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. Who knows what class of devilment the capitol’s citizens will get up if the sun comes out, with hip swivelling music and decadent improvising from the country’s finest jazz musicians, and the trading of oysters and porter to boot? If that weren’t enough, the festival coincides with the premiere of Ken Loach’s new movie Jimmy’s Hall, documenting the life of agrarian communist Jimmy Gralton, deported from Co. Leitrim in 1933 after church and state colluded to shut down his jazzy parish dances. There was disorder on the border aplenty, but this murky episode from history, with its culturally oppressive overtones, now provides the context in which to consider the place of Irish jazz today. And there is plenty to celebrate. Contemporary and incl usive, Down With Jazz is a big tent that 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. If Jimmy was around, he’d surely approve and would encourage you to get down to Meeting House Square, because when you free your behind, your mind will follow.
Saturday 31st May *Doors 7:00pm*
Tommy Halferty Trio:
Since the late 70s, Derry native Tommy Halferty has been an irrepressible voice, always lyrical and animated, and a formative influence on many Irish guitarists. Burkina is the new album with bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady and the trio gives it a vigorous work out for Down With Jazz.
Guitarist Shane Latimer leads this gutsy quartet that runs the gamut from delicately sculpted electro acoustic shapes to gritty streetwise funk. Drummer Shane O’Donovan provides the pulse, Darragh O’Kelly brings the splashes of dark keyboard colour, and Djackulate is the free agent with the turntables, riffing on a creative consensus that draws on Krautrock, vintage TV shows, noise, musak and IDM.
DFF bring us a seductive cocktail through the African filter of Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu, the chamber pop of cellist Vyvienne Long and the trad affiliations of composer Dave Flynn. The debut album Pouric Songs freewheels across the genres, an upbeat antidote for the times we live in with gutsy playing, lovely harmonies and grooves that summon up the elusive Irish summer.