East Belfast jazz club is taking the music world by storm

Scott Flanigan, host and lead performer at Scott’s Jazz Club

It could be the attentive audience, the incredible sound and innovative light show or the charisma of its host and lead performer Scott Flanigan, himself a uniquely talented pianist.

Big names in Irish jazz from across the island such as Hugh Buckley, Paul Dunlea and Linley Hamilton have all performed at the club, as well as masters of the art from further afield such as Greg Murphy (NYC), Nick Kerkhoff (Amsterdam), Phil Robson (NYC/London) and Rob Luft (London); the latter described Scott’s Jazz Club as “the best jazz club in the UK apart from Ronnie Scott’s”. High praise indeed for a club in East Belfast.

If you were to pass the Ballyhackamore Working Mens Club in east Belfast, you could be forgiven for not realizing what kind of magic lurks on the top floor, patiently waiting to be unleashed.

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Musician Kyron Bourke at Scott’s Jazz Club, east Belfast

Every Friday night, passers-by will hear accents from Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane, gently inviting them to come in and experience world-class music by world-class musicians.

Those curious enough to brave the stairs will open the doors and find themselves in a world awash with sound, color and energy.

They might be greeted by booming bass lines through the frantic rhythm of bebop, percussion exploring the tonality of fusion or perhaps even the tender contemplation of a piano ballad. It’s all there for anyone to find: it just depends on when they arrive.

Started by four friends, Scott’s Jazz Club represents the culmination of a vision for a dedicated jazz club in East Belfast.

If they were going to start a jazz club, it had to be a world-class experience, and nothing else would satisfy them. Even the doorman, Colin Harper, is an authority on jazz, having written the definitive work on jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin and the London jazz scene.

“In any European city you can find a little basement somewhere with people playing live jazz in front of a listening audience. It’s an incredible way to experience music, to experience a city, and we thought it was time Belfast got its own” – that’s the reason co-founder Cormac O’Kane gave for the creation of the club, and judging by a full house every Friday evening, it is clear that the inhabitants of Belfast agree.

Scott’s Jazz Club has spared no expense to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience.

The club has an incredible state-of-the-art lighting system, projected graphics and an audio system that ensures sensational sound no matter where people take their seats.

Audiovisual specialists Cormac O’Kane and Richard Brown of Red Box Creative Studios have spent months designing the mood and look of concerts to give jazz artists the immersive sound and light experience to accentuate their music. .

It also doesn’t hurt that the club’s namesake, Scott Flanigan, takes the reins behind the keys every week.

In addition to having recently obtained a doctorate. in Jazz Performance, Scott has been at the forefront of Irish jazz for almost 20 years.

His complete mastery of the instrument and his jazz contact book are just two of the reasons why, week after week, Scott’s Jazz Club welcomes a rotating cast of world-class musicians who can sometimes be surprised by the warm welcome they receive. they receive from the Belfast public. .

At the heart of it all is simple motivation. And it’s safe to say it’s not the sound of cash registers, as tickets are just £15 and drinks are some of the cheapest in Belfast.

All marketing was done through word of mouth and social media posts of past events created by Scott and Cormac.

The only reason Scott’s Jazz Club works is because the music and the musicians are the driving force behind it.

The club is for an attentive audience where performers can express themselves in any way they see fit, striving to create those moments when thoughts stop and the music takes over.

It can be loud or quiet, laid back or intense, but it will be authentic. And Scott’s Jazz Club will be there every Friday night at 9 p.m., waiting for you to come in and find the magic that hides up there on the top floor.

Further details can be found at www.scottsjazzclub.com or at https://www.facebook.com/ScottsJazzClub

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