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Down with Jazz 2015

Summer festival hijinks kick off with Down With Jazz festival this June Bank Holiday weekend (30/31 May) in the annual city-centre celebration of musical rebellion, with jazz, experimental and world music acts over 2 nights in Meeting House Square.

“The festival with a sense of humour” ( Irish Times Culture) harks back to 1930s Ireland when jazz and ‘foreign’ music was seen by the Catholic Church as a filthy force of corruption, and a repressive ‘anti-jazz’ campaign pushed to ban jazz from the dance halls and airwaves of Ireland. Today’s Down With Jazz festival links audiences with 21st century Ireland’s vibrant and diverse music scene through the tongue-in-cheek prism of this notorious period of social history.

Fast forward 80 years and Down With Jazz presents top level Irish jazz in the form of legendary guitarist Louis Stewart and quartet, as well as Isotope, one of Irelands longest running live jazz bands, performing almost weekly at JJ Smyth’s, since the mid 1980’s. Contemporary piano trio The Ceo Experiment join forces with acclaimed saxophonist and producer Michael Buckley.
Seventeen-piece Dublin City Jazz Orchestra will be bustin’ it out big-band style on Sunday, and audiences can funk it up with Joe O’ Callaghan’s jazz-fusion trio Electric Freeplay
Fully live and improvised hip-hop collective Mixtapes From The Underground make a welcome return with their "scorching collision of Jazz and Hip Hop” (The Irish Times).

High level rhythms from West Africa by renowned djembe and n’goni player Sidiki Dembélé, in Ireland for the first time performing with some members of Manden Express. And an exciting mix of Irish traditional tunes and 90’s hip-hop beats from Jiggy led by percussionist Robbie Harris.

Look forward to a a trip through Miles Davis-esque free jazz and funk grooves with six piece act Tongue Bundle, plus top level prog-rock and contemporary jazz from instrumental quartet Leo Drezden

2015 sees the 80th anniversary of the controversial, and still legit Dancehalls Act (1935). The Act, originally devised as a means of control and repression of ‘immoral’ jazz dances, ironically resulted in the demise of the rural Irish tradition of ‘dancing at the crossroads’ which became illegal, also making ‘house dances’ and the ‘hooley in the kitchen’ punishable with a hefty fine. Parish halls were erected with dancing strictly patrolled by members of the clergy and taxes on entry went direct to the government. The Dancehalls Act has been widely cited by historians to be a pivotal factor in the decline of Irish traditional music performance in Ireland.

Come down to the square for a hooley and enjoy some of the finest jazz and experimental music acts under the canopies in Temple Bar.

Tickets €12/15 nightly from

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