A talented young Derry musician is heading off to Canada this weekend after securing a scholarship to the Banff Centre for Creative Arts.
Joseph Leighton will head off this Sunday ahead of a three week stay. While there he will be working with some of the most respected artists in the world of jazz and performing each evening on stage with world class musicians in the creative hub that is Banff.
Joseph’s love for music started when he was around 11 years old, when he picked up the drums, quickly followed by the guitar.
His love for the guitar flourished into a passion that makes him a very exciting guitarist to listen to.
Starting Foyle College in 2008, he quickly became a leading member of the Foyle Jazz Band, taking part in many functions within the school and throughout the city. His teachers encouraged him, and in 2012 he formed with a some school friends a jazz fusion band called ‘The Kashmir Krows’, who would go on in 2014 to win the Music City talent contest. This resulted in the band playing with many headline acts over the Jazz Festival in the city including supporting Jazz star ‘Kyle Eastwood’.
Joseph has only recently returned from Toronto where he played at venues at an International Music Festival.
His return there will see him taking masterclass workshop with some of the world’s leading jazz educators/musicians in an all expenses paid trip he secured after submitting his work for consideration. He is one of the youngest musicians ever to take part in the programme.
More good news came in May when he received word that after an audition in Dublin in February, he has been accepted to study jazz at Berklee College of Music, Boston in 2017- one of the most prestigious music institutions in the world. He has also been selected in the jazz category of Northern Irish musicians to receive funding and mentoring for one year from ‘Moving on Music’ promotions.
Joseph plays on a regular basis in Bennigans Jazz Club and has regular solo gigs in the Bishops Gate Hotel and the Legenderry Warehouse in the City, so before he leaves his home town take the opportunity of hearing this young man play.