Improvised Music Company (IMC) is a not for profit organisation for jazz and related music, established by Irish jazz musicians and supporters in 1991.
Today, we’re Ireland’s largest specialist music producer, with hands-on involvement in many aspects of music making throughout the island, from festival programming, concert promotion, touring, recording, education and audience development.
Our Concert Programme
IMC’s concert programme is the backbone of the live scene for jazz and related music in Ireland. We believe jazz is a broad church that embraces many different accents and we’ve had the pleasure of working with some of its greatest voices, from musicians of now historical significance like Elvin Jones and NHOP to presenting Irish debuts by emerging artists like Chris Potter, Bugge Wesseltoft and EST, all of whom we’ve continued to work with and develop. Our jazz presentations range from intimate spaces like Dublin’s JJ Smyths and Whelans to major venues like Vicar Street and the National Concert Hall.
We’re also Ireland’s foremost producer of world music, though we confess that it’s a term with which we’re rather uncomfortable. We like to think of it as other people’s folk music, though we often present our own through projects such as Tri60, including groups like Altan and The Kilfenora Ceili Band. We view our work in this area as socially significant, both as an endorsement of Ireland’s growing multiculturalism, and as a contributor to the conservation of musical diversity in a time of increasing global homogeneity.
To help us, we enlist great artists who articulate a simple and very old truth about music and its ability to move audiences regardless of language, race, faith or gender. Mariza, Youssou N’Dour, Tinariwen, Hermeto Pascoal, Mahala Rai Banda, Afel Bocoum, Frifot and Chris Wood are among the great artists from across the globe who’ve recently illuminated Dublin stages for us. We don’t confine our activities to Dublin however, and our Soundings Touring partnership delivers tours nationally and includes venues such as Bray's Mermaid, Cork’s Triskel and Navan’s Solstice, and independent promoters like Sligo Jazz Project and Limerick Jazz Society.
Previously, IMC has been the producer of ESB Dublin Jazz Festival, the last edition of which took place in 2003. Artistically successful as EDJF was, in 2007 we replaced it with a new festival that we be believe will have important implications for jazz in Ireland and throughout the EU, and so 12 Points was born in 2007. While the title is an affectionate jibe at Eurovision, this is an ambitious event that brings twelve of Europe’s most exciting emerging jazz ensembles to Dublin, and every second year to a different European city, for equal parts festival and industry showcase, in a sociable environment that encourages cultural first contact for young musicians from across Europe.
For more on 12 Points visit our dedicated website www.12points.ie
August 2012 saw the first edition of a new festival which is to become an annual jazz festival for Dublin, called Down With Jazz - the theme a playful take on the anti-jazz movement of the 1930's. The festival is a 3-day celebration of Irish jazz - up and coming acts, established names and funky populists. Further information on www.downwithjazz.ie
Our Clients and Partners
IMC is revenue funded by The Arts Council, and we also work in partnership with a wide range of Irish agencies such as Culture Ireland to deliver our performance programmes. Our network of European partners is extensive, ranging from France’s AFIJMA to Sweden’s Rikskonserter, and we often co-operate closely with cultural agencies based in Ireland such as Alliance Francais and The Goethe Institute, while our media partners include The Irish Times and RTE Lyric FM. IMC is also the Irish representative of The Europe Jazz Network (EJN) the association of promoters, musicians' associations, artistic directors and festivals in Europe working in the field of jazz and improvised music.
IMC also has extensive experience in curating and producing bespoke music events, and our corporate sponsors and clients include ESB, with whom we had the great pleasure to present ESB Dublin Jazz Festival and the world music series ESB Routes in Rhythm, and Office of Public Works, for whom we currently produce The Farmleigh Affair, a free outdoor festival for an audience of 4,000 held in the picturesque Farmleigh Estate every August.
IMC is recipient of The DAA Special Arts Award at The Allianz Business2Arts Awards 2006 for its work with The Jazz Architects, a grouping of seven leading Irish architectural practices, to present a concert series focusing on the renowned European record label ECM. IMC was commended by the judges “for creating an imaginative sponsorship programme of collective support for jazz events in Ireland. The support of the Jazz Architects, along with other cultural and media support, helped to give Dublin audiences access to an international concert programme of the highest calibre.”
12 Points festival (an IMC production) was the proud recipient of the inaugural award for "Adventurous Programming" from Europe Jazz Network in April 2012.