Icons of Jazz: Tommy Halferty

Improvised Music Company’s Icons of Jazz
The Tommy Halferty Quartet play the music of John Scofield

Sat 21st November, 8pm
Broadcast online to enjoy from home. 
Tickets €8

Opening with Ronan Guilfoyle’s take on Charlie Parker for his centenary in August 2020, Improvised Music Company’s Icons of Jazz series continues, presenting some of Ireland’s most renowned jazz musicians performing their take on the iconic musicians who have shaped jazz music in the last century. Hear long-standing favourites of the genre given thrilling life and new spins by top Irish players. 

Still performing today, renowned guitarist John Scofield moved from collaborating with greats like Miles Davis, to commanding his own place on the international jazz scene for his unique fusions of rock, bebop, swing and blues music, informed by an engaging style of phrasing and finely nuanced control of the guitar’s sound. 

Derry-born Tommy Halferty, the great elder statesman of the Irish jazz guitar, is the perfect musical match to take on Scofield’s music. Like Scofield, Halferty has blended a wide range of styles over the course of his career, from his early days as a student of Louis Stewart. His trio with one of Ireland’s finest rhythm sections - Dave Redmond and Kevin Brady - are currently Dun Laoghaire Rathdown’s Musicians-in-Residence, and they have toured nationally and internationally over many years to great acclaim. For this series they are joined by rising Northern Irish organist and pianist Scott Flanigan, lending his technical virtuosity and fluent lyricism to an unmissable night of music.  

Here, Halferty is focusing on the earlier Scofield years, post Davis and circa Blue Matter with Flanigan augmenting Halferty's long standing trio to present their own take on that signature 'Sco' sound that is simultaneously all Halferty.

We do hope you’ll join us live for this concert at 8pm on Saturday November 21st. Your link will be valid for 24 hours in case you need to enjoy the show later, or simply want to watch again. You will receive your link for the concert via your registering email before the beginning of the concert.

Join our Mailing List or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for details of the next Icons of Jazz event, featuring renowned saxophonist Richie Buckley and his Quintet playing the music of John Coltrane. 

Tommy Halferty

Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, he began his musical career in the late 70s taking Jazz Guitar lessons with Louis Stewart, a world class jazz musician. Some of his earliest appearances playing public were with bands such as `Jump' - a jazz fusion group and later on `Nunn' - a trio of flute, double bass and guitar. Most of the material here was drawn from classical, folk and jazz music.


In '93 Tommy toured Ireland with the jazz singer Norma Winstone culminating in the Cork Jazz Festival. About this time, Tommy began to form a group combining traditional music and jazz using Tommy Hayes (Bodhrán) and Ronan Brown (Uilleann pipes), appearing on T.V. in Germany and Ireland. However, a distillation of many styles of music - Indian, Flamenco, Arabic and Irish took shape in `Khanda' - a new group with Ramesh Shotham from India, Conor and Ronan Guilfoyle, Martin Nolan (Pipes) and Ellen Cranitch (Flute) from Ireland.

Tommy has played as part of a guitar duo (with Mike Nielsen) in the Tel-Aviv International Guitar Festival '94. They were voted Critic's Choice in `The Jerusalem Post' of that year. A special honour was given to Tommy when he was asked to play for President Clinton when he visited Ireland in November '96.

Tommy is a faculty member of the International Jazz Summer School at the University of Ulster, since its inception in 1992. Tommy teaches Jazz improvisation in New Park Music Centre, and has been instrumental in getting Jazz music in the current Leaving Certificate Music course.

Tommy is currently teaching English Literature and Music in Coolmine Community School. He is considered one of the first Irish jazz musician to export a distinctly indigenous style to a more worldwide setting

"Harmonically and melodically, Halferty is a distinctive guitarist"

– The Irish Times

"There are few Irish Jazz Guitarists that can deliver with gusto and taste at this level, Tommy Halferty is one of them"

– Newsletter Belfast
  • Icons of Jazz: Tommy Halferty
    , Online more info
  • Signal Series - Northern Lights: Tommy Halferty | Katharine Timoney
    , The Wild Duck more info
  • Tommy Halferty, Seven Musical Steps to Camus
    , Mick Lally Theatre more info
  • Flyin’ Hi - Tommy Halferty at 70
    , The Opium Rooms more info
  • Tommy Halferty Trio featuring Seamus Blake
    , JJ Smyth’s more info
  • Tommy Halferty Organ Trio
    6th December 2009, JJ Smyth’s
  • Pendulum- Tommy Halferty Organ Trio
    2nd May 2010, JJ Smyth’s
  • Tommy Halferty Trio
    4th May 2008, JJ Smyth’s
  • Tommy Halferty Trio Pendulum Dublin
    9th November 2008, JJ Smyth’s
  • Pendulum - Tommy Halferty Trio
    1st August 2010, JJ Smyth’s
  • Tommy Halferty Quartet
    14th July 2004, Civic Offices Amphitheatre
  • Halferty & Nielsen
    17th June 2007, Pendulum Club at JJ’s
  • Halferty & Nielsen
    28th January 2007, Pendulum Club at JJ’s
  • Halferty & Nielsen
    19th July 2006, Civic Offices Amphitheatre
  • Tommy Halferty Trio feat: Keith Copeland
    15th February 2004, Pendulum Club at JJ’s
  • Equinox feat. Tommy Halferty
    9th April 2006, Pendulum Club at JJ’s
  • Tommy Halferty & Mike Nielsen
    14th November 2004, Pendulum Club at JJ’s
  • Tommy Halferty Trio featuring Michel Zenino
    20th June 2004, Pendulum Club at JJ’s