Emma Smith to celebrate jazz Watford this spring

''Watford is easily overlooked with its proximity to the capital,'' promoter Chris Newstead says, ''but we’ve got it going on here, and I hope this Celebration will shine a light on local talent as well as connect new audiences of all ages with some …

Published: 11 Feb 2020. Updated: 3 months.

''Watford is easily overlooked with its proximity to the capital,'' promoter Chris Newstead says, ''but we’ve got it going on here, and I hope this Celebration will shine a light on local talent as well as connect new audiences of all ages with some great acts.” The celebration he alludes to is ''Celebrate Jazz Watford'' to be held from 14-17 May. Artists set to appear include Emma Smith, pictured, who headlines a gala concert on Friday 15 May to be held at The Pump House Theatre. Smith attended the famous local specialist music school Purcell and is best known for her role in the vintage Andrews Sisters-inspired Puppini Sisters. Ensembles from the Purcell School and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra are also in the line-up. Tickets

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John Donegan tour details

For your gig-going radar pianist John Donegan is touring in Ireland soon. Donegan is influenced by Bill Evans, Lennie Tristano and Wynton Kelly among others and his albums include A Kite for Kate. Listening to this 2019 release just now, I'm …

Published: 11 Feb 2020. Updated: 3 months.

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For your gig-going radar pianist John Donegan is touring in Ireland soon. Donegan is influenced by Bill Evans, Lennie Tristano and Wynton Kelly among others and his albums include A Kite for Kate. Listening to this 2019 release just now, I'm hitherto unfamiliar with his work, his sound strikes me on a first few listens to also sit nicely alongside that of the approach of county Kerry-based pianist Brian Priestley at the heart of mainstream jazz imbued with impressionism and an immersion in modal sounds. Donegan's elegant approach can be heard at first hand in top Dublin jazz spot Arthur's on Thursday 27 February with his trio of Dan Bodwell on bass and John Daly on drums plus guest Ray Preston on harmonica; Dolans, Limerick on Friday 28 Feb featuring the trio again plus guest Michael Buckley on saxophone; Maggie's Farm, Co. Down on Saturday 29 Feb joining Donegan are Barry O’Donoghue on bass, John Daly on drums and Linley Hamilton on trumpet; and Blackgate, Galway on Thursday 5 March.