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One of those rare musical forms that doesn’t try very hard to be liked, jazz is, at heart, a celebration of every other musical genre known to man and beast.

Maaja Nuut

Only, with jazz, you turn those genres upside-down and back-to-front. And, if you’re really good, inside-out too.

Lionel Loueke Trio

It’s the big, wide-open, cinemascope spaces between the notes, and you can once again indulge in a whole weekend of widescreen music at the Bray Jazz Festival 2017.
Now in its 18th year, founder and curator George Jacob has once again pulled together an eclectic crew of international musicians, from Australia’s finest longest-song-ever improv masters The Necks to Baltic queer-ass-folk fiddler Maarja Nuut, from Blue Note darling guitarist Lionel Loueke to Norway’s answer to M. Hulot, accordianist extraordinaire Stian Cartenstein.
Inbetween, Danish trio The Firebirds will host a workshop examining the mash-up of classical composition in a jazz context, Zurich-based supergroup Pilgrim show why the likes of Dave Douglas and Nasheet Waits have called on their services, and Sweden’s Mailin Wättring 4 can be, we’ve been warned, ‘folkloric, introspective and hymn-like‘. Just so you know.

Stian Cartensen

And that’s not to mention all the groovy free gigs at The Harbour Bar, including Interskalactic, Zaska, CEO Experiment and Megacone, as well as other such notable international guests as Shantala Subramanyam from India and The Beats & Pieces Big Band from the UK.


It’s also worth noting that you can grab a weekend pass – which provides you with access to all the ticketed gigs over the bank holiday weekend – for just €80.

Double half-price nice.

With gigs at The Mermaid, The Harbour Bar and The Well [left], there is, hey, something for every fecked-up taste out there.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what the crucial difference between a rock star and a jazz fiend might be, the former plays three chords in front of 3,000 people whilst the latter plays 3,000 chords in front of three people.
Boom, agus, BOOM!

Running from Thursday, April 27th to Monday 1st – we’re allowing for those extra Harbour gigs, baby – you can find out more about the Bray Jazz Festival 2017 on their website here, and on their Facebook event page here. You can also follow the festival on Twitter here, but only if you really have to. Better still, just go and book a gig right here, right now.

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