The Sofa Sessions, Kilkenny’s long-running jazz and creative music series, is moving from its home at Billy Byrne’s bar to the Yulefest Bandstand on Parade at Kilkenny Castle for Christmas week.
Programmed by Irish Times jazz critic and Sofa Sessions curator Cormac Larkin, the evening concerts at 7pm on Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd will present some of the biggest stars in Irish jazz in suitably festive form: internationally renowned bassist Ronan Guilfoyle’s Brazilian project, Tudo Bem! (20th); Dublin blues eminence Nigel Mooney’s special Christmas show (21st); and legendary rock guitarist Jimmy Smyth with his Xmas Organised band (22nd).
On this edition I pay tribute to the late great George Mraz one of the great Jazz bassist and composers, whose steady and tasteful playing enriched countless of recordings as a sideman and leader of his own groups.
On this edition you can hear a selection of music created with the support of the leading Irish Rhythm Section of Kevin Brady and Dave Redmond spurring on some of the best Jazz Musicians of our time including Bill Carrothers, Seamus Blake, Larry Coryell and Phil Ware.
In The Hot Box number 76 we delve into the Guitar Files labelled “G”.
The towering figure of Grant Green seems to dominate this file, maybe the most productive guitarist of the 1960’s, who sounded then, and still sounds, like nobody else. Then we have the young bloods, Alex Goodman from Canada and Riccardo Grilli from Brazil, both fully paid members of the New York jazz scene today. So the 76th Hot Box is rich in contrasting styles.
ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT LONG the magic of jazz at our fingertips with some extraordinary music by Bill Evans, Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Henderson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Horace Silver, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins and others.
New Release from Riona Sally Hartman entitled Fód which is the Irish word for Sod or a piece of earth. This wonderful new track is about finding courage and hope in nature. Available from November 11th from Bandcamp, Apple Music and Spotify.
“I would love it if tomorrow you got a pair of headphones, stepped out the door and went for a six-minute walk and listened once through from start to finish. No doom scrolling, no checking emails, just walking and listening. Is that a lot to ask? Yes, it is. I know it is, but that's what I'd love for this song. That's my wish that I'm putting out into the universe.”
Irish singer songwriter Aoife Doyle will release THEY SAY, the third single from her upcoming album on 16th November. It's a soulful song with fabulous brass arrangements by Michael Buckley and impeccable backing vocals from Margot Daly.
'Aoife Doyle combines the guts and vulnerability of a blues singer with the poise and musicianship of a well-schooled jazz artist .... Her albums to date have charted her growth from singer to songwriter, and she always keeps impeccable musical company.'
THE IRISH TIMES
'One of the most eagerly awaited albums... and it doesn't disappoint. It's right up there with anything I have heard this year.'
LINLEY HAMILTON BBC Radio Ulster
"THEY SAY is about learning to trust your gut and intuition. There are so many influences in this world and if we don't cultivate a strong sense of inner direction they can pull us in every direction and make for a confusing life.'
Aoife Doyle is originally from Bray, Co. Wicklow now living in Co. Clare. While she has been performing for many years, it was upon moving to the West Coast of Ireland that she found her songwriting voice.