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Matthew O'Connell Quartet

“He had a very good sound from the very beginning, that's a natural kind of thing. He was exceptional in that regard.”

– Ronan Guilfoyle

We are delighted to announce our first recipient of the ‘Excellence in Ensemble Performance Award’. This award is a partnership between Dublin City University’s Jazz & Contemporary Music BA program, Improvised Music Company and Magy’s Farm and is given to the student who receives the highest marks for their final year performance at the National Concert Hall.

The 2023/24 winner Matthew O’Connell will perform with his group at The Cooler, Dublin on Thursday May 30th, and also at Magy’s Farm, Dromara on Saturday June 1st.

Cormac O’Brien, Chair of the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music at DCU said: “Matthew O'Connell has shown incredible talent and ability since beginning his studies at DCU and has gone on to excel as a guitarist and musician. He will undoubtedly become one of Ireland's foremost jazz guitarists and will hopefully go on to produce many outstanding artistic works. This ‘Excellence in Ensemble Performance’ award recognises the high level he has achieved as a performing artist and band leader during his time at DCU on the B.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance program.”

Matthew O'Connell is a Dublin-based jazz guitarist, educator, composer and recent graduate of DCU where he completed his BA in Jazz and contemporary music performance. With a unique and fresh sound, O'Connell draws inspiration from a wide range of styles and artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Charlie Parker and Tom Ollendorf. He has played in many groups and projects as a bandleader and sideman such as ‘Blue Notes’, alongside Irish bassist and composer Ronan Guilfoyle, Tom Maxwell’s Organ Trio and his own Matt O'Connell Trio. For the past two years has also been developing a collaborative project named ‘2 Guitars’ with guitarist John Keogh.

As an emerging artist on the Irish jazz scene, O'Connell was a finalist for the Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022. Joining O'Connell in this quartet are three highly acclaimed jazz musicians Aidan Gray (bass), Michael McCarthy (drums), and Darragh Hennessy (piano). Darragh is an active member of the Irish jazz scene and has spent many years working as a sideman and bandleader with albums such as ‘Duchenne Smile’ to his name. Michael McCarthy and Aidan Gray have previously joined Matthew as part of his trio, and have recently been working alongside Australian saxophonist Daniel Rorke.

On the night the group will perform a selection of Matthew’s compositions, reflecting his diverse range of influences, and perhaps a jazz standard or two. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a rising star of Irish jazz in the early stages of his career!

The Cooler is upstairs at The Complex Arts Centre, in the heart of Dublin 7. The Cooler is accessed via the Mary's Abbey door of The Complex (just off the LUAS tracks), NOT the Arran St East entrance to The Gallery. You can find the red wall which features ‘The Complex’ sign in large white letters, and The Cooler is accessed by the small blue door or the glass door on the blue wall.

During the day, the footpath and paving in front of The Complex can often be filled with fruit and vegetables from our neighbouring businesses - you can still access the Cooler at these times, don’t let the carrots be a barrier!

On Google Maps, search for The Cooler or The Depot at The Complex (the main performance space downstairs at The Complex). On Google Maps, the address for The Complex generally will bring you to the gallery on Arran St East. The red line of the LUAS runs very close to The Cooler, taking the stop at Jervis St or at Four Courts. There is no customer parking available at The Complex. A small gated Dublin City Council car park can be accessed on Marys' Lane, around the corner at standard rates. Jervis Shopping Centre Car Park is also close by. Some street parking is available nearby - days and rates vary, please check signs. For performances, The Cooler bar is open at door time (usually 30 minutes before the start of the performance), and during intervals. To make finding a seat and getting your drink a comfortable experience, please ensure you have enough time before the music starts!

The performance space is up two flights of stairs and may be difficult to access for patrons with mobility issues. The space is fully seated. Gender-neutral toilet facilities are available upstairs (a few steps up from the level of The Cooler). Baby-changing facilities are available at The Gallery, downstairs at The Complex (using the Arran St entrance).

If you have any other queries regarding accessibility or require any accommodations for seating etc, please contact us at admin and we will do our best to assist you.

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