SLIGO JAZZ PROJECT
INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL AND JAZZ FESTIVAL 24-28 JULY 2018
Sligo Jazz Project’s annual event is one of Europe’s most unique festivals, built around Europe’s premier jazz summer school. This year Sligo Jazz Project has 26 tutors and attracts over one hundred and twenty participants annually. This fabulous bunch of avid music lovers forms our core audience and makes for an atmosphere like no other festival. As a consequence, the empathy that builds throughout this week is quite extraordinary. Participants attend workshops each day, perform together in ensembles, a wonderful facet of this week, when it spills over into our twice daily jam sessions, which feature participants and tutors alike.
But hang on, to use the term “tutors” is a massive understatement. We really need to elucidate about the type of musician that spends the week teaching and performing at Sligo jazz each year. Our 2018 faculty features musicians who have performed with Steely Dan, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Hans Zimmer, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Stevie Winwood, Dhafer Youssef, Joe Lovano, WDR Big Band, Kurt Elling, Maroon 5, Dirty Loops, Westlife, Annie Lennox, James Morrison, Van Morrison, Mose Allison and Nina Simone. We’ve had Grammy winners and Golden Globe nominees. These are not mere educators but consummate composers, arrangers and performers across a range of idioms. In Sligo you get the opportunity to learn from the masters.
It is these amazing musicians that will perform for you this week, in ever so unpredictable combinations. Catch them jamming with participants and playing concerts, only five of which are pay-in events. With all the free music available, it is easy to avoid the main concerts, but I implore you to get your season ticket for the Hawks’ Well. Theatre, you will not regret it! It is guaranteed to sound wonderful every night, thanks to our superb resident sound engineer and all-round great guy Ray Duffy, but also features some rich and varied treats such as Liane Carroll and the amazing female performers on our opening night, celtic fusion band The Olllam featuring bass superstar Joe Dart (who is also giving a rare masterclass), two big band nights, Dirty Loops bassist Henrik Linder with the Federico Malaman, and our very first composer in residence, Brian Byrne, who makes his Sligo debut for his show Goldenhair, inspired by the poems of James Joyce. Our annual SJP All Star bash has become m ore and more of a sellout each year, with the sheer breadth and variety of our faculty members’ musical abilities on full show. Apart from those main gigs, there is so much great music in pubs and cafes and hotels, not least the amazing Sunday afternoon marathon concert by all the participants. I would recommend catching every minute that you can grab of this exhilarating week!
Artistic Director, Sligo Jazz Project