Ireland’s jazz scene is relatively small, with approximately 3000 concerts per year, but includes a number of well-respected small festivals and events, with some major events annually. The jazz scene centres around the festival structure, with scenes primarily focused in major cities such as Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Belfast and Sligo. Ireland does not have a dedicated jazz club - small-scale pub venues would be the most common arena for jazz gigs, with typical audiences of 40-100. However, major festivals (often with international stars) can also be in the position of hosting upwards of 1000 in concert halls or opera houses. 

Ireland is home to a greater population of skilled jazz musicians than the scene may suggest, with an undergraduate and post-graduate programme in jazz available at third-level. Jam sessions are common, particularly in university cities such as Dublin and Cork, and are often hosted in pub venues which also programme jazz. A number of Irish jazz musicians also play frequently on international stages.

In Ireland’s media, jazz may share space with less commercial genres such as classical and contemporary music. A significant amount of jazz in Ireland overlaps with the new music and experimental music scenes, while a number of musicians also cross genres with traditional Irish music.

This guide has been composed by the Improvised Music Company, Dublin. is a useful starting point to discover Irish jazz artists, festivals and events.

Guide compiled by Improvised Music Company