Aengus Hackett has been surrounded by music since the day he was born in the west of Ireland. From the folk and rock albums at home to the traditional music in the family pub, he soaked up every note he heard. It wasn’t long before Aengus realised that music was his calling, and he took up the guitar.
Music soon became Aengus’ whole life. Upon discovering jazz, he was instantly hooked. Before long he was studying with Irish jazz guitar stalwart Mike Nielsen, a contemporary of such jazz legends as Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano.
In June 2009 Aengus won a grant from the Arts Councils of Ireland and N. Ireland to attend the renowned Skidmore Jazz Institute in New York. During his time in the US, he studied with the likes of guitarist Wayne Krantz, and Grammy winner Bobby Shew.
Aengus decided to take his passion to the next level, moving to the Netherlands in 2008 to study jazz. This diverse experience blew his musical mind wide open. He spent time studying with world-class jazz performers such as Jesse van Ruller, Freddie Bryant and Alex Sipiagin, as well as with Dutch pop guitar veteran Arnold van Dongen. In addition to this he experimented with west-African kora, south Indian music, and music production. After spending many long days and nights honing his guitar playing and composing skills, in June 2013 Aengus became a graduate of the prestigious Conservatory of Amsterdam.
During his time in the Netherlands, he crossed paths with many wonderful musicians, and the path was paved for two of his current international projects:
The experimental jazz / folk / rock trio DINOSAUR completed their first tour of Ireland in 2014, culminating in a performance at the National Concert Hall of Ireland. A debut album is planned for 2015.
Aengus recently embarked on a successful tour of Ireland with his exciting ‘Irish-Turkish Project‘, featuring world-class vocalist Sanem Kalfa. For this project, The Arts Council of Ireland awarded Aengus with a Touring Award. The tour got national press coverage, appearing in publications such as Hot Press Magazine, the Irish Independent and the Irish Times, and on radio stations such as RTE Radio 1 and Lyric FM.
Since returning to live in Ireland in 2013, Aengus has kept busy with creative projects, such as the new post-rock group Zinc.