Saturday, September 23rd, 2017
Location: The Lime Tree Theatre
ft. vocalists Suzanne Savage and Charlie Mooney
On Saturday night, for the festival’s Main Act, Limerick Jazz Festival is delighted to present the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra (DCJO) and special guest vocalists Suzanne Savage and Charlie Mooney
For this event, this ensemble of musicians will be performing a newly commissioned programme of music entitled: ‘Independence Airs’. Curated by Allen Smith of Jazz on the Terrace, ‘Independence Airs’ is a concert of 17 musical compositions which were performed regularly in Ireland and abroad during the historically significant year of 1917.
Always seeking new ways to “raise the bar” for the orchestra, Smith has challenged the orchestra to master and perform musical arrangements written over a century ago, and challenged them to accompany the vocalists who are being asked to reinterpret and perform the distinctive lyrics of this time period. This programme of music will offer a unique experience for both the orchestra and the audience. Those responsible for bringing this programme of music to fruition are David O’Rourke, big band music arranger; Ciaran Wilde, DCJO leader; Brendan Doyle, musical director of the DCJO; vocalists Suzanne Savage and Charlie Mooney; and the dedicated and highly talented members of the DCJO. The research of the year 1917, the songs and the musical arrangements was carried out by the curator of this project Allen Smith.
Given the nature of this programme of music, the question emerges as to what was happening in Ireland in 1917 that was affecting people’s lives? According to Allen Smith’s research, in 1917 there was the beginning of a lull period before the War of Independence took hold of the nation in January, 1919. The surviving leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were being housed in high security prisons in the United Kingdom, while lower ranked members were interred in prison camps in Wales and Ireland.
One notable occasion during this period was the arrival on the 18th of June, by mail-boat in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, of prisoners taken during the Easter Rising. On the 10th of July, Èamon de Valera beat the Home Rule candidate in the East Clare by-election, a very significant result for the Sinn Féin politician and party. In August of that year, W. T. Cosgrave was elected for Sinn Féin in a by-election in Kilkenny. At the end of October, 1,700 Sinn Féin delegates attended a convention in the Mansion House in Dublin where Èamon de Valera replaced Arthur Griffith as president of the movement. Louise Gavan Duffy founded Scoil Bhride, the first gaelscoil in Ireland. And on September the 25th, Thomas Ashe, who took part in the Easter Rising, died following forcible feeding while on hunger strike.
There were many other happenings and events in the cultural life of Ireland during this year. Francis Ledwidge’s volume of poetry Songs of Peace was published. The first novel of the writer Annie M. P. Smithson, Her Irish Heritage, was also published, and the first full feature length film made in Ireland, A Girl of Glenbeigh, was produced. Those born in 1917 were short-story writer and journalist Maeve Brennan; composer and professor of music Brian Boydell; composer and conductor Havelock Nelson; hurler and future Taoiseach Jack Lynch; and politician, writer, historian and academic Conor Cruise O’Brien.
DCJO was formed by saxophonist Ciaran Wilde and trumpeter Raymond Martin. Originally convened for a festival performance, DCJO has evolved from a weekly convivial session into one of the most impressive examples of big bands since the genre’s halcyon days of the 1950’s. DCJO have wowed audiences with superb performances at Electric Picnic; Cork Jazz Festival; Culture Night; and Kilkenny Arts Festival, playing big band music from the 1940’s and 50’s, along with some more contemporary and bombastic tunes.
The orchestra features 5 saxophones, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, bass, drums and guitar, all played by artists who represent some of the finest professional musicians in Europe. As individual session musicians members of the DCJO have performed and recorded with the likes of U2; Oasis; Van Morrison; The Symphony and Concert Orchestra; and top visiting musicians such as Dave Liebman, John Faddis, and Bobby Watson. There is nothing quite like a big band, and there is no big band quite like the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra!
Described as ́one of Ireland ́s hidden music heroes ́ (Belfast Telegraph), charismatic singer, songwriter, violinist and performer Suzanne has worked with musical royalty across jazz, singer-songwriter, choral, Irish and classical music.
Suzanne cut her teeth touring Europe and U.S. as Priniciple Soprano Soloist with Riverdance. Coming home to Ireland after a scholarship at the Italian FABRICA MUSICA institute, she has made music internationally with the likes of Irish music legends Paul Brady, Elenor McEvoy, Van Morrison; jazz greats such as Jimmy Cobb, Ernie Watts Quartet, Gary Husband and emerging talent such as David Lyttle (UK), Matteo Addabbo Organ Trio (IT) and Markus Strothmann (GER).
‘One of Ireland’s hidden music heroes’
-Lisa Flavelle, Belfast Telegraph
‘cool singer-songwriter… sublime violin playing… earning a respectable place near the modern soul of Jill Scott or Angie Stone. ‘
-Stuart Bailie, BBC N.Ireland
Dublin City Jazz Orchestra & Guests will be playing the Limerick Jazz Festival on Saturday the 23rd of September at 8 p.m @ The Belltable Arts Centre. Tickets: €22.50, available from The Belltable Arts Centre – phone: (061) 953 400; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.limetreetheatre.ie/shows/belltable