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Collins' ‘right hand man' is immortalised in jazz

March 17th, 2016 5:50 PM

By Southern Star Team

Ronan Guilfoyle: tribute to his grandfather at the Triskel

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A SHY-GOING BOY is an innovative new jazz composition based on the life of Michael Collins’ ‘right hand man’.

Composer and musician Ronan Guilfoyle will premiere the work at Triskel Christchurch 8pm, on Saturday March 19th. 

The work reflects on the life and times of his grandfather Joe Guilfoyle who played a significant part in the 1916 rising, War of Independence and The Emergency. 

Joe Guilfoyle served as ‘right hand man’ to Michael Collins, playing a major part in military intelligence.

 Ronan Guilfoyle uses composition, improvisation and audio to explore the life and times of his grandfather who was a member of Collins’ inner circle during the War of Independence. 

The piece explores the different aspects of Joe Guilfoyle’s life, from his revolutionary youth – which involved many hair-raising and historically important incidents – to the dignified quietly-spoken elderly man that Ronan knew when he was a child.

Using a sextet of some of the finest performers in Irish contemporary jazz and audio, the piece will explore the life of this historically important man from both a historical and personal aspect. 

The work incorporates a recording of Joe Guilfoyle speaking about his 1916 experiences.

 Ronan has been composing for classical ensembles since 1993, specialising in compositions which feature both improvised and written music. He has had commissions from a wide range of ensembles and organisations including the RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin, The Opus 20 String Orchestra in London, and the European Jazz Youth Orchestra.

Ronan is the founder of and head of the jazz department at Newpark Music Centre in Dublin, the only school offering post-secondary jazz education in Ireland.

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