The latest in files recently saved from my old computer, the programme of the first ever Galway Jazz Festival! I began the festival with my wife Lorraine (we got married shortly after the first festival), and Fidelma Mullane, who was on the board of the Galway Arts Festival. I was involved with the festival until 2008, when I moved to Dublin. Fidelma and others kept it going, it changed hands a few times and it was announced after the 2019 that the organisers weren’t carrying on with it. I was always delighted to be asked to go back as a musician. We always put an emphasis on education and outreach. I’m very proud of it!
I’ve had an old PC under my desk for a long time and finally got around to taking some files off it so I could get it recycled. I was delighted to find I had some records of the Galway Jazz Club that myself and my wife Ann Lorraine Mack ran from 2004–2007, with lots of help from friends and volunteers of course. I’m going to add to this project over the coming weeks and months with some publicity photos and posters, but to get the ball rolling, I think this is a somewhat complete list of everyone who headlined the club from 2004 until 2007. The majority of the gigs used a local rhythm section which was usually myself, Declan O’Donahue or Ken Hall on drums, John Dunne or an American pianist John King on piano. Danny Healy often sat in on trumpet too. In the meantime, a little Galway jazz history:
Back in 2019 I had an article published in the Association of Irish Composers (AIC) New Music Journal. It was a discussion about how composition can function within a jazz ensemble, and I focused on the composition Rum by Irish pianist Greg Felton. Inspired by the rhythmic experiments of pianist Vijay Iyer and the writings of ethnomusicologist Ingrid Monson, I outlined our own rhythmic experiments where a clave sounds very similar when played in 5/4 or 7/4. The article can be found here and a performance of Rum is below.