About

” Guitarist/composer/teacher Aengus Hackett is fast becoming a pivotal figure of the Irish jazz scene. “

Jazziz Magazine, USA

Acclaimed guitarist, composer and producer Aengus Hackett is one of Ireland’s leading jazz musicians. He has been burgeoning jazz in the West of Ireland for more than 10 years, with Galway Jazz Festival and with his ‘JAZZGate’ series. Aengus has performed with the cream of Ireland’s jazz scene such as Mike Nielsen, Tommy Halferty, Conor Guilfoyle, Bill Blackmore, Izumi Kimura, Greg Felton, and Damian Evans. As well as this, Aengus has collaborated with RTÉ Contempo Quartet and leading Irish contemporary ensemble the Colm O’ Hara 10tet.

The Aengus Hackett Trio features some of Ireland’s leading exponents of improvised music, and the band’s debut album is due for release in 2022, with the support of the MISP Award.

A graduate of the prestigious Conservatory of Amsterdam, Aengus studied under world-renowned guitarist Jesse Van Ruller. Aengus has also studied jazz in the US, with the likes of guitarist Wayne Krantz, Curtis Fuller, Pat LaBarbera and Grammy-winner Bobby Shew.
A versatile musician, Aengus’ many creative projects span across genres as diverse as jazz, electronica, hip-hop, post-rock and folk.

In November 2020, Aengus released a series of compositions for guitar & electronics, entitled ‘Shimmer‘. Supported by the Arts Council, for these works Aengus explored improvisation as a compositional process. This series was remarkable enough to gain Aengus a further Music Bursary from the Arts Council, and he has continued these explorations in collaboration with leading Irish improvisers Mike Nielsen and Shane Latimer.

Another side of Aengus’ musical persona is that of Penji, his alias as an electronic music producer. Penji’s debut EP was released to much acclaim in May 2020. A follow up is planned for October 2022.
“a flawless first release” – Headstuff
“With this EP, Penji has revealed a knack of merging the ecstatic with the downbeat.” – Journal of Music

Aengus released an album with experimental jazz / folk / rock trio DINOSAUR in 2017 and managed a national tour in 2014, which culminated in a performance at the National Concert Hall of Ireland. In 2016, Aengus released an album with experimental post-rock group Zinc.

A passionate educator, Aengus has over seventeen years experience as a guitar teacher.
He is also an experienced music facilitator with adults with intellectual disabilities.
In this area, Aengus has collaborated with fellow Zinc bandmate Andrew Madec on two projects supported by That’s Life, the award-winning disability arts programme:

In Flow is an exciting project combining Indonesian Gamelan, improvisation, electronics and visuals. For this, Aengus was awarded an Arts Participation Bursary Award from The Arts Council. This enabled him to explore and develop improvisation as a tool to make music on the gamelan with a group of adults with intellectual disabilities. This was subsequently developed into an audiovisual show at Galway Jazz Festival 2019 and a performance at Arts Council’s Place Matter conference.
In Flow’s debut album ‘New Arrival’ and a documentary about the project were released in May 2022.

Electric Dreams is a diverse band which walks the line between synth pop and indie in their sound, and come with a message of inclusion and community. A debut album ‘Behind the Mask’ was released to acclaim in early 2020.
“one of the catchiest and thrillingly original Irish pop albums of recent memory.” – Hot Press

In 2015 Aengus embarked on a successful tour of Ireland with his exciting ‘Irish-Turkish Project‘, featuring world-class vocalist Sanem Kalfa. For this project, The Arts Council awarded Aengus with a Touring Award. The tour received national press coverage, appearing in publications such as Hot Press Magazine, the Irish Independent and the Irish Times, and on radio stations such as RTE Radio 1 and Lyric FM.

As a curator, Aengus has programmed events for Galway Jazz Festival, NUIG Arts in Action, Galway Music Residency, Mick Lally Theatre and Black Gate Galway.


Awards

Navigator Residency 2022 (read more here)
Improvised Music Company & Courthouse Arts Centre

30/30 Programme 2022 (read more here)
Improvised Music Company

Agility Award 2022
Arts Council of Ireland

Agility Award 2021
Arts Council of Ireland

Music Project Award 2020
Arts Council of Ireland

MISP Recording Award
First Music Contact & Dept. of Culture Ireland

• Music Bursary 2020
Arts Council of Ireland

COVID-19 Crisis Response Award
Arts Council of Ireland

Arts Participation Bursary Award 2017
Arts Council of Ireland

Band Grant 2016
Galway City Arts Office

Touring and Dissemination of Work Award 2015
Arts Council of Ireland

Band Grant 2015
Galway City Arts Office

Skidmore Jazz Studentship 2009
Arts Councils of Ireland and Northern Ireland