Belfast Telegraph

Monday 30 May 2016

New Belfast club to cater for jazz lovers

By Margaret Canning

Published 17/10/2013

Nice: Artistic director Rick Swann (left), model Zara Shaw and Sean Murray, owner of Jaxx Jazz Club, Belfast's newest jazz music venue
Nice: Artistic director Rick Swann (left), model Zara Shaw and Sean Murray, owner of Jaxx Jazz Club, Belfast's newest jazz music venue

Lover of jazz music in Belfast have a new venue in the city.

Jaxx Jazz Club at 16-20 Fountain Street has been launched by hospitality expert Sean Murray, who said he wanted to create an "accessible and affordable" venue.

"It's about giving more choice to people in Northern Ireland who appreciate and love jazz," Mr Murray said.

While the club is for all ages, he said he had been considering what the over-40s look for in a venue after he and his wife could not find somewhere relaxed and reasonably priced for a drink after being out for dinner.

He has set up Jaxx Jazz Club to cater for that market and said the venue would hark to locations like Manhattan and New Orleans – and Fountain Street's own history as the home of Maxims Jazz Club in the 1950s and '60s.

Musicians including jazz legend Gay McIntyre will perform at Jaxx Jazz, which will also hold a jazz talent competition at the start of next year.

And Rick Swann, one of Europe's finest trumpet players, is artistic director for the new venue.

Mr Murray said he hoped the business model for Jaxx Jazz could be adopted for the Republic of Ireland – and even globally – through a franchise system.

He added: "It isn't just about the music, which will be supplied by some of the finest musicians in Ireland. It's also about offering affordable cocktails, champagne and wines, along with draft beers and snacks, all served to your table by fully trained, attentive and personable staff."

Mr Murray and his wife recently opened The Crooked Mile Bar and Bistro on the Colinglen Road.

The club will operate every Saturday for the rest of the year but will also run on Friday nights from the beginning of next year.

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