Limerick gets in the mood ahead of jazz festival

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

BRINGING a jazz festival to their native city is the crowning achievement of all the volunteers at Limerick Jazz Society.

BRINGING a jazz festival to their native city is the crowning achievement of all the volunteers at Limerick Jazz Society.

For 30 years now, the society has been attracting the music’s top names to Limerick, with American sax star Joshua Redman playing the Belltable this Thursday.

The inaugural Limerick Jazz Festival - supported by the Arts Council and Shannon Development - takes place at various venues from September 28 to 30 and was launched at the Clarion this week by the city’s jazz-loving Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan.

“The festival is building on our 30 years’ experience of bringing the best of jazz to the mid-west,” said John Daly, chairman, Limerick Jazz 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.”

And the festival’s line-up of top Irish and international acts is testament to the work of the society, according to Shannon Development’s Eoghan Prendergast, a big fan of Pat Metheny.

“Limerick’s culture is incredibly diverse in its richness and variety and music has a huge role to play in that,” Mr Prendergast said, adding Shannon Development was “very pleased to support Limerick Jazz Society in this exciting and special event.”

Headlining the festival at the new Lime Tree Theatre at Mary Immaculate is the quartet co-led by American virtuosos Joe Locke (vibes) and Geoffrey Keezer (piano). Locke’s CV includes dates with the likes of Grover Washington Junior and Miles Davis’ sideman Ron Carter.

See www.limerickjazzfestival.com for the full program, including free gigs around town.