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Mike Nielsen

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Biography of Mike Nielsen

MIKE NIELSEN – Composer/Guitar
One of the first Irish musicians to attend Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mike Nielsen is recognised as the leading Irish jazz guitarist of his generation. He has performed with many leading international artists including: Larry Coryell, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Wertico, Dominique Di Piazza, and the celebrated Dave Liebman with whom he has toured Europe, New Zealand and Australia headlining the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, 2004. He performed solo guitar on same bill as the legendary guitarist John McLaughlin during his first visit to Dublin in 2008. As a composer and performer Mike has seventeen recordings to his credit including two with Dave Liebman. He was guest soloist with the RTE concert orchestra on two occasions and has written a number of commissioned scores.
Mike holds an LTCL in classical performance and an MPhil in Physics and Music which included the design of original microtonal guitars. He received a scholarship to attend Berklee College. As a lecturer Mike travelled Europe and the US teaching odd metre music in the early 90’s. In 2008 he developed a Masters in Jazz Performance Program at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) for which he is the director. Mike also directs/conducts the DIT Big Band.

The Sunday Tribune: “He has emerged in the last decade with that most sought after of commodities- his own sound.”
Irish Times: “Perhaps the most original jazz guitarist here”
Irish Times: “If you wanted adventure, surprise and discovery, that was supplied by guitarist Mike Nielsen……..Nielsen showed you could marry great technique with risk taking”
(Double bill solo performance before John McLaughlin’s Fourth Dimension @ Vicker St. Dublin, May 2008)

ELLEN DEMOS - Vocals

Ellen Demos is an established and versatile singer /composer. She was born and raised in Boston, Massachussetts. Her early education included formal training in classical voice and piano. Following a few years of study in jazz piano, voice, and theater, in the Boston area, she became active as a performer in both theater and as a singer on the jazz scene. In the 80s she continued her studies at The Dick Grove School of Music in California. Completing both the vocal and the composition and arranging as well as the US. Programs. Since then Ellen has appeared in concert in several European countries. She has done work for radio and television: as a Featured Soloist with The Danish Light Orchestra, RTECO, Nordering Jazz
Festival, Dublin and Cork Jazz Festivals, and The Late Late show. She has worked with prominent musicians from the US and Europe including; Pepper Adams, Sonny Fortune, Bobby Shew, Theo de Jong, Bilou Doneux, Anne Wolf. Ellen has recently relocated to Ireland from Belgium where she teaches vocal techniques privately.



BRENDAN DOYLE - Clarinets

After sitting his classical music degree in his native Waterford,
Brendan moved to Dublin, and has become one of the stalwarts of the Capital's freelance music world. A classically trained clarinetist, he has also become a versatile and virtuosic saxophonist, with a chameleon-like ability to blend into almost any musical situation. Brendan is a regularly featured soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra and featured prominently in the National Symphony Orchestra's TV recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (original jazz-band version - soloist, William Eddins). He is a founder member of the Irish Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Irish Jazz Orchestra and The Improvised Music Ensemble (T.I.M.E.) Brendan’s album 'Wiggle Squiggle' marked his jazz recording debut as leader and he has featured on several recordings as both player and composer, notably T.I.M.E., Septet Music and the award-winning 'Devsirme'.
Furthermore, he has worked with many diverse international artists, including, Kenny Wheeler, Chucho Valdes (Irakere), Shirley Bassey, Louis Stewart, Jack Jones, John Taylor and Norma Winstone. Brendan’s wide range of musical interests include: jazz, classical, and world music. He is currently involved in projects such as The Sami Moukaddem band (Arabic/jazz originals), Camille O'Sullivan (International Theatre/Cabaret Star), the RTECO and a most recent collaboration is with the award-winning Rough Magic Theatre Company.

SHANE O’DONOVAN - Drums

Shane O' Donovan began playing drums at twelve and by the age of sixteen was already working with many of Irelands leading jazz musicians.

Shane began studying drums with Conor Guilfoyle and then went on to complete a diploma in jazz performance at Newpark School of Music. After over ten years of professional performance he is now recognized on the Irish jazz scene as one of the instruments leading exponents. He has performed with many of Ireland's top jazz musicians such as the Buckleys, Mike Nielsen, Ronan Guilfoyle, and Louis Stewart and has also worked with many top international musicians such as Dave Liebman, Greg Osby, Greg Burke, and Loren Stillman. Shane recently spent two weeks in New York where he attended the School for Improvised Music. Here he studied with Ralph Alessi, Tyshawn Sorey, and Brad Shepik.

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