Limerick tunes in for its first festival of jazz

Alan Owens


Alan Owens

Montreux in Switzerland has one, and now Limerick is following suit.

Montreux in Switzerland has one, and now Limerick is following suit.

The city’s first ever jazz festival was unveiled this week and it is hoped it will follow in the footsteps of the Swiss music festival, one of the most prestigious in Europe.

Some heavyweight acts have already been lined up to play at the Limerick Jazz Festival, which will take place over the weekend of September 28-30.

Among them are the American Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer supergroup. Locke has performed and recorded with the likes of Grover Washington Jr and the Beastie Boys while Keezer has worked with virtually all living legends of jazz over the course of his career.

The festival is the brainchild of the long running Limerick Jazz Society - with support from the Arts Council and Shannon Development.

“The festival is building on our thirty years’ experience of bringing the best of jazz to the Mid-West,” said John Daly, chairperson of the society. “The jazz scene here is recognised as one of the strongest in the country with a lot of educational activity as well as performances and we can’t wait to welcome such tremendous jazz musicians to Limerick city,” he added.

The festival will mark the society’s 30th anniversary year - the longest continually active society in the country.

Limerick Jazz Society is renowned for bringing top Irish and international acts to the city on a regular basis over the course of its annual programmes, as well as nurturing local talent through their jazz education courses.

Shannon Development is supporting the city’s inaugural jazz festival, and Eoghan Prendergast, Limerick development division manager, said the organisation was “delighted” to do so.

“Limerick’s culture is incredibly diverse in its richness and variety and music has a huge role to play in that,” he said.

“The ability of the Limerick Jazz Society to get some of the world’s top jazz performers to play here over the years is testament to the respect in which the society is held by the jazz community and we are very pleased to support them in this exciting and special event for them and for Limerick’s cultural offering,” added Mr Prendergast.

The Lianne Carroll Trio from the UK and Irish acts the Black Magic Big Band and Crisis Point will also appear at the festival.

The acts will perform at the Lime Tree Theatre, Dolan’s Warehouse, the Belltable and Pery’s Hotel, while other free performances will take place around the city.

See for details.