“I have been on the jazz scene in Ireland for more than 30 years, one of Irelands leading gypsy jazz guitarists. I come from a very musical background spanning back generations. My grandfather had a ceili band which consisted of his 5 brothers back in the 1920’s, then going on to form his own band, Frank Gilligan’s Killarney Ceili band, which had his son John Gilligan, my father, and a young pianist Margaret Keaveny, my mother, on piano in the band.
In later years I was to have an ensemble consisting of my 4 brothers and me, playing the songs of Django and using the 3-part harmony tunes from The Mills Brothers. I am a great fan of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole, amongst others, and I love to play and sing the songs from the Great American Songbook to the beat of Gypsy Jazz.
I am a frequent visitor to the Yearly Django Reinhardt festival in France, and I have played with all the Gypsy jazz greats like Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre, Adrien Moignard, to even playing a tune with Django’s son Babik, to name a few, and you can also find me playing and singing in Paris’s exuberant jazz clubs.”
“Growing up in a family of professional musicians, I decided to study classical music from the tender age of 5, but with my gypsy background I was learning gypsy jazz from the age of 11. Once I finished my classical studies I decided to continue in the family tradition of playing gypsy jazz. However, I continued to fuse the two worlds of jazz and classical music in order to create an even more exciting style of music.
Ireland was my first international platform and it was here where I first set the stage for gypsy jazz to an even wider audience. I was performing as a main act on International Gypsy Jazz Festival in Brazil Festival de Jazz Manouch Piracicaba, perfoming on main stage on International Gypsy Jazz Festival in Ireland for the last 6 years and collaborated on stage with artists such as Romane Manetti, Robin Nolan, Dario Napoli, Paulus Schafer and many others. I am often working with renowned Vladimir and Anton on recordings with the BBC Orchestra and live performances in the National Concert Hall in Dublin as well as many other major venues in the UK.”
“I started my musical career at the age of 10 learning piano. A few years later I discovered the strings and that was a major turning point. Since then, I have been tied to the bass, learning it’s language in Blues bands, Flamenco, Cuban, Jazz and Swing… And now exploring the classical. It’s a life dedicated to the Bass. I discovered Swing when I was 18 and I have studied it extensively. I have performed in different countries and shared stage with Romane, Dario Napoli, Tcha Limberger, Paulus Scheffer, among others… and now I am delighted to be in a band with Nicolas, Rudolf and Fintan.”
“I started playing relatively late, learning blues finger-picking and playing drums in a few bands in my 20’s. Growing up in France, Gypsy Jazz always was very familiar, and after having thought about it for years, I decided in 2010 to find other musicians and form a Gypsy Jazz band. I was lucky yo meet great local musicians, and we were able to form Manouche. That journey lead me to play at major Gypsy Jazz festivals in Ireland and the UK, as well as numerous events all over the island. I also performed with great artists such as Olli Soikkeli and Romane Manetti.
I also started the Gypsy Jazz sessions at the Sunflower Pub, which I believe raised the profile of this music in Belfast. In that spirit I started the Hot Strings Quartet project with Fintan, Rudy and Jose, to bring the best Gypsy Jazz from Ireland to Belfast for one evening.”