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Limerick Jazz & Improvised Music Company in assoc. with University Concert Hall, Limerick

Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022

On Sunday April 10th, 2022, Limerick Jazz, in association with the Improvised Music Company, will host Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022 at the University Concert Hall, Limerick. This event is the first of its kind and will spotlight the best of young jazz talent from all over Ireland.

The finalists for Ireland's inaugural Young Irish Jazz Musician are Jamie Lundy, Julie Martin, Matthew O' Connell, Michael McCarthy, Miles Ronayne, and Nils Kavanagh. All performers will be accompanied by our house band.

The musicians taking part are aged from 17 to 22 and are from counties Clare, Cork, Dublin, Meath and Sligo. The judging panel is led by Limerick’s own Bill Whelan and also includes distinguished musician/broadcasters Ellen Cranitch and Linley Hamilton.

Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022 Finalists

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a 21 year old drummer from Cobh in Cork. He is currently in his third year of the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music at DCU and has performed a variety of jazz-centric music as part of his studies. Some of the groups and musicians he has performed with include the Cathal Roche trio, the Ben Prevo band and the Matt O’ Connell trio.

Matthew O’Connell

Matthew O’Connell is a jazz guitarist from Dublin and is currently studying Jazz Performance in DCU. His playing is rooted in the jazz idiom but adds his unique character to the style and draws influence from people such as Grant Green, Tom Ollendorf, Hank Mobley and Mike Moreno. He plays frequently with different groups such as his drum and bass trio and various other ensemble projects.

Jamie Lundy

Jamie is a saxophonist from Clare. He grew up in a musical family and was surrounded by a variety of musical instruments. He started off his musical journey by playing drums. He played with his school band but it was only really a hobby. As he started to get more into jazz , his dad came home one night with a saxophone for him and that’s where his passion for music began. He has been studying the saxophone and other woodwind instruments at the Limerick School of Music for the past four years. It was when he joined the Limerick Jazz Workshop and started doing a few gigs that he knew he wanted to pursue a career in music .

Julie Martin

Julie Martin is a 17-year-old vocalist and guitarist from Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. She taught herself to play the guitar aged 8, and has been singinga s long as she can remember. Julie puts her love for jazz, particularly jazz vocalists, down to being immersed in the music from the youngest age, with her music-loving parents.

Nils Kavanagh

Nils Kavanagh is a jazz pianist originally from County Sligo. Beginning piano lessons at age six, Nils was introduced to jazz music at sixteen through Sligo Jazz Project. First learning from local jazz pianist Mark Murphy, he quickly developed a love for jazz music. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Nils studied under Scott Flanigan. He has performed with well-known Irish band Those Nervous Animals, and co-leads the group The Saffron Trio, with whom he has performed at both Sligo Jazz Project and Limerick Jazz Festival. Currently Nils is working as a professional musician in Cardiff and studying Jazz Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, tutored by world class musicians such as Huw Warren, Elliot Galvin, Paul Jones and Paula Gardiner.

Miles Ronayne

Miles Ronayne is an emerging jazz drummer from Meath. Studying BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance in DCU, he has performance and recording experience with the Gustavo De Morais Quintet and DCU JAZZ who covered “Lingus” by Snarky Puppy. His style encompasses traditional approaches from the likes of Elvin Jones and Max Roach and fuses them with contemporary influences such as Bill Stewart, Nate Smith and Edu Ribeiro.

Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022 Adjudicators

Bill Whelan
Bill Whelan’s Grammy Award winning score for Riverdance has been performed around the world and is currently celebrating its 25th year. To mark this occasion, Bill completed a new studio recording of the music from Riverdance with the RTECO. Bill has also composed the soundtrack to the film ‘Riverdance – The Animated Adventure” with a host of stars including Pierce Brosnan, Brendan Gleeson, and Aisling Bea.

His orchestral works include: The Seville Suite, The Connemara Suite and Linen & Lace for Sir James Galway. He has written music for the works of Paul Muldoon, Derek Mahon, Frank McGuinness and Paul Durcan. His film work includes “Dancing At Lughnasa” with Meryl Streep, “Some Mother’s Son” featuring Helen Mirren and “Lamb” with Liam Neeson. Bill is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, holds two honorary doctorates and is a member of Áosdána.

Ellen Cranitch
Ellen Cranitch is a flute player, composer and broadcaster. She has played extensively with The RTENSO, RTECO, and countless chamber ensembles. Her interest in theatre and improvised music led her to collaborations with The Abbey Theatre, CoisCeim, The Performance Corporation, and she has written scores for radio, television and film. She has been a broadcaster with RTE for 18 years, and currently presents the late night eclectic music show, Vespertine, on RTE Lyricfm.

Linley Hamilton
Linley has been a part of the Irish music scene for over twenty years and since then he has juggled a career as a trumpet player with being a BBC Jazz Broadcaster and a Lecturer in Music at Ulster University Magee.

There have been many career highlights in the past with significant performances or recordings with Paul Brady, Van Morrison, Foy Vance, Eleanor McEvoy, Jacqui Dankworth, ASIWYFA, to name a few, but he is working just as hard as ever these days and is celebrating success with his own recent albums ‘In Transition’ and ‘Taylor Made’ with his quintet which features Johnny Taylor piano, Damien Evans bass, Julien Colarossi guitar and Dominic Mullen drums.

The album is available on iTunes and Amazon and from

In 2018 he released ’Making other Arrangements’, in which he partnered pianist Cian Boylan in outing out a 21-piece band…full rhythm section, saxes, woodwinds, a big 11-piece string section and a guest vocal slot from Dana Masters.

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