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New venue The Cooler opening at The Complex in Dublin city this month

New venue The Cooler opening at The Complex in Dublin city this month

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Earlier this year, arts warehouse The Complex’s new venue space called The Cooler was due to open with a regular jazz series, but was postponed due to COVID.

Later this month, The Cooler will officially open as a space with a focus on jazz and improvised music, as part of the Musictown programme in The Complex from July 27th – 30th.

The Cooler is so called because that’s what it was, a self-contained cooler room for the space’s former life as a Fyffes banana-ripening storage room.

The room has actually been open since January as a musician community-driven creative space for rehearsal, development and professional workshops. It has a fully stocked bar and performance facilities in-house.

Improvised Music Company (IMC) are involved in the venue space and also one of the guest curators for the Musictown festival so it makes sense to see the venue open as part of the programme this month.

IMC also run Create at The Cooler, an artist support programme which provides The Cooler as a self-managed, community-driven space for jazz/creative improvising artists to develop collaborative work, without the financial burden of renting their own premises. Jazz and improvising musicians interested in using the space for rehearsal can contact IMC.

More on the lineup as a whole on this news story but specifically for the Cooler, here’s what’s happening there…


Saturday of MusicTown (July 29th, 4pm) at The Cooler serves up an afternoon of the most exciting, groovy and adventurous sounds improvised music in Dublin has to offer, from feel-good funk with ZASKA, searing soul from the Dana Masters Band, and electronic beats from H-ci to sweeping melodic improvisations from Izumi Kimura.

  • Pianist Izumi Kimura has performed extensively throughout the country and abroad since moving to Ireland from Japan in 1995. She has worked with some of the leading performers and ensembles from both disciplines of classical, jazz and improvised musics.
  • Max Zaska is a guitarist, songwriter, musical director, and producer best known for his band ZASKA’s feel-good blend of neo-soul, indie jazz, and modern funk with collaborations featuring Irish vocalists including Hozier.
  • H-Ci is an exciting electronic music project from jazz drummer Shane O’Donovan using an array of synthesizers and drums to create complex multilayers of rhythm, with a melodic content that is almost exclusively synthesizer-based.
  • VocalistDana Masters and her band capture audiences with searing story-telling, through Dana’s powerful voice and lyrics. Born and raised in South Carolina and currently based in Northern Ireland, Dana’s career has catapulted from featured vocalist with Van Morrison to a rising international jazz career as a soloist and songwriter.

Sunday at The Cooler for MusicTown (30th July, 5pm) is a rich Sunday afternoon of the best in classic Irish jazz, with Michael Buckley’s hard-swinging quartet and Carole Nelson’s soaring, landscape-inspired piano trio sounds:

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  • Carole is a London-born jazz pianist, saxophonist and composer who has been living in Ireland since 1986. Her current project the Carole Nelson Trio features Carole on piano, Cormac O’Brien on bass and Dominic Mullen on drums.
  • Regarded as one of the most important and influential musicians on the Irish jazz scene, saxophonist / flautist and composer Michael Buckley has been playing professionally since the age of six when critics hailed him as a child prodigy.

“In our ongoing struggle to find new spaces to perform in Dublin City it is really exciting to include the launch of a brand new venue in this year’s MusicTown line-up. In the hands of the IMC we can be guaranteed that these two shows are just the beginning of an ongoing exciting programme for The Cooler, which is good news for everyone.”

MusicTown Creative Director Leagues O’Tool:

It’s fantastic to be working with The Complex to make a new hub for jazz and improvised music happen at The Cooler. It’s something Ireland’s jazz and improvising musicians have been crying out for for at least 20 years, and we’ve already seen an incredible outpouring of creativity from the artists who have been able to use the space to explore and develop new work. While there’s still plenty left to do in terms of creating space for artists of all kinds, we’re really proud to be building space for the community and look forward to welcoming audiences in for some fantastic music.”

Caitríona O’Mahony at IMC

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