Skip to main content

Live streaming event of Ireland’s first jazz recording Thursday 17th January 2019

Tomorrow morning Thursday 17th January at 10:45am, jazz fans can listen in to the first public play-back of the earliest known Irish jazz 78 recording via Improvised Music Company’s Facebook page, live from the inaugural Documenting Jazz conference at the Conservatory of Music and Drama, TU (formerly DIT) Rathmines.

As part of a roundtable discussion on the establishment of an Irish Jazz Archive at the Documenting Jazz conference, the Irish Traditional Music Archive will bring along special equipment to play the 78, and celebrate 70 years of Irish jazz recordings.

In 1949, 4 young men recorded what is, as far as we know, Ireland’s first jazz recording. It was recorded at the Irish Recording Company, located on Moore Street at the time. The musicians were Kevin O’Doherty on alto saxophone and clarinet, Niall Nelson on piano, Paddy Walsh on string bass and Darryl Burrowes on drums.

Kevin O’Doherty was a well known band leader who was sometimes billed as ‘Ireland’s King of Saxophone’ (he had a fan club in 1957!) while Niall Nelson could be found playing in musical theatre circles, including a Calypso concert with Marie Bryant (American dancer and singer) in 1954. Information on Paddy Walsh is sparse, but he may have been the same Paddy Walsh that played both in New York in 1945, and then returned to his native Tipperary and got involved in Theatre. Darryl Burrowes played as an amateur drummer until the 1980s and was President of Woodbrook Golf Club, where he organised the ‘Entertainers Golfing Society’, whose members have included Jim Doherty and Honor Heffernan.

When Charles Merideth (Rockfox) was ill he passed the 78 on to Ronan Guilfoyle who has had them in his possession since 2013. As part of the Documenting Jazz proceedings, the Irish Traditional Music Archive have digitised the recordings for posterity, but on Thursday they will be bringing in special equipment to play the 78s for only the second time since we don’t know when.

IMC wrap up 4 days of jazz talking with a double header concert on Saturdat night 19th Januaryt in Dublin's newest live music venue The Wild Duck. Details of this concert with ATSCH and The Meilana Gillard Trio available HERE

*UPDATE* You can now watch back and listen to this record

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to the IMC newsletter to keep up with the latest in Irish Jazz.

Sign up

Help us hold that note

Help support artists, and make the musical world in Ireland a richer place.