Press Releases




MARCH 11 2015: Sligo Jazz Project has been inundated with bookings for its 10th Anniversary summer school event, 21-26 July 2015. The international summer school and festival, held in beautiful Yeats Country in the northwest of Ireland, has grown into one of the most unique and best value events of its kind in the world, with participants flocking from all parts of the globe each year to spend a week with some of the finest jazz players on the planet.


The stellar 15-strong 2015 faculty includes Grammy winning US saxophone legend Ernie Watts, vocalist Liane Carroll and this year’s guest of honour, US recording legend Chuck Rainey (Steely Dan/ Aretha Franklin etc). For the first time in its ten year history SJP hosts a Band-in-Residence, The Impossible Gentlemen, a wonderful quartet of UK and US musicians: Steve Rodby, bass, Gwilym Simcock, piano, Mike Walker guitar and Adam Nussbaum, drums, who will give ensemble workshops as well as individual masterclasses.


The long list of previous musicians who have inspired and educated in Sligo is impressive, including Rufus Reid, Jean Toussaint, Norma Winstone, Alan Broadbent, Kenny Werner, Ian Shaw, Alan Barnes, John Taylor, Ulf Wakenius, Anita Wardell, Cleveland Watkiss, Paul Wertico and Paul Clarvis.


Along with the summer school programme, all participants gain admission to every concert in a truly world-class jazz festival. The line up includes all the above summer school faculty members plus festival opener, world music star Dhafer Youssef , Dublin City Jazz Orchestra and many more.


SJP artistic director Eddie Lee describes an action packed week that requires some stamina from participants: “Our workshops take place from 10am-4pm each day, with twice daily jam sessions at 6 and 10pm till late and an 8pm festival concert each evening too, so it’s pretty full-on, but the camaraderie that is built throughout the week between participants and the teaching faculty of musicians is really special. The week culminates in a Sunday afternoon concert by all participants, we expect between 80 and 100 onboard so I advise early booking. Early bird rates apply to bookings paid for before the end of May”.


Fees are from €330 for the six day programme. A limited amount of subsidized quality accommodation is also available. For the full faculty and booking information, see

13 July 2012

  • Rufus Reid & Paul Clarvis to open Sligo Jazz Trail

The first free event on the Sligo Jazz Trail is Paul Clarvis and Friends on Tuesday 24 July at 6pm in Hargadons. It sounds casual enough but at this informal session, passers by will hear a man who has played with everyone from Mick Jagger to Nina Simone & a multitude of blockbuster movie scores by John Williams, joined by Sligo’s own Mike Nielsen on guitar and a surprise late addition to the bill, US jazz double bass legend and award winning composer Rufus Reid – Not an average Tuesday evening in Hargadons then!

  • Clarvis – Going for Gold

Sligo Jazz Project has given drummer Paul Clarvis permission to return briefly to London on Friday 27th July to lead 1,000 drummers in a spectacular opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics. Paul will be back in the classroom at SJP on Saturday morning, and play 2 gigs that day at the festival – a true pro!

  • Owiny Sigoma – World Music at its quirkiest!

The Owiny Sigoma Band hail from furthest-flung Nairobi and London, will be SJP’s festival club band on Saturday 28 July. They play a mix of Kenyan tradistional styles with a modern Indie sensibility. Think Damon Albarn meets Fela Kuti and you might get close.

  • Rufus Reid – bass legend – last visited Sligo in 2007, when we had the largest Jazz education event ever held in Ireland, with over 100 participants. The man who has performed with legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon and Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, said to a frantically busy SJP’s Eddie Lee that year: “You have become victims of your own success!”


  • Recession Buster! 


Did you know – you can buy a Sligo Jazz Season Ticket for all five 8pm Hawkswell Theatre events between Tues 24- Sat 28 July for just €65? – Recession Buster!

12 July 2012

Sligo Jazz Project – a Recession-Busting Feelgood Week!

With all the doom and gloom about these days you’d almost expect a trimmed-down, low budget Sligo jazz festival this season, but the busy folks at Sligo Jazz Project (SJP) have had other ideas. With almost 50 concert events taking place in 7 days, an international lineup spanning three continents and a burgeoning summer school attendance, SJP’ International Summer School and Festival of Jazz and World Music (23-29 July), has gone from strength to strength and now provides the people of Ireland and abroad with one of Europe’s premiere jazz events. Education, inspiration and entertainment, Sligo Jazz Project has it all.

Last year the Irish Times described Sligo Jazz Project as “one of the most important events in the jazz calendar”. This year SJP hosts a week of world-class concerts at the Hawkswell plus nightly jam sessions, the biggest pub/hotel/café trail since Sligo Live and nightly  festival club events throughout the city.  The number of budding musicians representing over 10 countries, attending the summer school was heading into the seventies at the time of going to press in early July. Attendees of the summer school need some stamina, with workshops from 10am to 4pm each day and then a fabulous array of concerts and jam sessions to keep them busy into the wee small hours each night. With all this mutual activity to share, learning, playing music and listening to the world class festival acts together each day, then jamming together each night, participants experience a wonderful cameraderie that builds throughout the week and then culminates with a concert by all the summer school participants in the Garavogue on the Sunday afternoon, which is for many the highlight of the week.

“The summer school has established itself as a major international event” said SJP administrator Eddie Lee. “Someone told me last year we had nearly twice as many participants as the Yeats Summer School”. Eddie has worked tirelessly to build on last year’s success but has found this year particularly tough: “We have consistently strived to make each year better than the last, learning from mistakes and trying to use the budget wisely, but 2012 really has been challenging. Nevertheless we will have more free music this year than ever before and a huge variety of musical acts on both the jazz trail and main concert programmes”. The fact that so many venues have come onboard is testament to the trust SJP has built up locally.

Highlights of the 2012 festival are the opening night (July 23) concert by Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain & Masters of Percussion – who will be performing venues such as Carnegie Hall on the same world tour as their Sligo appearance, British Scandinavian trio Phronesis, (July 24) who have been described by Jazzwise magazine as “one of the most exciting bands on the planet today”, and the return of Rufus Reid, the USA bass legend who has confirmed will make an appearance with UK Paul Clarvis to launch the jazz trail in Hargadons on July 24th at 6pm and lead the stellar 16-strong faculty through a revue style concert ion the Hawkswell on Saturday 28th. Thats the beauty of Sligo Jazz Project’s annual main event: You never know who you might encounter in the likes of Hargadons, Furey’s, The Harp Tavern, The Swagman, The Glasshouse or Shenanigans. It could be a Grammy winner, or a young Presidential Berklee Scholar (Matthew Halpin on the SJP faculty). It could be Amy Winehouse’s former musical director (Nigerian born guitarist Femi Temowo in the Hawks Well Thursday July 26), a world-famous DJ (Gilles Peterson in the Clarence Festival Club Thursday 26), or a man who has played with Nina Simone, Paul McCartney and all the Harry Potter soundtracks (Paul Clarvis, performing in venues such as Hargadons, The Glasshouse & Hawkswell theatre throughout the week and jets back to London on Friday to lead 1,000 drummers at the Olympics opening ceremony).

For more information see the website, check out the festival and jazz trail programmes locally or download the smartphone app (also Sligo produced) by scanning the Sligo Jazz fest poster or newspaper ad or searching for Sligo Jazz in the iTunes app store.


SLIGO: JULY 4 2012

Paul Clarvis, far right, leads a happy troupe of percussionists at Sligo Jazz Project 2011. Expect more of the same, except perhaps slightly bigger, at this year’s Olympic Opening Ceremony. Photo Lieve Boussauw.

Q: What have the 2012 Olympics and Sligo Jazz Festival’s pub and café trail got in common? A: A certain Mr. Paul Clarvis, percussionist extraordinaire. For the past three years, top UK session drummer Paul Clarvis has been an annual visitor, as a tutor and performer, to Sligo Jazz Project’s international summer school and festival of jazz & world music.

This year Paul’s Sligo involvement carries a small proviso: that Sligo Jazz Project allows him to return briefly to London on Friday 27th July to lead the biggest troupe of drummers ever assembled in the UK for a spectacular opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics. This once in a lifetime event will be really something special, even for Paul, who could be forgiven for being a little passé about such matters, as he has a CV that reads like a “who’s who?” of recent music history: Paul has performed with Nina Simone, Mick Jagger, Leonard Bernstein, Kenny Wheeler, Elton John. Paul McCartney, John Williams, appearing on literally scores of Hollywood blockbuster soundtracks such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, James Bond and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

When July comes, however, Paul loves nothing more than to spend a week in Sligo sharing his considerable knowledge with students by day, and come the evening, sitting to play jazz standards with friends on the Sligo Jazz Trail in the intimate surrounds of Hargadons pub and other venues.

The 2012 Sligo Jazz Summer School kicks off on Tuesday July 24th. That evening at 6pm In Hargadons, Paul Clarvis (he of Nina Simone, Mick Jagger and Leonard Bernstein fame) and friends play the first of almost fifty jazz & world music performance events taking place throughout the week in various city centre hotels, pubs and cafés.  All venues taking part in the Sligo Jazz Trail are walking distance from each other: Koko Latte, The Harp Tavern, Glasshouse Hotel, Lyons’ Café, The Swagman, Café Fleur, Source Sligo, Hawkswell Theatre, Hargadons. Fureys, Osta Café, Shenanigans, Kennedys, Fifth on Teeling and The Garavogue Bar.

Each evening from Tuesday to Thursday there will be continuous events from 6pm onwards, and from Friday onwards the fun starts even earlier, as early as 12.30pm.

Just some of the acts on the Jazz Trail are: The Roaring Forties, Richie Buckley, Mia Parsons, Des Hopkins, Gay McIntyre, The Jazz Ladds, Mike Nielsen, Brian Dunning, Hugh Buckley & Sinead Conway.

The Sligo Jazz Trail Programme will be launched on Sunday July 15 in the Harp Tavern, after the weekly Sunday session with the Jazz Ladds. This programme and the main concert programme are already available to download at and also appear on the Sligo-developed smartphone app, which can also be downloaded via the website.

Incidentally, Paul Clarvis will bounce back from London to Sligo on Saturday morning July 28th, courtesy of the nice people on the Olympic organizing committee, in time to teach that morning and perform with bass legend Rufus Reid at the SJP All Stars concert in the Hawkswell Theatre that evening. Loyal as ever: a true pro.