I am incredibly happy to announce that the Arts Council of Ireland has awarded funding to Jazz Ireland for 2024. After overcoming significant administrative hurdles, the funding has finally arrived, allowing us to resume operations. I will be working part-time on Jazz Ireland for the remainder of the year, ensuring that most of the services we offered before can be maintained.

It's been over a year since my last newsletter or social media post, when I had to announce the closure of Jazz Ireland. It was a difficult decision, but a necessary one at the time. I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who reached out with messages of support and appreciation in the weeks following that announcement. While I couldn't reply to everyone individually during such an overwhelming time, I am deeply grateful for the response and for all the hard work that went into making Jazz Ireland what it became.

Special thanks go to Minding Creative Minds for assisting throughout the last year. 

What to Expect

I'm thrilled to announce that Daniel Rorke has rejoined the Jazz Ireland team to deliver monthly album reviews. Daniel's writing style and profound knowledge of jazz make his reviews a valuable addition to Jazz Ireland. This is crucial as media platforms dedicated to Irish jazz have been dwindling recently.

Our event listings and monthly newsletter will resume as soon as possible, so if you have an upcoming event, please get in touch. The blog will continue to feature posts on podcasts, radio shows, jazz news, festivals, and will include "The Hot Box" from Donald Helme. Donald has continued to host the show on Jazz Radio Eire over the past year, and I'm eager to share more episodes with you all.

Some Concessions

While we didn't receive full funding to cover all our initiatives, unfortunately, the e-commerce shop for the sale of Irish jazz albums will not be returning this year. However, we are optimistic that it will be included in our funding application for next year.

To bridge the gap, we will be running a very small fundraiser to support our efforts in delivering a full program for the remainder of the year. More news on that will be available in the coming weeks. 

Save Newpark Music Academy

save newpark music

Newpark Music Academy, a cherished institution fostering musical talent and community, has sadly announced its closure by the board of directors, shocking many in the Irish music community. For 45 years, Newpark has been integral, educating over 600 students and employing 42 dedicated staff, with alumni achieving notable success in music. The academy's closure, attributed to sudden financial issues revealed on 22nd May, prompted swift action from a dedicated group led by Deborah Kelleher and others, launching the Save Newpark Music campaign. This effort gained momentum with support from Arthur Cox LLP and public figures at a packed meeting on 11th June, highlighting the academy's profound impact and the urgent need to preserve it.

The board of directors cited financial issues as the primary reason for the closure, which came as a surprise, as no prior financial difficulties had been communicated. Newpark Music Academy's closure is a significant loss for Ireland's music scene, affecting thousands who benefited from its inclusive music education, from early years programs to intergenerational choirs. The academy's policy of welcoming students without auditions has been a key factor in making music education accessible to all. Your support is crucial to reopening in September and ensuring future generations can access the transformative power of music education.

We need your support to save Newpark Music Academy. Here’s how you can help:

Your involvement will help ensure that Newpark Music Academy continues to enrich lives through music education, preserving its legacy for years to come.

Full Article in the Jazz Ireland Blog

New Project Announcement – Book about JJ Smyths

farewell to jjs 2

Over the last year I have been doing research for a book about JJ Smyths. For those of you that don’t know JJ Smyths (JJ’s) was a landmark venue in Dublin city centre for 30 years, supporting the music scene it was the premiere jazz and blues venue. The venue created a family in the community, a home in Dublin where music was valued and everyone belonged. The manager Brian Smyth, an avid supporter of music, passed away shortly after the venue closed in 2017. A lot of that history has been lost with its closure and more importantly, the loss of Brian.

I want to reclaim as much of the history of JJ’s as possible and preserve this iconic venue in a book. It is early days yet, but the idea is to create a coffee table style book to show a record of what happened there, focusing on the music and the people that performed there.

I am asking people to share memories of JJ’s no matter how big or small, if you have photos, posters, quotes, jokes, anecdotes or even physical items from JJ’s then I want to hear from you.

More updates on this project will be available as it progresses.

Get Involved

As we embark on this new chapter, we invite you to be part of the journey:

  • Stay Updated: Follow Jazz Ireland on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates, album reviews, and announcements.
  • Submit Your Events: If you have a jazz event or news to share, reach out to us. We want to feature your contributions in our upcoming newsletters and blog posts.
  • Support Our Fundraiser: Keep an eye out for our fundraiser announcement. Your contribution will help us continue to promote Irish jazz and support our community of musicians and enthusiasts.
  • Attend an Event: Check out our calendar of events and mark your calendars for upcoming jazz performances and activities near you.
  • Spread the Word: Help us spread the love for jazz by sharing our posts and inviting your friends and family to join the jazz community.
  • Save Newpark Music: Please sign the petition, spread the word, follow the Instagram page and read the articles.

In Closing

I am excited to reconnect with the community.

Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm.

Red Keane

Red Keane
Author: Red KeaneWebsite: www.jazzireland.ie
Red is the founder and creator of Jazz Ireland, he actively maintains and develops the Jazz Ireland website and is very active on its social networking profiles.
More From The Author