A new monthly Jazz Club will be opening in Belfast on Friday 1st March and after that on the first Friday of each month.
The venue is upstairs in the new Sunflower Public House which is situated behind Belfast Central Library on the corner of Union Street & Kent Street.
The great news is that the 1st Fridays Jazz Club will be hosted by Keith Donald, who most people will remember from the legendary trad-rock-jazz band Moving Hearts but who played in the famous Sammy Houston’s Jazz Club in Great Victoria Street from 1961 to 1963 before leaving to study in Dublin. Now, 50 years later, Keith is returning to his roots.
Keith did his first gig when he was ten years old playing the recorder on the BBC, but his real love was jazz, fostered no doubt by listening to his brother’s constant playing of Benny Goodman records at home.
That love added to a prodigious talent has led to a long career as a musician and composer for stage, radio and TV.
Music has brought him to Ronnie Scott’s in London, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Capetown Jazz Festival, the Royal Festival Hall in London, Royce Hall in Los Angeles and the Bottom Line in New York.
Keith has gigged and/or recorded with Noel Kelehan, Zoot Sims, Louis Stewart, Gerry Mulligan, Noel Kelehan, Louis Stewart, Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan, Máire Breathnach, Ronnie Drew, Van Morrison and hundreds of other fine musicians.
It a musical A-lister was looking for a saxophonist, Keith Donald’s was the first number to ring, but now Coleraine-born Keith has parked the saxophone after 48 years of blowing and returned to the clarinet and has formed a new jazz group, FUBAR, with Tommy Halverty on guitar and Dave Redmond on bass but many more people are going to get to know Keith as the host of the Sunflower’s new jazz club.
With its intimate atmosphere, the First Friday Jazz Nights at the Sunflower could become the kind of venue in which legends are created.
To kick off on Friday 1st March, Tipperary-born Carmel McCreagh will be launching her new CD Skylark, featuring the songs of Johnny Mercer. She will be joined on stage by Keith Donald (sax & clarinet), Fiachra Trench (keyboards), Joe Csibi (bass) and Steve Hogan (drums).
Doors open at 8pm and cover charge is £10.