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 musicâ€™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 cityâ€™s jazz-loving Minister of State Jan Oâ€™Sullivan.
â€œThe festival is building on our 30 yearsâ€™ experience of bringing the best of jazz to the mid-west,â€ said John Daly, chairman, Limerick Jazz Society. â€œThe 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 canâ€™t wait to welcome such tremendous jazz musicians to Limerick city.â€
And the festivalâ€™s line-up of top Irish and international acts is testament to the work of the society, according to Shannon Developmentâ€™s Eoghan Prendergast, a big fan of Pat Metheny.
â€œLimerickâ€™s culture is incredibly diverse in its richness and variety and music has a huge role to play in that,â€ Mr Prendergast said, adding Shannon Development was â€œvery pleased to support Limerick Jazz Society in this exciting and special event.â€
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). Lockeâ€™s CV includes dates with the likes of Grover Washington Junior and Miles Davisâ€™ sideman Ron Carter.
See www.limerickjazzfestival.com for the full program, including free gigs around town.