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Flute lessons in Bath?

Looking for Music Lessons?

Clarinet,saxophone, piano or keyboard. Brush-up on theory? Maybe some practical harmony, improvisation or ear-training. Get that instrument in tune! Belfast locality. Beginners welcome
Tel: 02890963605

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Spring daisies from Vesselka,champion of Bulgarian rhythms

Walking in Ulster with the Spartan Red Sox


Bulgarian Experience

Sam Orr at the John Hewitt (mp3 clip)


A snippet from the travel pages.

Bulgarian news

Friends from the Pirins



Howard McGhee 
from an original by local Belfast artist Mary Doyle


A serious look at politics in Northern Ireland!

 Listen to latest jazz-swing MP3 clips from the BJO.         Music Lessons in Belfast;   Mozesz brac Lekcje Prywatne w Belfascie;   Clases musicales,.

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Next gig -  Belfast Jazz Orchestra, October  1st 2012 Short Bros Sports and Recreation Club .
What the IRISH WORLD said about the Belfast Taste Fest this year musicwise
Richard and John play Recado Bossa Nova at the 45 Club, East Belfast
Book a wedding band

Catmandu plays "Changes" in The Chapel Arts Centre in Bath
Catmandumusic on Myspace (latest in Indie-Pop)

Music lessons? Tuition? Private tutor? Lekcja prywatne? Clases musicales ? Piano keyboard, clarinet, saxophone.
Belfast Jazz Orchestra, Northern Ireland
Irish jazz band? Ulster jazz band? Wedding jazz band? Wedding in Northern Ireland?
RITZ JAZZ now on YouTube

gay Mc Intyre
Derry Jazz Festival, 2007

Gay McIntyre band In the sunshine.
Jive Aces take over Foyle Shopping Centre
and at the Holywood Jazz Festival in June, the Stuart Suite, Culloden Hotel suffers similar fate.

Happiness! alex

jazz impressions

Jazz Impressions.A lone trumpeter features in sunny County Down

gagliano trio
The Gagliano Trio perform in Bath.

See also Catherine Hurley's interview for Friendly Flutes

Poland 2004
June 2004, Jazz UK joins Kazimierz folk band for midnight fusion session in Poland

Collaboration with Brendy Quinn, Ronan Murray and Wayne Carr

In concert

In concert at Castlereagh

At the 45 Club

At the 45 Club (video on YouTube)

ritz quintet at the Europa
The Ritz Jazz Quintet at the Europa Hotel (above)

catherine in catmandu

Catmandu plays "Changes" in The Chapel Arts Centre in Bath


Brad Mehldau at the 2002 Belfast  Festival at Queen's (below

Satyajit Ray at the Queen's Film Theatre, (Festival with Cineversity)

A Music Site for news, bands, gigs and  improvisation

Belfast 2002
A view from the River Lagan close to the Ormeau Bridge
 the new cycle path heading south takes one from here to the Waterfront Hall and beyond, or if you prefer you can take a river boat shuttle and if one is very lucky, then heading north one might hear Ken Peplowski or Scott Hamilton!>>>>

This site is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Its mainly the jazz/classical music scene with an emphasis on improvisation. There are soundclips from live recordings and reports of local activities.
You will also find function bands for weddings and socials.
A series of tutorials has been started for those  interested in improvisation and these will be expanded in the course of time.

Friday night at The John Hewitt 
 traditional jazz gig

(8.30 to 11.30 pm,  Lower Donegal St, Belfast)
Belfast Jazz Orchestra Oct 1st 2012
Short Bros Sports and Recreation Club
MD: Kenny Jordan

Photography by Hugh Sykes

Twenty Years of Sonorities (May 2001)
Queen's University's Music Department celebrated the conclusion of twenty years contemporary music festivals with an impressive concert by an impressive orchestra. The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland performed works by living composers, Paul Wilson and David Byers and by the recently deceased (1934-1998), Alfred Schnittke. One could not help be moved by the sense of dedication and musicality in the orchestra as a whole and in, particular by the warmth and quality of the string playing, complementing the controlled sensuality in the cello playing of Maria Kliegel, soloist in the Schnittke Cello Concerto. David Byers ten minute piece, "Crooked Lymbeks," was a world premiere, commissioned for this Sonorities Festival. Modal in feeling, the work harked back to medieval times and once again the strings precise control over tonality made a special impression. The opening work, Prometheus, by Paul Wilson, was pure musical excitement. We, the audience, (occupying half of the Whitla Hall, the orchestra taking up the other half), were surrounded with electronically transformed sounds from the instruments of the orchestra played through a battery of "surround-sound" loudspeakers- plus the sound of the orchestra itself. A fitting work for the conclusion of the Festival, Queen's Music Department are of course somewhat expert in electroacoustics, having recently acquired substantial facilities. 

The Harty Room, Queen's University Belfast, is becoming a highly successful venue for modern jazz in Northern Ireland. These young Scandinavians treated a capacity audience to an evening of original and imaginative music making, rooted in the jazz tradition and noteworthy for encompassing an extended range of musical expression covering several decades of jazz history. Their strongly rhythmic approach (to be expected, but not always heard nowadays, from a jazz group), reminded me, when as a youth I made a pilgrimage to the Five Spot Cafe in downtown New York (circa early 60s). In fact this group devoted almost the whole of the first half of their gig to the music of Thelonius Monk with such favourites as "Well You Needn't," and "Round about Midnight." From a harmonically veiled introduction on the piano, the tune would appear magically, becoming in effect an introduction in itself to the musical developments of the Trio. One was struck by the close-knit cooperation of the musicians in the production of the total sound, without sacrifice of individualism or  self-expression. The group played originals in the second half of the evening, with smooth almost imperceptible transitions from earthy blues to rock rhythms  to the music of the Far East where Japanese and Chinese scales were set off against judiciously sounded gongs and cymbals superbly handled by drummer, Magnus Ostrom. The musical use of electronic synthesiser by double-bass player Dan Berglund, added an extra dimension for certain sections and this was complemented by Esbjorn Svensson's 'inside-piano' techniques. The concert was an opportunity to hear the group's latest version of a favourite original venturing into outer-space,  "Gagarin's Point of View," an atmospheric piece fully demonstrating the musicians command of the 'effects department'.
This was a well planned programme and the enthusiastic appreciation of the Belfast audience clearly delighted the musicians who were at the very commencent of their European tour.

From Moving on Music:
The European Jazz Youth Orchestra (EJYO)
Wednesday 25 July 2001 8 pm
Lyric Theatre, Ridgeway St, Belfast
Directed by Benjamin Herman

2004,  for a good P2P network with no ads, try

Some current jazz venues in Northern Ireland

No Alibis Bookshop. See website for next jazz concert.
Jenny Watts -  Marty Wilson, Sunday lunchtime
Boat Club, Tuesday . Apex Jazz Band, South Belfast. 

BJO:  Short Bros Sports and Recreation Club . 1st Monday every month

Festival of contemporary music

Kazimierz Dolny, June 2002, I was privileged to join the local Polish folk musicians on a warm summer night with sustenance provided by barbecued pig and salad washed down with plenty of local Polish beer. This was festival time, and singers, dancers and musicians could be heard in many parts of the Country playing in the streets and local market squares. Every region produces a different music with its own songs, instrumental combinations and costumes. Back in Warsaw, the Krakowskie Przedmiescie had been cordoned off and from Nowy Swiat through the Old Town to the New Town, tens of thousands milled in the streets to enjoy musical offerings from Mozart  and songs from the opera with full orchestra, choir and ballet dancers to Hungarian folk, African drumming or American jazz-rock.

Satyajit Ray workshop at the Queen's Film Theatre was exceptional,(3 Nov 2002) and about twenty people turned up. Presented in conjunction with Cineversity, the background to the films, 'Deliverance,' and 'The Chess Players,' was given by Vidya Borooah who led the discussions. With refreshments and a free drink from the bar, this was a bargain session. Ray, one of the leading masters of cinematic art is of interest to music lovers because he composes and arranges the music for his own films. In 'Deliverance' music and sound effects are sparse and only to the point, being subtly blended with the sounds of nature in the parched Indian countryside. In contrast, there is much music in 'The Chess Players,' a highly entertaining film set in nineteenth century Lucknow at the time the British take over the Kingdom of Oudh. There is much to make you laugh or smile, but ever present is the perceptive and detailed observation of people and their predicaments, the hallmark of this great Director.


Oleg Kireyev with the Belfast Jazz Orchestra, June 2003

Following last years highly successful gig, Oleg Kireyev  returned to play with the Belfast Jazz Orchestra  on 2nd June 2003 at the Belmont Social Club, Circular Rd, Belfast (CIYMS premises with vocals by Rodney Foster. This was a great evening. Oleg is back touring the UK in Sept 2003, after the Moscow Jazz Festival in August. 


Quality flute for sale!


June, 2007
Holywood Jazz Festival features Second Line band and those Jive Aces, undeterred by the rain the party went on in the Platform....

Jiving in the Platform

May, 2007
Derry Jazz Festival in full swing with glorious global warming weather in Northern Ireland. Yellow suited Jive Aces were everywhere and promise to be back for the Holywood Jazz Festival near Belfast. Great to see youth livening up a scene which is fast fading.
Feb 2003

The Linenhall Library, Belfast was host to a freewheeling session of contemporary jazz from Moving on Music featuring five of Europe's top jazz musicians. In marked contrast to the cool, chamber music style of the Peplowski band (below), this was hard-driving powerful stuff, strong on rhythms whose influences ranged from bop to African. Unsupported by either keyboard or guitar, Stephen Keogh (dms) and Jeremy Brown (bs), provided exciting support to a trio of saxes in a programme of original compositions. Three contrasting voices of Pete King (al), Julian Arguelles (tn) and Michael Buckley (tn and flute) blended superbly but nevertheless their individually distinctive styles and tone quality made each solo a new experience. Highlights included an African piece featuring remarkable flute playing from MB backed by the exciting drumming of SK, the lyrical tenor solos of JA and the hard-bop based alto of PK we know so well. We should have had much more, but the Library closed early, forcing all out into the wind and rain.
Jan 2003
Ken Peplowski (cl,sax) was performing recently to a packed house at the Boat Club with Dave Cliff (gt) and an unusually restrained group of Irish musicians from Belfast and Dublin. Ken's performance was as usual impeccable, a virtuoso on clarinet, he came into his own in a trio session with bass and guitar playing his own special version of Ornithology.
Oct 2002
The Belfast Festival at Queen's kicked off to a great start last night with a rather short, but stimulating session from Afro-pop ensemble, Baobab Orchestra. This is the reformed version of Orchestre Baobab de Dakar that took Senegal by storm in the seventies and late eighties. Government ministers created the Baobab Club in 1970 and out of it came a fabulous pop/jazz/reggae sound (why cannot our Government Ministers do things like this??). Today's band was pretty good and had us all shouting for more, and they gave us carefully planned encores, but no more than that. Great singing, great rhythm, and the star of show undoubtedly was
Issa Cissoko, a terrific personality who extracted vital rhythm from the tenor saxophone that is not heard too often in jazz players.
A special attraction this year was the return of Brad Mehldau with Larry Grenadier (bass) and Jorge Rossy (drums). Well deserving of their current international reputation, the trio presented a mature structured style of playing, few traces remaining of the turn-of-the-century impressionism we heard from the pianist five years ago. Mehldau's thematic treatments seemed to effortlessly solve the eternal problem of the improviser, to reconcile the opposite poles of spontaneity and musical development. The repertoire combined some rather abstract originals with some famous songs from the past and suggestive fragments from jazz history were a constant surprise. Full marks to the sound engineers(!) for just enough reinforcement without the usual distortion heard in the Festival jazz gigs. No doubt the band had a say in the matter and like the MJQ had a Steinway written into their contract - what a difference!!

Aug 2002
From the World Music Project.
An Chulturlann, The Falls Road, Belfast was host to a wonderful folk group from the Altai-Sayani Mountains of Southern Siberia last night. The musicians of Yat-Kha combined electric bass and guitar with traditional percussion and string instruments and Tuvan overtone singing. An evening of strongly rhythmic music, combined with remarkable atmosphere of the land of nomads complete with bird calls, insect sounds and even the neighing of a horse!

June 2002
Namyslowski senior (sax) with Namyslowski junior (trb) in the Tygmont Club, Warsaw. 

Photography by Grzegorz Gawlik

Zbigniew Namyslowski 
was playing in a club in Warsaw with no cover charges and very moderate prices for food and drink. I had not heard him live since 1964 in Southampton when his quartet appeared, smart-suited young lads, direct from the Iron-Curtain. Very good they were, especially the pianist. Today Namyslowski is accompanied by his son, a fine trombone player with equally good young men in the rhythm section.
April 2002
Denys Baptiste and his quartet appeared at the Crescent Arts Centre last week. A set of very fine young musicians, but somehow this band does not seem to gel as one might expect from such talent. Perhaps their musical interactions were just a bit too self-conscious. The situation was not helped by the local sound engineering, unfortunately infamous for its insensitivity towards jazz musicians; bass and drums far too  loud and piano insufficiently miked up by comparison that much of the fine rhythmic piano work could hardly be heard especially the piano's lower notes. During the big climaxes Baptiste's saxophone was overpowered when it should have been soaring over the top. But buy the CD, these guys do record well!
Dec 2001
The Boat Club on the banks of the River Lagan is mainly famous for tennis, certainly not boats; but from time to time Scott Hamilton the international star of swing tenor saxophone will visit this sporting establishment, delighting an enthusiastic jazz audience with his artistry and command of the instrument. Last night, accompanied by Dave Cliff on guitar with bass and drums from the South of Ireland he enthralled us with such standards as Chelsea Bridge and Skylark keeping a selection of reeds always at the ready in a glass of water (sax players note!). Silky smooth ballads merged effortlessly into hot swing from the Lester Young era with a final encore of tune fragments welded seamlessly together before we were all thrown out into the wild Belfast weather.

Oct 2001
The annual Belfast Festival at Queen's is upon us and the jazz programme kicked off last night in the Whitla Hall with an electronic auditory assault from Jazz Jamaica All Stars. No denying this was a star-studded band featuring some of TT's favourite players.  Strong on rhythm, there was some suggestion of harmonic interest in some of the arrangements, if it could be heard...? Typically, the sound engineers, clearly with their brains adjusted to the dreaded Metallica , heavy rock and U2, had adjusted the bass mixer channel to floor vibration level effectively swamping out such musical subtleties. Fine solos all-round too numerous to mention, but Andy Sheppard's originality and personal voice was notable on soprano sax and Ray Carless for powerful rhythmic expression on baritone.


Time Traveller cont.
The Guinness Spot
In a wonderfully contrasting programme of cool contemporary jazz, Jim Hall and his quartet gave us all the subtlety of melodic, rhythmic  and harmonic expression we might ever need. As the evening developed so the guitar master reduced the volume level of his single small amplifier, the audience listening with progressively rapt attention to the fine harmonic nuances and placement of chords on the musical time continuum. The lead was shared with the exquisite toned saxophone of Greg Osby, with high quality backing of Steve La Spina (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums).  This group created their own special music sometimes from fragmented standards but always firmly rooted in jazz tradition bringing to mind the sounds of Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins and many others but never compromising on creativity.
Sept 2001
Early Sept took TT to Chinatown, San Francisco. A few blocks further on is Jazz at Pearl's, well worth a visit if you can afford two beverages per set. (In another local club here in the early sixties I nursed a single whisky right through the evening listening to the Miles Davis Quintet).
August 2001
Qawwali music at the Harty Room, QUB, Belfast. This was from Pakistan and for Western ears a quite remarkable experience, not least for the expressionistic vocalisations delivered with a theatrical mastery by lead singers Rizwan and Muazzam. The  programme notes were taken directly from a record company's web-site and investigation showed that the phenomenom of 'world-music' is very much a commercial enterprise. Mpeg3 samples can be selected from web encylopedias set up by record companies and  downloaded at speed from well-oiled servers. One can learn that  a harmonium cannot cope with the unequal temperament of the Indian raga, but is used extensively in Qawwali. N.B. Could be a question in a pub quiz!

July 2001
TT returned from Poland recently having experienced in Lublin the slightly unusual combination of a Scottish bagpiper in recital with full blast of church organ playing a composition by Robert Wallace. In another Lublin church, choir, soloists and ensemble from UMCS gave first-class rendering of various pieces with wonderful baroque trumpets. Afterwards, bouquets for the principals and signed certificates for almost everyone else!
A visit to Zamosc, remarkable for its Italianate architecture discovered Jazz Club Kosz, well-known in Polish jazz circles.
June 2001
With the political parties in Northern Ireland set to polarise into the more extreme factions on voting day, TT took a space coordinate direct to Bath Spa to hear an expressive rendering of composers old (Locatelli) and new (Burton, Widor) by Catherine Hurley (flute) with sustained support from Peter Blackwood (piano) and Cath Warren (basso continuo). This highly musical performance promises much for the future of the young musicians from Bath Spa.
May 2001
Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass Band appeared at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast last night (20th); truly a quite remarkable gig, notable for the virtuosity of the sousaphone and the clarity and originality of all the players (trumpet, trombone, sousaphone and drums). They enjoyed themselves and so did we!
April 2001
"Moving on Music," promotors of contemporary jazz and world music, gave the City  another highly successful gig in the Harty Room last night (28 April) with the Esbjorn Svensson Trio playing to a packed house. (See report below).
March 2001
Julian Joseph gave Belfast jazz lovers a rare treat bringing his acoustic trio to the Harty Room, Queen's University, with a selection of standards and originals. Inspiring stuff from Steinway piano, guitar and double-bass in a slightly resonant but quite acceptable acoustic.
February 2001
As the courts finally move in against Napster which will shortly never be quite the same again, jazz pianist Julian Joseph calls a meeting of the British Academy's Jazz Committee to campaign for copyright protection for jazz composers. Full details on Napster history and 190(!) alternatives currently available at http://www.ultimateresource

Belfast Festival at Queen's, 2001
Nov 1, Harty Room: Vibrant playing from the New Helsinki String Quartet featuring Mozart and Tchaikovsky and a first performance of a striking new work from Michael Alcorn, the first from him for conventional instruments for some years. The influence of his pre-occupations with electronic media could be clearly heard in this piece designed to stretch the limits of the acoustic response of stringed instruments. A collage of sound segments, manipulated into the aural time continuum and much engaging the players physically, the contrasts were sometimes intense and the listener could not fail to be involved.
Later in the evening a treat from the silver tone flute of Gary Arbuthnot in pieces by Prokofiev, Jolivet, and Philip Hammond. With dynamic accompaniment on the piano (Daniel Smith), the recital encompassed a broad range of musical expression with virtuosity to match, Arbuthnot's phrasing and tonal range were remarkable.
October 2000
In 10 weeks Napster added another 12 million users since the July court sitting. Napster is a point-to-point (P2P) network. This can fail by large numbers of freeloaders saturating bandwidth and contributing nothing. A possible way forward is the Mojo system whereby users host files in return for ability to download files.
Watch David Boies defend Napster in live replay from Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal. Check out his arguments in the 'Wired Interview.
Beyond Napster. Freenet abolishes central distribution server resulting in totally distributed point-to-point network. The hundreds of thousands thrown off the Napster network by legal pressure from the music industry and millions more will soon belong to a  world-owned anonymous network of file-swappers. Will the recording companies take on the world?
September 2000
US Federal judge Rakoff, strikes out at with a punitive $250m damages award. The judge appeared to be determined to destroy the company as an example of the force and the righteousness of US law. The scale of the judgement inevitably raised a few eyebrows provoking memories of LBJ. "God is on our side!" Remember that?

Another American judge invokes (The Divine Right?) of US Law to attack the very use of the hyperlink itself in a judgement effectively forbidding the use of reverse-engineering in the DeCSS (DVD scrambling) case. Read Glyn Moody's article in Computer Weekly (Sept 14, 2000). Is the net under attack? Check-out Richard Stallman at
  August comment
July 2000 has passed by and for the record the Government has been releasing terrorist prisoners. But Northern Ireland is fast coming back to normal and the July demos. are already becoming history for another year. The major disruption and  over-reactive closures of industry and commerce ought not to be forgotten. The good news is that musicians gigs are beginning to start up again!
July 2000. Mass exodus from Belfast.Struggling musicians gigs are cancelled as civil unrest grips Belfast. Industry, commerce, government departments and transportation close down with considerable haste as road blocks halt all commuter and commercial traffic. Big fare increases for flights out of Northern Ireland.