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  • Interviews / Q&As

Player, academic and composer, Paul Tynan has won praise from The International Trumpeters’ Guild for his “creative genius”. He is playing dates around Ireland this August alongside Limerick Jazz Society’s John Daly on drums, Joe O’Callaghan on guitar and Peter Hanagan on bass.

Paul Tynan plays The Cooler on Sunday 13th August with John Daly, Joe O'Callaghan and Peter Hanagan. We had a quick chat to get to know him ahead of his Irish tour dates.

Tell us about your musical background and the influences that shaped you as a trumpet player?
My musical background is both interesting and boring at the same time, ha! I grew up in a household that was really supportive of the arts. My father was a dancer and my mother, a musician, so there was always something creative going on at home. They also took to most of their gigs as a kid. So It was pretty natural that I became interested in some sort of creative expression for myself. As for being a trumpet player, I followed the normal path. Learning how to play in the school band programs and I took lessons with some really great teachers. I didn’t really discovered Jazz until my early 20s when I was living in Sweden. Initially became interested in trumpet players like Don Cherry, Tim Hagans, and Kenny Wheeler. And then after that Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis and the like. I’d also like to think my compositions helped me develop my sound as an improviser. I think of composition is improvisation just slowed way down. And then I guess the reverse would be true: Improvisation is just composition speedway up.

Does any one gig stand out to you as a performance highlight?
There’s been a few performances throughout my career that when I look back, I have real fond memories of. In recent memory right before the pandemic I was invited to play at the Kathmandu Jazz Festival in Nepal. That was an absolutely incredible musical experience, the people and other artists at the festival were incredibly wonderful to meet and work with. And the audiences were engaging; that’s always a lot of fun. During one of the performances a transformer blew up with big bang, and a small fire with lots of smoke and that electrical fire smell. This shut the power off to the stage. We did the only thing we could do – We kept playing acoustically – it was a beautiful chaos. They got the power back on and we finished the set!

What brings you to Ireland? Have you played here before?
I have! A few years ago, I was very fortunate to play in Ireland with John Daly, Peter Hanagan and a Canadian guitar player named Jake Hanlon. So I’m really quite excited to come back. Peter and I are old friends from our days spent in Texas going to university together and we always have a lot of fun and get into a bit of trouble when we get to hang out! I’m especially looking forward to this round of gigs because I’m getting to play in a few places that I have not played before, including this gig at The Cooler. The thrill of discovery is always fun for me whether it’s new music, new people or new places.

What can Irish audiences expect from your shows here with John Daly as part of the Limerick Jazz Quartet?
I tend to favour music that has really rich harmony and song like melodies. We’ll be playing some of my own compositions, and then filling out the sets some standards in that vein that (I think) are really fun to play. Also bad jokes… sometimes I simply can’t help myself when I’m interacting with the audience!

Trumpeter Paul Tynan is a Professor of Music at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada and co-leads the “BiCoastal Collective”, with Grammy winning saxophonist Aaron Lington.

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