Who are the Martello Jazz Band?
The Martello Jazz Band was formed in the autumn of 1985 by a group of enthusiastic musicians who had played previously in other bands. Their aim was to produce a sound reminiscent of the Dixieland bands which were commonplace in the New Orleans of the 1920’s and 1930’s, but also to stamp on it their own brand of drive and flair. The resulting music is fresh and full of vitality, while still retaining the traditional flavour. This recipe has been successful in introducing a wide range of audiences to this form of music, even those who previously did not consider jazz to be to their taste!
Since 1985, the band has built on its reputation for quality music, and has played at many venues. Over the years the band has featured in many local and national television and radio programmes, in addition to numerous appearances at regional jazz events. Through these the Martello have experienced many exciting encounters with celebrated international musicians who have “sat in” with the band. These have included Humphrey Lyttleton and Helen Shapeiro, George Melly with John Chiltern and the Feetwarmers, and the legendary trumpet player Kenny Baker.
The band continues to excite crowds of jazz fans old and new alike with their exuberant onstage performances at private and public functions both in Northern Ireland and further afield. They have appeared in festivals in Italy and Belgium, and in 2007 took part in the EuroJazz Festival in Paris.
Regular venues nearer home include the famous Market Place Theatre in Armagh and the busy St George’s Market in Belfast. They are also a popular choice to provide entertainment for guests at wedding receptions.
There is no doubt about it. If hard-driving, foot-tapping music is your scene, then this is the band for you! But remember, hearing is believing, so catch the band at some of their venues and be prepared for an aural experience!