Mike Walker (UK)

Mike Walker has performed and recorded over the past 20 years with many leading international jazz artists including Steve Swallow, Dave Holland, Steve Rodby, Palle Danielson, Arild Anderson, Peter Erskine, Adam Nussbaum, John Marshall, Bob Moses, Bill Frisell, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Vince Mendoza, Mike Gibbs, Mark Anthony Turnage, Tal farlow, Palle Mikkelborg, Mica Paris and Norma Winstone.  He performs and teaches for the first time at Sligo Jazz Project in 2015, as a member of our very first Band-in-Residence, The Impossible Gentlemen.
Mike is very busy with new projects. He has written new material for another album which will feature some great musicians from England and USA. He has nearly finished his book ‘The Comprehensive Fretboard System’. He is working hard to build a publishing business with long time friend and musician Iain Dixon, and there are plenty more gigs lined up in the future. He lives in Rossendale with his utterly beautiful children, who provide unending inspiration, without even trying.
More on Mike here at his website


Mike Nielsen (Ire)

Jazz Guitarist/Composer Mike Nielsen, was born in Sligo, and started playing the ukulele at the age of four. Michael won a scholarship and Jim Hall incentive award in 1982 to attend Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he studied from ’83-’85. He holds a classical performance diploma, LTCL (Licentiate of Trinity College of Music, London) and a Masters degree, MPhil, in music and physics from the DIT School of Physics, Dublin.Equally innovative on acoustic and electric guitars, Michael has gained a reputation as one of the leading guitarists in European jazz. He has performed with international artists including; Kenny Wheeler, Larry Coryell, Kenny Werner, Jason Moran, Simon Nabatov, Eric Revis, Michael Moore, Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman with whom he toured Europe in 2001 and New Zealand/Australia in 2004. He has also performed with contemporary classical ensembles VOX21 and Crash Ensemble and was guest soloist on two occasions with the RTE Concert Orchestra. Michael features on over fifteen recordings including two with Dave Liebman. Teaching since 1979, he lectures worldwide on jazz guitar, improvisation and microtonal composition. He is currently head of the Jazz Masters course in DIT, Dublin.

Pat LaBarbera - “Ask a Simple Question” Dave Liebman - “Tomorrow’s Expectations” Dave Liebman - “After Dark” Carnataka College of Percussion & Okay Tamiz - “Mishram” Nielsen/Guilfoyle Trio - “Part One” Nielsen/Halferty Guitar Duo - “In Two” Septet Music - “Septet Music” w/ Dave Murphy - “Hong Kong” Mike Nielsen “Live @ the Inrternet Cafe, NY”, Eric Revis-Bass. Mike Nielsen “Solo at Garden City”

“One of the best and most original jazz talents ever produced in this country” - IRISH TIMES
“M.N. is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s most distinctive and iconoclastic guitar voices, equally innovative on electric and acoustic guitars” - SUNDAY TRIBUNE
“M.N., definitely one of Europe’s most ‘worth hearing’ on his instrument today”. - ARBETET (SWEDEN)
“I have always loved Mike’s unusual approach to guitar and music in general. Truly a unique, one of a kind voice, the music here burns with creativity and passion” - SOLO GUITAR CD.SLEEVE NOTE, BY DAVE LIEBMAN


Joseph Leighton (NI)

Joseph Leighton is one of the finest young jazz guitarists to emerge on the Irish jazz scene. He has performed alongside established jazz musicians Meilana Gillard, John Leighton and MOBO nominee David Lyttle. As well as regular residencies performing in his hometown of Derry, Joseph has also played at the Derry City Jazz festival and Stendhal Festival of Art. In 2016 Joseph featured in the line-up for Brilliant Corners Festival in Belfast playing support to acclaimed duo Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock and the Vein Trio.

He has studied under David Lyttle, Mike Walker, Vijay Iyer and Jesse Van Ruller, was one of the youngest musicians to be awarded a place on the Jazz Course at the Banff Centre, Canada and was selected as one of Moving On Music’s ‘Emerging Artists’ 2016-17. With his recently established Joseph Leighton Trio, featuring James Anderson (drums) and Jack Kelly (bass), he is a talent to watch.

“Leighton’s genre is assuredly jazz…one foot in the modernists’ camp. The other is firmly planted in a tradition that stretches from Jim Hall to Pat Metheny, his clean articulation and spacious phrasing accentuating an overtly melodic approach.” – All About Jazz
“Joseph Leighton acquits himself superbly…a unique on stage presence through casual appearance and understated instrumental command.” The Big List
“An impressive thirty-minute performance that pleasingly featured original compositions in Leighton’s “Planet Nine”…The rousing ovation that greeted their half-hour set from a packed Black Box was fully deserved.” All About Jazz