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Photo: China Moses



Welcome Bray Jazz Festival returns for its 19th annual instalment on the May Bank Holiday weekend, and will host more than 40 concerts, recitals and jazz trail shows at venues across the town. Now the longest established and best-known jazz festival event within the Greater Dublin area, we have presented approximately 750 shows featuring artists from every corner of the globe since we set out on this journey, in the Millennium year. For 2018 we have attracted a stellar bill of international talent – from the United States, Norway, France, Sweden, Holland, West Africa, the UK and Germany, and are delighted also to once again be able to present some of the cream of the crop of contemporary jazz talent from across Ireland. Bray Jazz is grateful to the many performers who have made the festival possible, and to the generous sponsors whose backing is vital, every year. In 2018 we say a sincere ‘thanks’ to The Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland, Wicklow County Council, Bray Town Councillors, Mermaid Arts Centre, The Harbour Bar, East Coast FM, RTÉ lyric FM, The Martello, The Glenview Hotel, The Royal Hotel, Music Generation Wicklow, Irish Rail, Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co, the Embassies of Sweden, Norway and the USA, as well as the cultural export support programmes Going Dutch, Jazz Promotion Network, and France’s Le Bureau Export, hosting the first concert of it’s ‘La Visite’ programme for 2018. We are grateful also to all our venues – Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray Town Hall, and this year the Novara Road Parochial Hall and Bray Methodist Church where we will host concerts. We appreciate also the support of the host bars and hotels that will stage shows, and help us to maintain Bray Jazz as “one of the very best small jazz festivals in Europe.”


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Friday, May 4th

6:30pm Town Hall: Cora Venus Lunny & Colm O’Hara (Irl) €12 8:00pm Mermaid: China Moses (USA) €26 8:30pm Harbour Stage: Riona Sally Hartman (Irl) Free 9:30pm Methodist Church: Trio Reijseger, Fraanje, Sylla (Holland/Senegal) €14 10:30pm Harbour Stage: Trainman Blues (Irl/Denmark) Free Saturday, May 5th

11:00am Town Hall: Jazz Workshop with Cora Venus Lunny & Colm O’Hara (Irl) Free 3:00pm Novara Ave Hall: Linley Hamilton, Cian Boylan & The Camden Orchestra (Irl) €10 3:30pm Harbour Stage: Umbra (Irl) Free 5:45pm Harbour Stage: Five to Two (Irl) Free 6:30pm Town Hall: Daniel Herskedal (Norway) €12 8:00pm Mermaid: Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Quintet: Sounds Prints (USA) €30 8:00pm Harbour Stage: ZoiD (Irl) Free 9:30pm Novara Ave Hall: Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-house (Germany/USA) €14 10:30pm Harbour Stage: Metropolis (Irl) Free Sunday, May 6th

3:00pm 3:30pm 5:45pm 6:30pm 8:00pm 8:00pm 9:30pm 10:30pm

Wicklow Wolf Brewery: Charlie Mooney Quartet (Irl) Free Harbour Stage: Tommy Halferty Trio (Irl) Free Harbour Stage: Aoife Doyle Band (Irl) Free Town Hall: Laura Perrudin (France) €12 Mermaid Arts Centre: Bobo Stenson/Jon Falt/Mats Eilertsen (Sw/Nor) €26 Harbour Stage: The Mushburgers (Irl) Free Novara Ave Hall: Jim Black - Malamute (USA) €14 Harbour Stage: Vernon Jane (Irl) Free

Monday, May 7th

6:30pm Harbour Stage: Ätsch (Irl/Germany) 9:00pm Harbour Stage: David Keenan Band (Irl)

Free Free

Various venues - Wicklow Wolf Jazz Trail May 4th - 6th, see P.18 for details


China Moses USA

Venue: Mermaid Friday, May 4th Time: 8:00pm Tickets: €26

“A new star has entered the Jazz firmament" – All About Jazz

US-born singer China Moses is a powerful, soul and R&B singer capable of swinging with the finest. Her charismatic live performances have made her a hot ticket on the international festival circuit. The daughter of Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater and director Gilbert Moses, she has been destined for musical greatness since she released her debut single to critical acclaim at just 16. China Moses made three soul albums for Virgin before she signed to Blue Note. Her 2012 album Crazy Blues was selected by The Times of London as one of their top 100 releases of that year. She is joined here by a stellar band that includes celebrated young British pianist Ashley Henry.


Venue: Mermaid Saturday, May 5th Time: 8:00pm Tickets: €30

feat. Lawrence Fields, Linda Oh & Joey Baron USA

For the past twenty years, saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas have been prime moving forces in the US jazz scene, their paths crossing often on stage and occasionally on record. ‘Sound Prints’ was created when they found what Douglas describes as “ the proper balance of personnel,” bringing pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda Oh and one of the most sought after drummers in US jazz, veteran Joey Baron together to form their new quintet. Taking their inspiration from the music of Shorter – the band’s name is a nod to his classic “Footprints,” the focus of this heavyweight quintet is on new original compositions – the latest suite of which are featured in their newly released second album ‘Scandal’, which was launched in April.

“The band switches tack, changes mood and explores the byways of each theme with wit, invention and a sound that is entirely their own” – Financial Times Review

The quintet continually explore swinging, heartfelt and sophisticated new territory, and are fast becoming something of a ‘supergroup’ of contemporary American jazz. Supported by the US Embassy

Nordic Jazz

BOBO STENSON / Jon Falt / Mats Eilertsen Sweden/Norway

Venue: Mermaid Sunday, May 6th Time: 8:00pm Tickets: €26

Pianist Bobo Stenson is one of the heavy-hitters in contemporary Nordic jazz. Stenson’s presence for many years on the iconic ECM jazz label is testimony to his status as one of the top players of his generation. The Swede is a master of the measured build up, and his blending of classical, jazz, and folk influences, together with uncommon time signatures has led to comparisons with some of the greats of the modern era.

Supported by the Embassy of Sweden.

His piano trio is regarded as one of the best in contemporary European jazz. Stenson is joined by Falt and with double-bassist Mats Eilertsen, one of Norway’s top players and himself a headline artist at a previous Bray Jazz Festival.


Venue: Town Hall Friday, May 4th Time: 6:30pm Tickets: €12

Cora Venus Lunny is a prodigiously talented violinist who performs across genres that range from contemporary classical to jazz and folk music. At aged 16 she was the youngest ever winner of the ‘RTE Young Musician of the Future’ winner, and four years later was chosen as second soloist by Nigel Kennedy for a world tour. She has performed and recorded with many of the best-known names in Irish music, Sinéad O’Connor, Gavin Friday and Damien Rice included. Colm O’Hara is one of Ireland’s most accomplished trombonists and a former member of the European Jazz Orchestra. He has played with some of the best known figures in contemporary jazz, including Dave Liebman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Tim Berne and Bobo Stenson. Colm has also played with Irish groups as ReDiviDer, Thought Fox, North Strand Kontra Band and Yurodny. Cora Venus Lunny and Colm O’Hara will present a fascinating suite of instrumental improvised music from two of the leading exponents of their craft.

Nordic Jazz


Daniel Herskedal is a Norwegian instrumentalist and composer who has defied the conventions of the tuba and pushed the boundaries of his instrument both technically and sonically to create a spellbinding and mesmerizing sound. His performances are a dizzying swirl of ideas, drawing their influences from European music, African American jazz and eastern influences to create a new form of ambitious world music that is in a class of its own. Herskedal has performed with a host of different projects and bands throughout Europe, including Django Bates and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, but it wasn’t until 2011 when he released ‘Neck of the Woods’ with saxophonist Marius Neset that the world really took notice and pushed his name to the forefront as a world class soloist.

Venue: Town Hall Saturday, May 5th Time: 6:30pm Tickets: €12

“t’s a glorious sound… he can do things with a tuba that’ll make your eyes pop out like organ stops. Sensational stuff…a wonderful combination of jazz and 21st century chamber music.” – BBC Radio Scotland Supported by the Embassy of Norway

Venue: Town Hall Sunday, May 6th Time: 6:30pm Tickets: €12

Laura Perrudin France

French harpist, singer and composer Laura Perrudin is a unique talent – an R & B neo-soul singer and virtuosic harpist who weaves rich musical tapestries that draw on classical, jazz, hip-hop and electronica to create music that is both singular and beguiling.

“Could we just say we LOVE the amazing Laura Perrudin and her superb album. Go listen! – BBC

Classically trained but brought up on a diet of jazz, Perrudin’s love affair with the harp began when her parents found their solution to her sleeplessness in the soothing melodies of Irish harp recordings. Supported by Le Bureau Export

She plays a custom-built chromatic pedal-less electric harp with a single row of strings – an instrument she augments with an arsenal of laptops, effects pedals and multi-track loops to create sinuous and soulful harmonies and sweeping soundscapes.

Part of La Visite 2018 *A Season of French Jazz in Ireland

Trio REIJSEGER, FRAANJE, SYLLA Netherlands/senegal

Celebrated cellist Ernst Reijseger’s trio project with pianist Harmen Fraanje and West African singer and percussionist Mola Sylla have been on many music fans watch list since their stunning debut ‘Down Deep’ appeared on many ‘best of ’ World Music albums in 2013.

Venue: Methodist Church, Florence Rd Friday, May 4th Time: 9:30pm Tickets: €14

Their music is a distillation of jazz and folk music from various musical worlds, mesmerizing melodies that speak from the heart and tell songs from the soil.

“The musical mix is powerfully original, it not only crosses genres, but also completely transcends them” – Vilnius Jazz 30

The go-to soundtrack composer of German filmmaker Werner Herzog, Ernst Reijseger is a cellist like no other. His playing can be jaw-dropping, as he by turns plucks, bows, thumps and strums the instrument, sometimes deploying props such as clothes pegs or plastic hair clips to take the cello where it has rarely before travelled.


'MAking Other Arrangements’ Ireland

Venue: Novara Ave Parochial Hall Saturday, May 5th Time: 3:00pm Tickets: €10

‘Making Other Arrangements’ is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for Northern Ireland’s Linley Hamilton, one of this island’s best-known trumpeters, and a figure who has graced recordings by artists as diverse as Van Morrison, Jacqui Dankworth, Paul Brady and Jean Toussaint. The just released album will receive its live premiere at this year’s Bray Jazz Festival. ‘Making Other Arrangements’ sees traditional jazz instrumentation augmented by woodwind and strings as an accompaniment to Hamilton’s soaring and melodic trumpet playing, on a range of classics including Dizzy Gillespie’s ‘Con Alba’, Freddie Hubbart’s ‘Brigitte’ and Artie Butler’s ‘Here’s to Life.’


German-born saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock is firmly established as a major figure in New York’s downtown left-field music scene.

Venue: Novara Ave Parochial Hall Saturday, May 5th Time: 9:30pm Tickets: €14

“Creative jazz will always retain its capacity to surprise as long as groups like saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-House are performing and recording”

With ‘Anti-House’, she brings together virtuoso experimental guitarist Mary Halvorson, pianist Kris Davis, bass player John Hébert and drummer Tom Rainey to create a sound that is endlessly inventive – engaging and challenging in equal measure. Laubrock is a past winner of the BBC Jazz Award for innovation, and won a ‘Rising Star’ of saxophone at the 2015 ‘Downbeat Annual Critics’ Awards. She explores compelling musical themes as collective conversations emerge from clean-toned soprano-sax swirls, or dark, melancholy low-tenor exhalations. Mary Halvorson supplies harp-like jangles, oblique swing or squalling noise, while pianist Davis can be abstractly percussive or lyrical, while Rainey is delicately textural or joltingly propulsive as the circumstances shift.

JIM Black Malamute USA/Iceland

Jim Black is a wonder on a basic 5-piece drum-set, his uncanny sense of time, quirky off-beats and pulsating approach to his craft have made him the jazz drummers drummer for many.

Venue: Novara Ave Parochial Hall Sunday, May 6th Time: 9:30pm Tickets: €14

“Black’s approach to his drums could be compared to a lit match being dropped on a pile of dry papers. The whole kit ignites, shooting sparks and flames in all directions” – Jazz Times

Here, Black leads a multinational acoustic-electric quartet that gels to off-kilter frameworks, centred in odd-metered phrasings; scalding rock grooves, progressive rock type blitzes and budding thematic developments. Icelandic saxophonist Óskar Guðjónsson’s cozy passages and spooky electronics are the counterpoint to keyboardist Elias Stemeseder’s grizzly effects, all of which ride above Black’s forceful percussive attack. A remarkably versatile and inventive drummercomposer, Black has been a major player on the alternative music scene in New York for over 20 years. Malamute is based on the idea of mix tapes and playlists, with music changing every few minutes – what he describes as “a short attention span” approach of improvisation and composition.

Harbour Stage Friday, May 4th, 8:30pm:

RIONA SALLY HARTMAN RĂ­ona Sally Hartman is musician whose lush vocal harmonies, acoustic softness and surrealist stories are filtered through her own unique pop aesthetic.

Friday, May 4th, 10:30pm

Trainman Blues Bluesman Richard Farrell has teamed up with Danish producer and bassist Laust Nielsen to produce music inspired by the raw and roots style blues of the 50s.

Saturday, May 5th, 3:30pm

Umbra Rising Irish jazz five-piece led by guitarist Chris Guilfoyle . Umbra are currently one of the hottest tickets in new Irish jazz.

Saturday, May 5th, 5:45pm

Five to Two Tight young Dublin-based piano trio.

Saturday, May 5th, 8:00pm

Zoid Jazz and electronics from experimental sound pioneer Daniel Jacobsen.

Saturday, May 5th, 10:30pm

Metropolis Jazz rock combo from the early 80s continue their successful return to the Irish music scene.

Sunday, May 6th, 5:45pm

Aoife doyle band Aoife Doyle has been one of the best known performers on the Dublin jazz scene for more than a decade.

Sunday, May 6th, 8:00pm

The Mushburgers Sunday, May 6th, 3:30pm

Tommy Halferty Trio

Reverb drenched electric guitars, The Mushburgers sound harks back to the California sound of the 60s.

Ireland’s top jazz guitarist Halferty and top notch trio.

Sunday, May 6th, 10:30pm

Presented with support

Dublin-based jazz punk band who are a powerhouse live five piece.

from the Harbour Bar.

Vernon Jane

Wicklow Wolf

Jazz Trail

The Hibernia

The Coach Inn

Friday, May 4th Dermot Byrne & Danny Tobin Country & Delta Blues 9:30pm Saturday, May 5th Five to Two 9:30pm Sunday, May 6th Julian & John 9:30pm

Friday, May 4th Jacob Dunlop Quartet 9:30pm Saturday, May 5th Mike Nielsen Trio 9:30pm Sunday, May 6th Dirt Road Blues Band 9:30pm

The Martello Friday, May 4th Live Music 9:30pm Saturday, May 5th Zaska 9:30pm Sunday, May 6th Moon & Son Trio 12:30pm Sunday, May 6th Paj 9:30pm

Five to Two The Hibernia May 5th, 9:30pm

The Royal Hotel Friday, May 4th Firm Roots


Butler & Barry Friday, May 4th Ätsch 10:00pm Sunday, May 6th Charlie Moon Organisation 10:00pm

Julian & John The Hibernia

Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co

May 6th, 9:30pm

Ocean Bar & Grill

Sunday, May 6th Charlie Mooney Quartet 3:00pm For information about this brewery visit, music and tasting opportunity contact: (reservations required)

Friday, May 4th Mike Nielsen Duo 7:30pm Saturday, May 5th Riona Sally Hartman 2 8:00pm

or visit: wicklowwolfbrewing

Mt Everest of Kathmandu

Whelehans Wines Loughlinstown Saturday, May 5th Hugh Buckley Duo 8:00pm

Sunday, May 6th Leopoldo Osio solo piano 6:30pm

Betelnut Café Saturday, May 5th Hugh Buckley Duo 1:30pm

Jazz Workshop with Cora Venus Lunny & Colm O’Hara How does an aspiring musician begin to write music? Where do you start, what is the process? For violin virtuoso Cora-Venus Lunny the question was answered at an early age. The youngest ever winner of the ‘RTE Musician of the Future’ award, which she won at aged just 16, Lunny was a child prodigy. Venue: Town Hall Saturday May 5th Time: 11:00am Tickets: FREE

Reserve your space by contacting box office on (01) 2724030

Supported by Music Generation Wicklow

She is now one of this island’s most accomplished violinists, a performer who plays across a broad spectrum of musics from classical and folk to jazz, experimental and improvised music. At this year’s Bray Jazz Festival Cora Venus Lunny and jazz trombonist Colm O’Hara will present a free to attend workshop to aspiring musicians of all ages. They will share with their audience experiences from their own professional careers that could be valuable, including practicing techniques, from beginner to advanced, tonal improvisation, music writing, and other topics including, for the classically trained musician – how can you ‘overcome’ this training to start improvising in the first place.

Tickets can be purchased through the website at: or by contacting Box Office at Mermaid Arts Centre on (01) 2724030. Find out more about our Weekend Passes and great Ticket Packages on offer this year.

Bray jazz brochure 2018  

Festival programme for Bray Jazz Festival 2018, which takes place for it's 19th year on on May 4-6 next.

Bray jazz brochure 2018  

Festival programme for Bray Jazz Festival 2018, which takes place for it's 19th year on on May 4-6 next.