THE 17th Bray Jazz Fes­ti­val did not dis­ap­point, with four days packed full of jazz in all its forms.

Mag­nus Öström was the open­ing night head­liner with a great and to­tally sold out show at Mer­maid Arts Cen­tre.

There was a large turnout for pi­anist Kenny Werner’s fas­ci­nat­ing ‘Ef­fort­less Mas­tery’ work­shop also at Mer­maid.

That par­tic­u­lar event was pre­sented with sup­port from Mu­sic Gen­er­a­tion Wick­low and the US Em­bassy’s Cre­ative Minds se­ries and was free of charge for every­one.

Sev­eral thou­sand peo­ple at­tended the fes­ti­val this year, which had plenty of free gigs on the Wick­low Wolf/Black Cas­tle Jazz Trail all over the town, as well as an­chor con­certs in Mer­maid Arts Cen­tre, Bray Town Hall, The Martello, The Well and more.

Artists from the UK, France, the Ivory Coast, Swe­den, Nor­way, Mex­ico and even Kil­coole, came to Bray to take part in the mu­si­cal high­light of the year.

There was a strong ‘roots and tra­di­tional’ mu­sic di­men­sion to the early evening ‘Duos Se­ries’ at the Town Hall, in­clud­ing Shetland Is­landers Ca­tri­ona McCKay and Chris Stout, and Scot­tish/ Ir­ish gui­tar duo Nigel Clark and Hugh Buck­ley.

The Well, for­merly St Paul’s Church, across from the Royal Ho­tel, was a new ad­di­tion to the sta­ble of venues.

One of the con­certs there was the pre­miere of a spe­cial work by renowned com­poser Ro­nan Guil­foyle’s six-piece band com­mem­o­rat­ing his grand­fa­ther’s role in the 1916 Ris­ing.

The Well comes equipped not just with won­der­ful nat­u­ral acous­tics, but also a rather mag­nif­i­cent in-house sound-sys­tem, mak­ing it a per­fect place for live per­for­mances.

Night owls got the chance to en­joy some late night shows in the Martello on Satur­day and Sun­day night, with French band Chromb! and Latin jazz out­fit Con­clave, with a pro­gramme morn­ing, noon and night in bars, restau­rants and the­atres all over Bray and north Wick­low.

Chris Guil­foyle at ‘A Shy Go­ing Boy’ at the Well on Satur­day.

An­abel Hands, Linda Syrja, Sor­cha Telli, Janet Kerr, Pauline Edmondson and Sinead Re­gan at Retrofix on Fri­day night..

Retrofix, who per­formed at the Har­bour Bar on Fri­day night.

Joe, Eva and An­gela Dug­gan at ‘A Shy Go­ing Boy’ at the Well on Satur­day.

Elaine Carey, Karen Marie Mil­lar and Chris­tine Stack at ‘A Shy Go­ing Boy’ at the Well on Satur­day.

Do­bet Gna­horé at the Mer­maid on Satur­day.

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