Editorial: Jazz in Ireland

It seems timely that we lead in this issue with an article that focuses on jazz, for there are many important developments taking place at present in the jazz scene in Ireland. Indeed, there have been for some time, but it seems to have passed some sort of...

It seems timely that we lead in this issue with an article that focuses on jazz, for there are many important developments taking place at present in the jazz scene in Ireland. Indeed, there have been for some time, but it seems to have passed some sort of tipping point.
In the last decade, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of young jazz musicians. I don’t claim my experience to be representative, but many of the jazz musicians I know are people that I have known for years, but who weren’t playing jazz in the past. They have moved sidewards to it from other genres – rock, classical and traditional Irish – enticed by the challenge and a strikingly energetic world. That is an interesting trend that is undoubtedly set to continue.

The recent and very successful ‘Intro 05’ tour organised by the Improvised Music Company comprised ten Irish jazz musicians from this new generation, several of whom have come out of Newpark Music Centre in Dublin – where Ronan Guilfoyle is Course Director. It is major news indeed, therefore, that Newpark has this year introduced the first jazz degree in Ireland – the Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance. In roughly a decade, we have moved from a situation where studying music at third level by and large meant studying classical music, to an environment where you can undertake a degree in the performance of jazz, traditional music or classical music, or music technology, or a mix of all these together. The potential impact on musical life in Ireland of such a change is enormous.

TONER QUINN
Editor

 

Published on 1 November 2005

Toner Quinn is Editor of The Journal of Music. His website is https://tonerquinn.com/

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