Trumpeter Linley Hamilton has been a mainstay of the Northern Irish jazz scene for well over two decades. An in-demand session musician, Hamilton has played on over a hundred recordings of various stripes, lending his burnished tone to rock and pop artists and singer-songwriters alike. But it’s as a jazz musician, jazz educator, jazz radio broadcaster, and not least, as an utterly tireless advocate of the music that he’s best known.
With a quintet comprised of some of the very best jazz musicians North and South of the border, Hamilton has done as much as anybody to promote jazz throughout Ireland and his BBC radio show never fails to promote nationwide talent wherever possible. His tutorial residencies at the Sligo Jazz Project reveal a musician with a deep understanding of the mechanics of the music and one who recognizes the importance of mentorship to bring the next generation of jazz musicians through. With Hamilton it’s all about giving back.
Hamilton’s drive to delve deeper into the music has seen him undertake a PHD in performance and the good Dr. Hamilton—as he’ll soon be known—is just as much at home talking passionately about the nuts and bolts of music as he is performing on stage. The stage, however, is Hamilton’s natural habitat, and there he can cut it with the best. Over the years he’s played with singer-songwriter Van Morrison, saxophonists Jean Toussaint and Alan Barnes, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, pianist Kenny Werner and drummer John Riley amongst many others.
As a leader, Hamilton has produced 4 albums, the latest of which, In Transition (Lyte Records, 2014) is his strongest personal statement yet. Highly melodic and grooving, In Transition’s blues and swing is rooted in the tradition, but unlike previous recordings this one marks a step towards crafting a greater proportion of original compositions. In Transition also embraces more contemporary repertoire not usually associated with jazz.
Read the full article on All About Jazz