very successful fundraisers.

"Every euro we get goes towards the project, be it Arts Council funding, right down to private patronage from local music lovers.

"This all helps to make the event more affordable for participants."

The festival programme sees jazz rock renegades The Bad Plus entertain in the Hawk's Well, the same venue that New Orleans' Christian Scott will later perform.

The festival club venue, Fifth on Teeling, has numerous gigs to watch out for.

Pee Wee Ellis, saxophonist with James Brown, is special guest of Italian funk band, The Mob Peppers.

Also on the bill are a Gypsy Jazz festival club, Irish Jazz All Stars and local outfit Tropicana Musica.

Eddie describes the musical talent as supreme this year.

He said: "The Bad Plus are festival openers with a difference on July 22nd.

"USA is undisputedly the home of jazz, but Europe has become more renowned in recent years for the creation of a new wave of jazz, called at times Nu-Jazz.

"What many Europeans fail to recognise, though, is that the inspiration for much of their music comes from a trio of renegade American jazz musicians called The Bad Plus, who continue to baffle musicians, critics and the public alike with their constant reinvention of the music.

"This is truly cross-genre collaborative genius at work.

"They have recently released this interpretation on their latest CD.

"They have recorded pop and rock covers including their classic takes on Pink Floyd and Nirvana.

"The Bad Plus will challenge the listener and themselves in what promises to be an all-time Sligo Jazz Festival highlight."

Another star to see is Christian Scott, trumpeter.

Hailing from the homeland of jazz tradition, New Orleans, Scott is a bright young act at the cutting edge of modern jazz.

Eddie said that he is often referred to internationally as the new Miles Davis.

New Zealand's Alan Broadbent is this year's principal piano tutor.

Eddie added: "He has worked with so many legends of music history.

"To name but a few; Diana Krall, Nelson Riddle, David Rose, Johnny Mandel, Paul McCartney, Charlie Haden and Natalie Cole." He also wrote arrangements for Sir Paul McCartney.

"We are honoured to have Mr Broadbent as our principal piano tutor.

"This is a chance to see the master at work in a solo setting."

Pee Wee Ellis, a legend of funk, comes to Sligo for the first time.

Eddie said: "This is the man who stood on stage alongside James Brown for many years. Pee Wee is the special guest of the Mob Peppers, an Italian funk band of top session players, who are flying in especially for an exclusive Irish appearance."

Eddie is already looking forward to the 10th birthday event in 2015 and he is taking part in this year's Warriors Run to raise extra funds.

"We already have booked several artists for our 2015 event, that's how confident we are in the project's sustainability into the future," he said.

See www.sligojazz.ie and follow on Twitter @sligojazz.

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