I’m going to be performing jazz on RTÉ with the wonderfully amazing Matthew Berrill and Izumi Kimura. At my favourite venue Campbell’s Tavern! Great that our national broadcaster is celebrating the hard work that venues like the Tav do for live music in this country, should be a great show, also feat. leading folk and … Continue reading Performing on RTÉ→
The two weeks I spent on my artist residency in Courthouse Arts Centre Tinahely was truly inspiring and nourishing as an artist. It was also a challenge, but that is what sparks creativity.Getting out of your comfort zone is always good! Here is a little piece I wrote as a reflection on my time there … Continue reading ‘Challenging yourself as an artist’→
Aengus Hackett Trio
Guitarist and composer Aengus Hackett has been burgeoning jazz in the West of Ireland for more than 10 years, as part of the Galway Jazz Festival team. Most recently, he has gained acclaim for curating and performing on his ‘JAZZGate’ series, which has sold out many shows and featured the cream of Ireland’s jazz scene. A graduate of the prestigious Conservatory of Amsterdam, Aengus studied under world-renowned guitarist Jesse Van Ruller.
Aengus has assembled a new trio with two of Ireland’s finest jazz improvisers. Derek Whyte and Matthew Jacobson are an integral part of the faculty for DCU’s Jazz program, and both are members of improv group ReDiviDeR. Between them these three seasoned performers have worked with a plethora of international artists such as Kit Downes (UK), Ralph Alessi (US), Theo Bleckmann (DE), Sanem Kalfa (TUR), and Irish stalwarts such as Mike Nielsen, Tommy Halferty, Conor Guilfoyle, Ensemble Ériu and Fuzzy Logic Ensemble.
Drawing on his diverse influences, Aengus’ music combines elements of rock, electronica, and free improv, whilst also dipping in to the jazz tradition. With their collective experience as improvisers, this group approaches Aengus’ melodic compositions with a freedom which is invigorating.
This allows the music to go wherever it wishes – gentle and lyrical, rhythmic and energetic, and when they take the leash off, in a word…wild.
Press on Aengus Hackett:
” Guitarist/composer/teacher Aengus Hackett is fast becoming a pivotal figure of the Irish jazz scene. “ – Jazziz Magazine, USA
Press on Matthew Jacobson:
“one of the most dynamic forces in Irish jazz, on and off the stage” – The Irish Times “a European jazz artist of growing charisma” – The Guardian
Made up of two of Ireland’s leading jazz guitarists, the Nielsen / Hackett Duo have a natural musical interplay. They have performed at leading venues and festivals in Ireland such as Galway Jazz Festival, The Glens Centre, Westport Jazz and have been featured on two of Dublin’s leading nights for contemporary music and jazz; Kaleidoscope and IMC Signal Series.
Guitarist, composer, educator and author Mike Nielsen is noted for his innovative performances and research. He has shared the stage with many international stars including Dave Liebman, Larry Coryell, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Kenny Wheeler and the RTE Concert Orchestra. Director of Jazz Performance at the TU Dublin Conservatory, Nielsen initiated the Masters in Jazz performance programme. His performance-based qualifications include a PhD in microtonal performance. A graduate of the prestigious Conservatory of Amsterdam, Aengus Hackett has studied with world-renowned guitarists Jesse Van Ruller and Wayne Krantz (Steely Dan). Hackett has performed with legendary USA pianist Bertha Hope, and Irish stalwarts such as Conor Guilfoyle and Tommy Halferty. Aengus has also gained acclaim for his ‘JAZZGate’ series in his native Galway, which featured the cream of the Irish jazz scene.
“A new age of jazz is being spawned by an exciting and innovative crop of Irish musicians…the spadework was done by pioneering musicians such as Mike Nielsen.” The Sunday Times
“Mike Nielsen is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s most distinctive and iconoclastic guitar voices, equally innovative on electric and acoustic guitars.” Sunday Tribune
”Guitarist/composer/teacher Aengus Hackett is fast becoming a pivotal figure of the Irish jazz scene.“ Jazziz Magazine, USA
Aengus Hackett proved himself an ingenious accompanist as he weaved his licks through the complex guitar chords. When he moved into his solo his octave-licks were sharp, clear, like a featherweight’s knuckles.…There were flashes of fire. As on “I Love You,” where he closed his solo with a chord run up the neck that shone like a seam of platinum. “ All About Jazz
“With this EP, Penji has revealed a knack of merging the ecstatic with the downbeat.“
Don O’Mahony, The Journal of Music (read review here)
Jazz guitarist turned producer, Penji (AKA Aengus Hackett) hails from Galway, Ireland. After spending many years honing his jazz chops in Amsterdam, Penji moved back to Ireland where he quickly established himself as one of the country’s leading jazz musicians. Following several years of experimentation with electronica-influenced post-rock band Zinc, Penji has finally given into a lifelong passion for electronic music.
This passion is realised in Penji’s eponymous debut release. The four track EP showcases his ability not only as a guitarist but also an able beatmaker. Penji’s lush guitar playing, processed through a plethora of pedals, becomes another animal altogether. Wonky guitar melodies bend in and out of crisp beats and fat synths, to form a collage of compositions which instantly evoke the dreaminess of Boards of Canada.
Produced by Penji in his home studio, the EP was mastered by maestro engineer Bob Macciochi of Subvert Central Mastering UK, who has worked with the likes of Lorn, Om Unit and DJ Shadow. Artwork and photos were created by long-time collaborator AMW Visual.