Bray Jazz Festival is an Irish jazz music festival that takes place in Bray, Ireland, on the May bank holiday weekend. The 2018 edition of Bray Jazz Festival takes place May 4th-6th. The event has established a reputation as Ireland's leading contemporary jazz music festival event. Participating will be Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas Quintet: Sound Prints, with Joey Baron, Linda Oh and Lawrence Fields; pianist Bobo Stenson and singer China Moses, amongst others.
Although boutique in scale, Bray Jazz has featured many of the leading name jazz and world music players from Ireland and abroad in the 17 years since it was first established .
The festival is now one of the main cultural highlights on Ireland's jazz calendar, and has been described by The Irish Times as 'the connoisseurs jazz festival', and as 'one of the very best small jazz festival's in Europe (All About Jazz).
The 18th edition of Bray Jazz Festival featured performances by British big band Beats & Pieces, emerging Swedish saxophonist Malin Wattring and Australia's The Necks, and West African guitarist Lionel Loueke. Denmark's The Firebirds, Switzerlands Pilgrim, Estonia's Maarja Nuut Norway's Stian Christiansen, India's Shantala Subramanyam and Irish group Roamer, amongst others.
The 17th edition of Bray Jazz Festival included performances by American pianist Kenny Werner, West African Grammy Award winning singer Dobet Ghanoré, and Swedish drummer Magnus Ostrom, formerly of e.s.te. A new church venue, The Well, featured concerts by Swiss group Vein featuring saxophonist Greg Osby, by Irish jazz composer and bassist Ronan Guilfoyle with 'A Shy Going Boy', and a solo piano recital featuring Mexican pianist Alex Mercado. Elsewhere, Norwegian hardanger fiddle player Nils Okland, Scottish harpist Catriona McKay, and a host of other names played.
Bray Jazz Festival 2015 will feature concert performances by young American trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and by Brazilian jazz soul star Ed Motta. Dublin City Jazz Orchestra will be conducted by Pete Churchill and joined by guest soloists Lauren Kinsella and Laura Jurd for a concert performances that honours the music of Kenny Wheeler. Other acts playing this year's festival include Sue Rynhart and Dan Bodwell, Francesco Turrisi's The Tacquin Experiments, Havana Che and the National Concert Hall Gamelan Orchestra Khai Jati Rosa.
The 15th Bray Jazz Festival featured performances by New York based trumpeter and composter Dave Douglas and pianist Uri Caine, by Brazilian guitarist Vinicius Cantuaria and by exciting new Norwegian saxophone talent Marius Neset. The performance by Dave Douglas was the first instance that a headline artist has returned to the festival. Other artists billed included the celebrated multi-national folk/trad quartet This is How we Fly, Indian classical players Joyeeta and Debajoti Sanyal and by other acts including Edel Meade, Hugh Buckley, Karovka, Booka Brass Band, Square Pegs, Toot Sweet, Zaska, JCQ and Manden Express.
The 14th Bray Jazz Festival featured New York based Brazilian singer and pianist Eliane Elias, Norwegian bass player Mats Eilertsens Skydive, Christy Dorans New Bag, French trumpeter Médéric Collignon, as well as Swedish duo Norrland, Brass Jaw from Scotland, and a Balkan showcase featuring four leading Balkan and klezmer bands - Yurodny, Paprika, She'Koyokh and North Strand Kontra Band. The festival will also stage shows featuring Swiss cajun trio Mama Rosin, and by some of the best known names in Irish contemporary jazz.
The 13th installment of Bray Jazz Festival took place on the May Weekend, 2012, and featured concerts by two-time Grammy Award winning South American singer Susana Baca from Peru, by the Tord Gustavsen Trio (Norway), by US clarinetist Don Byron's New Gospel Quintet, and by Warsaw Village Band (Poland), Mari Kvien Brunvoll (Norway), Matthias Loibner (Austria), and a host of leading name Irish jazz groups and musicians.
The 12th Bray Jazz Festival featured concert appearances by award-winning Brazilian players Hamilton de Holanda & André Mehmari, by celebrated American jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet, and by a host of other international and home grown acts including Christine Tobin & Liam Noble, The Artvark Saxophone Quartet, guitar prodigy Andreas Varady, Tcha Limberger's Kalotaseg Trio, and Snowboy and The Latin Section.
The festival's 2010 event featured guitar-led performances, including shows by the Wayne Krantz Trio (US), Wolfgang Muthspiel's trio (Austria/US), John Etheridge's Sweet Chorus (UK), Norwegian duo Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli, and Brazil's Trio Corrente.
The 10th annual Bray Jazz Festival was staged on the weekend of May 1-3, 2009. Featured artists included :
Bray Jazz Festival 2008 featured performances by: