Down With Jazz - 2012
“Music borrowed from the savages of Africa by the anti-God society, with the object of destroying morals and religion” (Father Peter Conefrey, 1934)
New Years Day, 1934, Co Leitrim and Father Peter Conefrey earns a modest place in the history books, leading a mob on the first of the infamous Anti-Jazz marches against the ‘evils of jazz’. Fast forward to 2012, and there’ll be more jazz than you can shake a bishops crozier at the Down With Jazz festival in Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square on 24th, 25th and 26th August.
Jazz has never had an easy relationship with our wider culture, perhaps to be expected from music that celebrates the single minded pursuit of individualism and free expression.
Down with Jazz will celebrate today’s jazz generation; a chance for Dubliners to listen up to those ‘filthy rhythms’ upon which Church and State led xenophobic attacks some 80 years ago; their skewed nationalism banning jazz music on Radio Éireann, and accusing the Minister for Finance, Seán MacEntee of “selling the musical soul of the nation for the dividends of sponsored jazz programmes. He is out jazzing every night of the week!”
An Improvised Music Company production
Made possible by Temple Bar Cultural Trust & The Arts Council
The Anti – Jazz campaign highlighted some of the uglier aspects of cultural nationalism and it’s belief that only a Gaelic and Catholic identity could be truly considered Irish.
Cardinal MacRory heartily wished the Co. Leitrim executive of the Gaelic League success in its campaign against all night jazz dancing which he described as ‘suggestive and demoralising.’ He referred to these dances as, ‘a fruitful source of scandal and of ruin, spiritual and temporal’.Fr. Conefrey declared that jazz was a greater danger to the Irish people than drunkenness and landlordism and concerted action by church and state was requiredRef: Cathal Brennan http://www.theirishstory.com/2011/07/01/the-anti-jazzcampaign/#.UA_oL2FAZBF