Mon, Apr
1 New Articles

Ballina, and all that jazz

Going Out

NEW GENERATION Lauren Kinsella and Chris Hyson of Snowpoet.

Ballina Arts Centre is spoiling jazz fans this March with a special two-for-one ticket deal on two great gigs – Snowpoet and A Tribute to Thelonious Monk.
First up is the great jazz/folk sound from London-based Snowpoet this Thursday, March 8, at 8pm. Snowpoet is a fusion of the writing duo of Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year Lauren Kinsella and composer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Hyson. This is beautiful music, tender and subtle—her voice is fresh, authentic and intense, and he finds the matching sound.
Born out of a deep musical friendship and understanding, their acclaimed self-titled debut ‘Snowpoet’, has garnered rave reviews and a devoted audience for their compelling sound, which has drawn comparisons with Bjork. Their growing reputation as one of the most innovative and creative new jazz bands in the UK today is well deserved. 
Reviewing the album, Alfred Archer of Folk Radio UK descfbed it as ‘an ethereal, psychedelic, and magical combination of lyrical, nature-inspired poetry and modern innovative folk music’. BBC Radio 3’s Mara Carlyle was rather more direct, saying it’s ‘like being punched in the face by a butterfly’.
The following Thursday, March 15, the arts centre will host the tribute to jazz genius Thelonious Monk. The American pianist and composer, who died in 1982, had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including ‘Round Midnight’.
The music of Thelonious Monk is a constant fascination, and has been the subject of renewed focus thanks to his birth centenary last autumn. His compositions and his pianistic approach to other people’s material, were initially condemned as being too weird—or even as incompetent. However, musicians like Coleman Hawkins and Dizzy Gillespie immediately saw his value, and he went on to influence the next generation of soloists, such as Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane.
Next Thursday’s programme will include everything from Monk’s most simple and singable tunes to compositions that still present a challenge to adventurous performers.
Brian Priestley, though better known as a writer and broadcaster, is an inveterate pianist and a huge fan of Monk. He’ll be joined by former Dublin resident (via Monaghan and the US), Tom Caraher on saxophone. Driving the engine will be the hot rhythm-section of Kinvara-based Paul O’Driscoll on bass and Limerick drummer John Daly.

To get two-for-one tickets (€15 / €12) for these two jazz shows, call Ballina Arts Centre on 096 73593 or book online at www.ballinaartscentre.com. Both shows start at 8pm.