Dublin’s annual festival of ‘filthy foreign rhythms & divilish beats’ moves across the Liffey and into The Grand Social for it’s 6th edition on 10th-11th June with a shameless line-up of jazzy grooves.
Way back in 1917 the very first shellac jazz record was cut by a New Orleans quintet called The Original Dixieland Jass Band. It also marked the birth of the undisputed First Lady of Jazz, Ms Ella Fitzgerald. Jaysus, not another bleedin’ centenary says you!
Fast forward one hundred years and there is plenty to celebrate in our diverse Irish jazz scene, with Down With Jazz bent on “reimagining mainstream jazz and bringing everyone together for a hell of a good time.” - All About Jazz
The festival takes a tongue-in-cheek look back to 1930s Ireland when jazz and ‘foreign’ music was seen by the Church as a filthy force of corruption, which culminated in a repressive ‘anti-jazz’ campaign to ban jazz music from the dance halls and airwaves of Ireland. Today’s Down With Jazz festival links audiences with 21st century Ireland’s vibrant and diverse music scene through the playful prism of this notorious period of our social history.
“Down With Jazz… remembering those anti-jazz nutters with some of the freshest and most innovative jazz, world and experimental acts around” - Irish Times
SATURDAY 10th June // Doors 7:30pm
The Jazz Lab Jam session kicks off early from 7:30pm downstairs in the Grand Social.
Saturday opens with vocalist Ríona Sally Hartman’s new sextet FÓD, with a collection of joyous, uptempo song cycles inspired by a smorgasbord of influences from West African percussive singing to the inventive Brazilian melodies of Hermeto Pascoal.
Cormac O’Brien’s Gamerz fuse elements of Americana, electronic music, free improv and some old skool jazz swagger. An exciting new band featuring some of the finest musicians to come out of Ireland and the UK in the last decade, featuring rising star, UK pianist Kit Downes, the quartet reflect both the jazz quartet tradition and an expansive modern aesthetic.
Everyone’s favourite horn wielders Booka Brass Band return to Down With Jazz after a 3 year hiatus, playing their unique brand of New Orleans inspired ‘urban brass’ guaranteed to get you grooving.
Mining diverse influences from jazz, hardcore punk and contemporary classical music, Belfast natives Robocobra Quartet sound utterly unique, with a no-holds-barred live approach, complete with howling drummer-vocalist and menacing saxophones, they have been described as are a “must-see” live act. Think "Fugazi meets Mingus." - Drowned in Sound
‘Round about midnight on Saturday at Down With Jazz We Three Kings take to the decks; Hipdrop Records co-founder, Keith Fennell, 70’s Funk & Soul specialist and South American connoisseur, James Keating, and top dollar jazz drummer and Dublin’s hip-hop’s premier beat man, Dennis Cassidy ensure you are in good (jazz) hands into the wee hours.
South African saxophonist Chris Engels’s BigSpoon, our Irish act for 12 Points 2017 in Denmark, also features a cohort of Ireland's leading improvisers and electro-sonic explorers to create mesmerising jazz for the 21st century. With influences from experimental pioneers Jaga Jazzist & Flying Lotus to Weather Report, BigSpoon deliver genre defying goodness with organic heart and electronic soul.
SUNDAY 11th June // Doors 4pm
An Nota Gorm DJ and Dublin’s top jazz aficionado Billy O hAnluin will be spinning records from the early days of jazz in the upstairs garden at The Grand Social from 4pm on Sunday.
We are chillin’ on a Sunday afternoon and evening with some choice picks for Down With Jazz starting with Dublin jazz singer Stella Bass and renowned Irish guitarist Hugh Buckley performing a tribute to the life and music of Ella Fitzgerald in her centenary year with an intimate kick off to our Sunday programming featuring many of her iconic songs.
Continuing in the jazz vocal tradition, internationally acclaimed jazz/blues singer Honor Heffernan presents ‘The Whistling Girl’, a unique show from Heffernan and composer Trevor Knight featuring a darkly sardonic body of work inspired by the poetry of Dorothy Parker, fusing ‘dirty’-cabaret, electronic-vaudeville, rock and jazz.
Cork trombonist and composer Paul Dunlea performs with his super septet utilizing some of Ireland’s finest improvising musicians to produce melodic and groove-driven music fusing influences of Jazz harmony, pop, funk and R&B.
Down With Jazz is moving indoors in 2017 but keeping that jazz temperature high at The Grand Social Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June. Weekend tickets are a steal at €25 with Daily tickets just €15.
Get Down with that sort of thing!