Monday 19 February 2018

And all that Jazz...

Sligo Jazz Festival is back with a stellar line-up

Jenny McCudden

A stellar line-up has just been announced for the Sligo Jazz Festival which opens later this month.

The six day event runs from the 25th to 30th July with a host of big names from the world of Jazz. Sligo will be buzzing with music at every turn with most of the concerts free of charge.

If you fancy a taste of what's on offer, a free admission concert takes place daily at 4.30pm in Hargadon's. This intimate venue will also host the opening gig of the festival when MOBO awrd nominee drummer David Lytlle is joined by Russian bass virtuoso Anton Davidyants, UK guitarist Mike Walker and others for a powerhouse session at 4.30pm on 25th July.

Organiser Eddie Lee who is also the artistic director of the Sligo Jazz Project International Summer School says this year promises to be better than ever.

"More than 100 people have already signed up for the Summer School which takes place at IT Sligo for the duration of the festival," he says.

"The school adds a core one-hundred-plus audience to each of the pay-in concerts at the Hawk's Well Theatre too."

Eddie continues: "The sense of empathy that builds up throughout the week is something to behold. Well before the weekend kicks in it evolves into a wonderful jazzy love-fest as all one hundred-plus participants of all ages and backgrounds and nationalities gear up for their final Sunday afternoon performance by playing in their ensembles each day at the summer school, attending masterclasses and workshops together and, most importantly, performing at the daily jam sessions and the festival club events at the Riverside Hotel throughout the week. This adds a very unique atmosphere to the concerts at the Hawk's Well".

Eddie points out that the concerts in the Theatre are the only pay-in events on this year's Sligo Jazz Festival.

He stresses: "I'd appeal to people to purchase tickets for all the amazing concerts in the Hawk's Well as well as availing of the fabulous free music on offer in pubs, cafes and the Riverside Hotel, which is our festival hub. That way we will be able to grow the festival into an international event to be proud of, as well as the summer school, which has now grown into the biggest and best of its kind in Europe."

Jam sessions take place at 6pm and 10pm in the Riverside Hotel. The programme for 2017 has the broadest range of jazz styles yet presented at Sligo Jazz Festival, from rap and hip hop to jazz rock and metal fusion, from straight-ahead swing to big band and lots of great vocal jazz.

Festival tickets for all the main concerts are available from the Hawk's Well Theatre 071 9161518. More info at

Sligo Champion

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