GBH and JazzBoston presented JazzNOW: Emerald Jazz, in recognition of International Jazz Day, streaming live from the acoustically acclaimed GBH Fraser Performance Studio. The hybrid concert featured an intriguing musical event merging improvisational jazz with traditional Irish music.

Eric Jackson, host of GBH’s Eric in the Evening, co-hosted this event with Brian O’Donovan, host of A Celtic Sojourn. Eric and Brian co-moderated a conversation with the musicians following the performance.

The ensemble included:

Cillian Vallely, uilleann pipes and low whistle player, noted by The Irish Voice as "one of the most respected pipers playing today," is known for his work with the acclaimed Irish band Lunasa, and such wide-ranging artists as Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Merchant and Mary Chapin-Carpenter.

Stan Strickland, an American saxophonist, has performed with Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Mann and Danilo Perez.

Witness Matlou, South African pianist, is a recipient of both the Charles Mingus & Wayne Shorter Composition Awards from Berklee College of Music.

Ron Mahdi, a bass player who has performed around the globe with many notable jazz artists including Roy Haynes, Dr. Donald Byrd, Nnenna Freelon, and Teodross Avery.

Ron Savage, an acclaimed drummer with a special focus on jazz and blues. Savage has performed extensively around the world with a wide array of performers.

The ensemble was directed by Oisin McAuley, who’s been called "one of today’s premier Irish fiddlers.”

This program was supported in part by grants from the Boston Cultural Council/Reopen Creative Boston Fund, administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Cambridge Jazz Foundation, and by the Mass Cultural Council, and was presented in collaboration with International Jazz Day, GBH Music and JazzBoston.

About Jazz Boston: JazzBoston connects, promotes and advocates for the musicians, audiences and venues of Greater Boston’s dynamic and diverse jazz community. The nonprofit organization spreads the music and message of jazz and celebrates Boston as one of the world’s great jazz cities. Find more information at

During the show, Brian O'Donovan thanks our members for supporting Jazz at GBH. The specific thank you gifts mentioned are no longer available. But you’ll find plenty of other gifts when you support GBH Music at with your donation. Every dollar makes a difference.