Matthew O'Connell Quartet at The Cooler

Matthew O'Connell Quartet at The Cooler

Thursday, 30 May 2024, 7.30pm

“He had a very good sound from the very beginning, that's a natural kind of thing. He was exceptional in that regard.” – Ronan Guilfoyle

We are delighted to announce our first recipient of the ‘Excellence in Ensemble Performance Award’. This award is a partnership between Dublin City University’s Jazz & Contemporary Music BA program, Improvised Music Company and Magy’s Farm and is given to the student who receives the highest marks for their final year performance at the National Concert Hall. The 2023/24 winner Matthew O’Connell will perform with his group at The Cooler, Dublin on Thursday May 30th, and also at Magy’s Farm, Dromara on Saturday June 1st.

Matthew O'Connell is a Dublin-based jazz guitarist, educator, composer and recent graduate of DCU where he completed his BA in Jazz and contemporary music performance. With a unique and fresh sound, O'Connell draws inspiration from a wide range of styles and artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Charlie Parker and Tom Ollendorf. He has played in many groups and projects as a bandleader and sideman such as ‘Blue Notes’, alongside Irish bassist and composer Ronan Guilfoyle, Tom Maxwell’s Organ Trio and his own Matt O'Connell Trio. For the past two years has also been developing a collaborative project named ‘2 Guitars’ with guitarist John Keogh.

As an emerging artist on the Irish jazz scene, O'Connell was a finalist for the Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022. Joining O'Connell in this quartet are three highly acclaimed jazz musicians Aidan Gray (bass), Michael McCarthy (drums), and Darragh Hennessy (piano). Darragh is an active member of the Irish jazz scene and has spent many years working as a sideman and bandleader with albums such as ‘Duchenne Smile’ to his name. Michael McCarthy and Aidan Gray have previously joined Matthew as part of his trio, and have recently been working alongside Australian saxophonist Daniel Rorke.

Cormac O’Brien, Chair of the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music at DCU said: “Matthew O'Connell has shown incredible talent and ability since beginning his studies at DCU and has gone on to excel as a guitarist and musician. He will undoubtedly become one of Ireland's foremost jazz guitarists and will hopefully go on to produce many outstanding artistic works. This ‘Excellence in Ensemble Performance’ award recognises the high level he has achieved as a performing artist and band leader during his time at DCU on the B.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance program.”

On the night the group will perform a selection of Matthew’s compositions, reflecting his diverse range of influences, and perhaps a jazz standard or two.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see a rising star of Irish jazz in the early stages of his career!

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Added by Improvised Music Company on 22 May 2024

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