Adjudicators & Finalists

Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022 Adjudicators

Bill Whelan

Bill Whelan’s Grammy Award winning score for Riverdance has been performed
around the world and is currently celebrating its 25th year. To mark this
occasion, Bill completed a new studio recording of the music from Riverdance
with the RTECO. Bill has also composed the soundtrack to the film ‘Riverdance
– The Animated Adventure” with a host of stars including Pierce Brosnan,
Brendan Gleeson, and Aisling Bea.

His orchestral works include: The Seville Suite, The Connemara Suite and Linen
& Lace for Sir James Galway. He has written music for the works of Paul
Muldoon, Derek Mahon, Frank McGuinness and Paul Durcan. His film work includes
“Dancing At Lughnasa” with Meryl Streep, “Some Mother’s Son” featuring Helen
Mirren and “Lamb” with Liam Neeson.

Bill is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, holds two honorary doctorates
and is a member of Áosdána.

Bill Whelan

Ellen Cranitch

Ellen Cranitch is a flute player, composer and broadcaster. She has played
extensively with The RTENSO, RTECO, and countless chamber ensembles. Her
interest in theatre and improvised music led her to collaborations with  The
Abbey Theatre, CoisCeim, The Performance Corporation, and she has written
scores for radio, television and film. She has been a broadcaster with RTE for
18 years, and currently presents the late night eclectic music show,
Vespertine, on RTE Lyricfm. 

Ellen Cranitch

Linley Hamilton

Linley has been a part of the Irish music scene for over twenty years and
since then he has juggled a career as a trumpet player with being a BBC Jazz
Broadcaster and a Lecturer in Music at Ulster University Magee.

There have been many career highlights in the past with significant
performances or recordings with Paul Brady, Van Morrison, Foy Vance, Eleanor
McEvoy, Jacqui Dankworth, ASIWYFA, to name a few, but he is working just as
hard as ever these days and is celebrating success with his own recent albums
‘In Transition’ and ‘Taylor Made’ with his quintet which features Johnny
Taylor piano, Damien Evans bass, Julien Colarossi guitar and Dominic Mullen

The album is available on iTunes and Amazon and from

The last five years has seen a concerted effort to reroute himself in Jazz,
having graduated from DIT Dublin with a 1st Class Masters in Jazz Performance
and the celebrated Student Academic Medal, and followed that up with a PhD in
Jazz Performance at Ulster University Magee…and is now Dr Linley Hamilton!!!
The Radio Show is still going strong and has moved to a Friday night at 10pm
on BBC Radio Ulster…the show called…Jazzworld with Linley Hamilton.

There are weekly interviews and last year alone such guests have included
Liane Carroll, Vince Mendoza, Adam Nussbaum and John Goldsby. Recordings in
the past year or two have seen Linley guest on albums by Ronnie Greer, Anthony
Toner, Ex Magician, Malibu Shark Attack, ASIWYFA and Dana Masters.

The big news is that Linley has just recorded his biggest album of his career
to date…Linley Hamilton – Making other Arrangements…on Teddy D Records…its
release date is 23 March 2018 and is with a large ensemble including full
rhythm section, saxes, woodwind and an 11-piece string section.


Young Irish Jazz Musician 2022 Finalists

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a 21 year old drummer from Cobh in Cork. He is currently
in his thirs year of the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music at DCU and has
performed a variety of jazz-centric music as part of his studies. Some of the
groups and musicians he has performed with include the Cathal Roche trio, the
Ben Prevo band and the Matt O’ Connell trio.

Michael McCarthy

Matthew O’Connell

Matthew O’Connell is a jazz guitarist from Dublin and is currently studying
Jazz Performance in DCU. His playing is rooted in the jazz idiom but adds his
unique character to the style and draws influence from people such as Grant
Green, Tom Ollendorf, Hank Mobley and Mike Moreno. He plays frequently with
different groups such as his drum and bass trio and various other ensemble

Matthew O'Connell

Jamie Lundy

Jamie is a saxophonist from Clare . He grew up in a musical family and was
surrounded by a variety of musical instruments. He started off his musical
journey by playing drums. He played with his school band but it was only
really a hobby. As he started to get more into jazz , his dad came home one
night with a saxophone for him and that’s where his passion for music began.
He has been studying the saxophone and other woodwind instruments at the
Limerick School of Music for the past four years. It was when he joined the
Limerick Jazz Workshop and started doing a few gigs that he knew he wanted to
pursue a career in music . 

Jamie Lundy

Julie Martin

My name is Julie Martin, i’m 17 and from Ballyvaughan co. Clare. I taught
myself to play the guitar when i was about 8 and i have been singing for as
long as i can remember. I put my love for jazz, particularly jazz vocalists,
down to being  immersed in it from the youngest age thanks to my music loving

Julie Martin

Nils Kavanagh

Nils Kavanagh is a jazz pianist originally from County Sligo. Beginning piano
lessons at age six, Nils was introduced to jazz music at sixteen through Sligo
Jazz Project. First learning from local jazz pianist Mark Murphy, he quickly
developed a love for jazz music. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Nils studied
under Scott Flanigan. He has performed with well-known Irish band Those
Nervous Animals, and co-leads the group The Saffron Trio, with whom he has
performed at both Sligo Jazz Project and Limerick Jazz Festival.

Currently Nils is working as a professional musician in Cardiff and studying
Jazz Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, tutored by
world class musicians such as Huw Warren, Elliot Galvin, Paul Jones and Paula


Miles Ronayne

Miles Ronayne is an emerging jazz drummer from Meath. Studying BA in Jazz and
Contemporary Music Performance in DCU, he has performance and recording
experience with the Gustavo De Morais Quintet and DCU JAZZ who covered
“Lingus” by Snarky Puppy. His style encompasses traditional approaches from
the likes of Elvin Jones and Max Roach and fuses them with contemporary
influences such as Bill Stewart, Nate Smith and Edu Ribeiro.