2014 line up!

Saturday 31st May
Doors 7pm

Tommy Halferty Trio

Since the late 70s, Derry native Tommy Halferty has been an irrepressible voice, always lyrical and animated, and a formative influence on many Irish guitarists. Burkina is the new album with bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady and the trio gives it a vigorous work out for Down With Jazz.
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Guitarist Shane Latimer leads this gutsy quartet that runs the gamut from delicately sculpted electro acoustic shapes to gritty streetwise funk. Drummer Shane O’Donovan provides the pulse, Darragh O’Kelly brings the splashes of dark keyboard colour, and Djackulate is the free agent with the turntables, riffing on a creative consensus that draws on Krautrock, vintage TV shows, noise, musak and IDM, like a fluctuating soundtrack to a typical Saturday night in Dublin town.
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DFF bring us a seductive cocktail through the African filter of Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu, the chamber pop of cellist Vyvienne Long and the trad affiliations of composer Dave Flynn. The debut album Pouric Songs freewheels across the genres, an upbeat antidote for the times we live in with gutsy playing, lovely harmonies and grooves that summon up the elusive Irish summer.
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Booka Brass Band

Everyone loves a brass band, and inspired by New Orleans' Hot 8 and Chicago's Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, six Irish horn players and one drummer said, 'we can do that'. The result is Booka Brass Band and since 2012 they've been lighting up festivals like Electric Picnic and The Sea Sessions, providing brass oomph to Jerry Fish and Lisa Hannigan. Their summer 2014 even includes a Glastonbury slot. Their Whelan's residency has honed an ensemble sound with real bite, and a unique take on the contemporary r'nb playbook as well as originals that draw on diverse brass traditions.
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Alarmist craft a very personal music that embraces jazz, math rock, electronica and formal composition, offering further proof that the next generation of musicians are untethering themselves from the old stylistic dogma. Genres are harvested and manipulated, and multi instrumentalists Neil Crowley, Elis Czerniak, Osgar Dukes and Barry O'Halpin take a quasi orchestral approach that allows their music to hover in its own instrumental space, gravitationally pulled toward a rock aesthetic but constantly implying other philosophies in a way that excites.
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Sunday 1st June
Doors 6:00pm


Umbra might be the wild geese of the Irish jazz scene, with members returning home from Switerland, Belgium and the US to make this rare Dublin gig. At the helm is guitarist Chris Guilfoyle, whose tunes form an intriguing bridgehead between the rich harmonic world of contemporary jazz and the cyclical grooves of Aphex Twin, put through their paces by saxophonists Chris Engel and Sam Comerford, keyboardist Darragh O’Kelly, bassist Barry O’Donoghue and and drummer Matt Jacobsen.
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Blue Eyed Hawk

Welcome home singer Lauren Kinsella, who’s made quite an impression since moving to London a few years back. Named for a line in Yeats’ Under the Moon, Blue-Eyed Hawk features serious London talent in trumpeter Laura Jurd, guitarist Alex Roth and drummer Corrie Dick. A debut CD on influential label Edition is slated for later this year, but they’re already making waves on the UK festival scene with wide eyed, panoramic music anchored by Kinsella’s exhilarating way with words, squeezing the improvisational juice out of every syllable.
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Ensemble Eriu

Slowly, and then all of a sudden, the landscape of Irish traditional music seems to be shifting, with bands like The Gloaming and This Is How We Fly opening up an exhilarating world of textural and improvisational possibility to our old dance forms. Now comes the adventurous Ensemble Eriu, beautifully poised between jazz, trad and classical, with no sense of stylistic hierarchy or compromise. Co-led by bassist Neil O'Loghlen and box player Jack Talty, Ériu draws on an ambient, chamber palette of seven players, and the debut album has drawn effusive praise from discerning ears Like John Kelly, Jim Carroll and Nialler 9.
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Toot Sweet

Bayou Funk on the Liffey banks, courtesy of this latest outfit from piano man Cian Boylan, invoking the spirit of The Big Easy and the music of Dr John, Professor Longhair, Rebirth and Dirty Dozen Brass Bands. With swampy Hammond grooves and a take-no-prisoners horn section, Toot Sweet pack some real punch with Cormac Kenevey (vcl), Conor Brady(gtr), Brendan Doyle (sax), Mark Adams (tpt), Karl Ronan (tbn), with bassist Dan Bodwell and drummer John Wilde in the engine room.
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Manden Express

If Ireland has become a melting pot, Manden Express might be the band to provide its soundtrack. African, Latin and Irish musicians convene here in service of the good groove, predominantly West African as the name suggests, but sociable in its embrace of flamenco, jazz and funk too. They’re festival fit too, with previous shows at Body & Soul and Drogheda Samba Fest, and a dance friendly formula that is winning admirers at venues across Dublin from Sweeney’s to the Grand Social. Paul McElhatton introduces you to the Kamele n’goni, cousin to the West African kora, percussionist Brian Lynch has the djembe chops, and also inviting you to shake it are vocalist Emma Garnett, bassist Manuel Oliviencia, drummer Cote Calmet, guitarists Paddy Groenland and Jose Dominguez.
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