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A Lyttle launch for new jazz lovers’ group

Going Out

JAZZ BEAT Drummer extraordinaire David Lyttle.

Ciara Moynihan

Following the resounding success of his performance in Westport last November, jazz drummer extraordinaire David Lyttle is set to make a welcome return to the Clew Bay Hotel on Wednesday next, March 27. The Belfast man will be joined once again by immensely talented young Derry guitarist, Joseph Leighton – but this time the pair will accompanied by another rising star, double bassist Jack Kelly, from Ballyclare in Co Antrim.
With nominations in the MOBO Awards and Urban Music Awards, David Lyttle has performed in 30 countries and collaborated with many of the jazz world’s contemporary icons and legends. Recently, he brought his music to China, making three trips with his solo drums show. He also spent some time touring in the US, travelling from LA to New York in a Cadillac DeVille and performing for unusual audiences – from cowboys to UFO tourists – in a month-long Arts Council-funded project.
“I started that trip fairly confident that people would be open to our music and that we’d find a way to connect with people who probably had no real interest in jazz. In my 15 years as a jazz musician, I’d become so used to hearing people say that jazz was too intellectual or highbrow for the average person to appreciate, but I never really believed that. In America we played for a lot of people who were hearing this kind of music for the first time and we didn’t have any bad experiences, so I think I proved that that notion wasn’t really true and in the process introduced a lot of people to jazz,” said David.
The upcoming gig in the Clew Bay Hotel is part of Lyttle’s current 50-date national tour, but it also marks the launch of Westport Jazz, a newly formed group of local music lovers that is planning to bring lots of high-quality live jazz to the town.
“We will be inviting renowned, high-quality jazz musicians, both nationally and internationally,” said Elizabeth Healy, the group’s chair. “We plan to hold regular gigs, starting with two or three gigs this year, and hopefully more next year. And we’re particularly delighted to be partnering with the Clew Bay Hotel, which will be our initial base.
“It is a really exciting development in the Westport musical scene, and [next week’s gig and launch] will be a great night! We are looking forward to welcoming newcomers to jazz as well as ‘jazz heads’!”
Described by the Irish Independent as ‘the best in jazz coming out of Ireland today’, David Lyttle is one of the island’s most forward-thinking and celebrated instrumentalists. By securing him for its first gig, Westport Jazz has certainly set the tone with a promising high note.

The gig starts at 8pm; admission is free. For more information, contact Westport Jazz at westportjazz@gmail.com.