Three Rivers Music Society

Three Rivers Music Society / News / Sun 31 Dec 2023

Jazz musician who found inspiration during Covid lockdowns

Jazz musician who found  inspiration during Covid lockdowns

Modern jazz pianist and composer John Donegan will be showcasing numbers from his critically acclaimed new album at a concert in Rickmansworth on Monday, January 15.

The highly regarded Chorleywood musician wrote and arranged more than 20 compositions during the Covid lockdowns. Half were included in Shadows Linger, the album he premiered at the Limerick Jazz Festival last year. The rest can be heard on the newly-released Light Streams, which has been praised by jazz music critics in France and the UK.

“Not being able to play with other musicians and in front of an audience was a real loss,” John admitted. “However, the lockdowns also gave me an opportunity to be creative. I am sure many other musicians would say the same.”

The French radio station Couleurs Jazz named Light Streams, which was recorded in Ireland, as one of this October’s best releases while the influential UK jazz blog ‘Bebop Spoken Here’ rated it as good as anything currently being recorded on “either side of the Irish Sea, maybe even either side of the Atlantic – it’s that good”.

Two tracks on the album, which was recorded in Dublin, are dedicated to John’s young grandsons, Freddie and Seb. A third track, “Blues for KJ”, was written in homage to pianist Keith Jarrett, one of his musical heroes.

John’s music has been partly influenced by not only Jarrett but other jazz greats such as Bill Evans and Chick Corea and, as one reviewer recently remarked, he has “an unfailing gift for melody”.

At the Rickmansworth concert – which will be the eighth that the Cork-born pianist has given for Three Rivers Music Society – John and his regular playing partner, Paul Jefferies (double bass), will be joined by four other outstanding jazz musicians.

Royal Academy of Music graduate Steve Fishwick (trumpet) has been lauded by the great American trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. “I can’t think of another trumpet player that can do what he does,” Marsalis said. Steve’s twin brother Matt (drums) also graduated from the Royal College of Music. Jamie O’Donnell (alto sax) is a prolific composer who studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor sax) graduated with first-class honours from Leeds College of Music.

“They are all phenomenal musicians,” John said. “Each time I play with them it is a delight.”

The concert will be held at the Baptist Church in High Street, Rickmansworth WD3 1EH. 7.30pm start. Tickets £16 at the door (including refreshments). Reduced price for members. Free entry for under-25s.

Further information:

News Location

Rickmansworth Baptist Church

High Street, Rickmansworth WD3 1EH

News Details