The Navigator Jazz Residency programme, in collaboration with arts centres around the country, offers artists professionally remunerated time and space to develop and perform work with a deep sense of space, informed by community involvement.
The Navigator residency programme continues in 2023, with three new partners joining the programme, for a total of 7 improvising artists immersing themselves in an area to connect and create. Navigator 2023 will take place at Ballina Arts Centre Co. Mayo, An Grianán Theatre Co. Donegal, Tinahely Courthouse Arts Co. Wicklow, The Source Arts Centre Co. Tipperary, Riverbank Arts Centre Co. Kildare, Garter Lane Theatre Co. Waterford, and Crescent Arts Centre Co. Antrim.
The first artist of Navigator 2023 is double bassist and composer Neil Ó Lochlainn, who is in residence at Ballina Arts Centre.
In 2022, four diverse artists took part. Guitarist Chris Guilfoyle was in residence at Ballina Arts Centre, leading workshops with local schools and musicians and developing his music. Vocalist and composer Olesya Zdorovetska was in residence at An Grianán Theatre, Donegal, constructing work on the theme of ‘home’ through conversation with artists and people who have made Letterkenny their home. Guitarist and electronic musician Aengus Hackett was in residence at Tinahely Courthouse Arts Centre, working with local youth jazz bands and developing work based on sounds and poetry from Tinahely. Singer and activist Emilie Conway was in residence at The Source Arts Centre, Thurles, working with local choirs and artists.
In 2021, 4 residencies took place. Guitarist Hugh Buckley was in residence at The Source Arts Centre.
Cork pianist Cormac McCarthy travelled to the other end of the country for a residency at An Grianán Theatre, Donegal. “The opportunity to have a musician of Cormac's calibre working in the theatre is of enormous benefit to the music community here in Donegal. Through his residency he will be exchanging ideas with other professional musicians, and engaging with our music students - generously sharing his skills and experience. We hope to offer him the chance to make new creative partnerships and enjoy our rich local musical landscape.” said Patricia McBride, Director at An Grianán.
Singer & composer Ríona Sally Hartman was in residence at The Courthouse Arts Tinahely. “The Courthouse Arts Centre is delighted to welcome Ríona Sally Hartman to Tinahely this autumn. We are particularly excited to have an artist of Ríona’s calibre here developing work for young audiences and engaging with our local community. We look forward to bringing our audiences high-quality improvised music that is influenced directly by our surroundings and locale, and inspiring the next generation of Tinahely jazz enthusiasts.” said Denise Mc Grath, Director at The Courthouse Venue.
Finally, saxophonist and composer Nick Roth engaged with local musicians, schools, and visual artists at Ballina Arts Centre, Co. Mayo. Nick said: "The IMC Navigator residency offers an invaluable opportunity to engage in conversation with a local community through the international language of jazz. I am curious to discover and nurture new musical friendships, and hugely excited to have this chance to work and practise in the rich cultural landscape of Ballina Arts Centre."
Short documentaries made around the residencies show the creative process involved in the residencies and the exciting engagement with local communities.