Norma Winstone & Tommy Halferty

05 July 2018 21:00 – 06 July 2018 00:00
Location: Billy Byrnes
Category: Normal Gig

The Sofa Sessions is proud to present one of the most respected vocalists in world jazz, ECM recording artist Norma Winstone, in an intimate duo with her old friend and Ireland's leading jazz guitarist Tommy Halferty.

Billy Byrnes
39 John Street Lower, Kilkenny, Ireland

What the critics say about Norma Winstone

“One of the Glories of contemporary Jazz”

– Jazz Journal

“Her spare, subtle and intelligent approach to improvisation, jazz standards, impressionistic tone poetry like a vocal Jan Garbarek and the uncovering of overlooked songs that deserve to be classics, put her in the forefront of European singers.”

– John Fordham, The Guardian

“.. a superb example of state-of-the-art, imaginative, virtually beyond-definition singing.”

– Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times

Norma Winstone Bio

Norma Winstone was born in London and first attracted attention in the late sixties when she shared the bill at Ronnie Scott’s club with Roland Kirk.

Although she was known initially for evolving her own wordless approach to improvisation, her extraordinary versatility means she is equally at home with the standards repertoire, performing with small groups, orchestras and big bands.

She joined Mike Westbrook, Michael Garrick and sang with John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, Mike Gibbs and John Taylor, and worked extensively with many of the major European names and visiting Americans.

Her own legendary album ‘Somewhere Called Home‘ on the ECM label is widely considered to be a classic.

In recent years she has become known as a very fine lyricist, writing words to compositions by Ralph Towner, and Brazilian composers Egberto Gismonti and Ivan Lins (who has recorded her English lyrics to his song ‘Vieste‘). She has a special affinity with the music of Steve Swallow, and has written lyrics to many of his compositions, most notably ‘Ladies in Mercedes‘, which has become a standard.

Her voice has become an important part of the sound of Kenny Wheeler’s big band, and can be heard in this context on the ECM double CD ‘Music for Large and Small Ensembles‘ which also features John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine and John Taylor.

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Tommy Halferty Bio

Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, he began his musical career in the late 70s taking Jazz Guitar lessons with Louis Stewart, a world class jazz musician. Some of his earliest appearances playing public were with bands such as `Jump' - a jazz fusion group and later on `Nunn' - a trio of flute, double bass and guitar. Most of the material here was drawn from classical, folk and jazz music.

In Dublin Jazz Festival '89, Tommy performed duos with the great American guitarist, John Abercrombie. Followed by duos by the English guitarist, John Etheridge, who worked with `Soft Machine' and the great French violinist Stephane Grapelli, at the Cork Jazz Festival '90.

Tommy was also a member of the Keith Copeland Trio. They have recorded two CD's for the famous Steeplechase Label in '96 and '97.

He has travelled the world and played with Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, Ronnie Cuber, George Mraz, Dave Liebman, Martial Solal. He has been guest lecturer at the famous Berklee College of music Boston. At present he is teaching the Degree in Jazz Performance (BAJP) at Newpark Music Centre.Tommy was presented with the “Best Irish performer” award at the Derry City Jazz Festival 2004.”

Tommy is considered one of the first Irish jazz musicians to export a distinctly indigenous style to a more worldwide setting.

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