by / April 19th, 2016 /

Bray Jazz Festival approaches

Taking place between the 29th of April and the 1st of May, Bray Jazz Festival returns for it’s 17th year with another packed programme of jazz from leading international players and Ireland’s top improvisers.  Described as “one of the very best small jazz festivals in Europe”, the boutique scale Bray Jazz will this year host concerts featuring visiting artists from the US, UK, France, Ivory Coast, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Mexico. Full breakdown below…

Friday 29th April

13.00 – The Well, formerly St. Paul’s Church, Main St, Bray  (free)

Alex Mercado (Mexico)

Free to attend lunchtime solo piano recital from Mexico’s leading jazz export opens this year’s 17th international jazz festival weekend in Bray.

18.30 – Bray Town Hall  €12

Catriona McKay & Chris Stout (Scotland)

For 20 years Catriona McKay and Chris Stout have captivated audiences with their exhilarating and virtuosic live performances: the cascading rhythms of McKay’s harp dovetailing perfectly with Stout’s swooping, soulful violin.

20.00 – Mermaid Arts Centre €25

Magnus Öström (Sweden)

Maghnus Öström is one of Sweden’s top jazz stars, a band leader whose music is effortessly beautiful, drawing its influences liberally from jazz, electronica and rock.

22.00pm – The Harbour Bar  (free)


22.00 – Various Venues

Bray Jazz Festival Fringe shows at local bars, hotels and restaurants. See here for listings.

Saturday 30th April

16.00 – The Well, formerly St. Paul’s Church, Main St  €8

Ronan Guilfoyle’s ‘A Shy Going Boy’ (Ireland)

Ronan Guilfoyle is a major figure in Irish jazz.  Here, he presents a new work that commemorates the role his late grandfather played in the 1916 Rising and War of Independence.

18.30 – Bray Town Hall  €12

Nigel Clark & Hugh Buckley (Scotland/Ireland)

The two Celtic jazz guitar virtuosi, natives of Dublin and Glasgow respectively, propel the guitar duo format to new heights of musicality, technique and imagination.

20.00 – Mermaid Arts Centre  €25

Dobet Gnahoré (Ivory Coast)

One of African music’s top stars, Dobet Gnahoré is a Grammy Award-winning singer, dancer and charismatic stage performer whose thrilling live shows have wowed audiences across the globe.

23.00 – The Martello  €10

Chromb! (France)

Chromb! are a thrilling young French band who combine their love for catchy pop with avant garde music to create scene-stealing high energy music that they describe as a ‘fat mutant sound.’

22.00pm – The Harbour Bar (free)

Vernon Jane

22.00 – Various Venues

Bray Jazz Festival Fringe shows at local bars, hotels and restaurants. See here for listings.

Sunday 1st April

18.30 – Bray Town Hall €12

Nils Økland & Sigbjørn Apeland (Norway)

Økland and Apeland’s are master musicians who create a soft and haunting atmosphere with their music.  ECM recording artists, their presentation on hardanger fiddle and harmonium explores folk, jazz and the traditional music of Europe’s far north.

20.00 – Mermaid Arts Centre  €25

Kenny Werner Trio (USA)

Kenny Werner is a fluently inventive pianist and leader of one of the most acclaimed and influential piano-trios in contemporary American jazz.

21.30 – The Well, formerly St. Paul’s Church, Main St  €10

Vein, featuring Greg Osby (Switzerland/USA)

A piano trio with a difference, Swiss trio Vein create exciting, dynamic and innovative music with a nod to deeply held traditional values.  They are joined by Osby, one of the most influential players in contemporary American jazz.

23.00 – The Martello Hotel  €10


Classic jazz tunes are given the Cuban treatment, and Cuban classics a twist of jazz in the able hands of Ireland’s newest exponents of irrepressible Latin groove, Conclave.

22.00 – The Harbour Bar  (free)

CC Brez (pictured)

22.00  Various Venues

Bray Jazz Festival Fringe shows at local bars, hotels and restaurants. See here for listings.