Ireland's longest running big band
28 Years old!
That's why we stand out from the rest.
Make your Wedding extra special.
Book Black Magic.
Enquire here
Visually impressive.
Stunning Sound.
Masterful Musicians.
We also have a 12-person big band:
Black Magic 12.
For smaller venues or budgets.

About Us

The Black Magic Big Band,which made its debut in 1995,is an 18 piece band playing the music made famous by the Dorsey, Basie, Herman, and Ellington bands through to funk and fusion of the modern era. The band is led by trumpeter and arranger John Fleming with fine soloists like Steve Hanks and Bertrand Huvé on sax, Evan Ryder and Spike Keryell-Emmerson in the trombone section, and Bernard Naughton or Jimmy Fitzgerald on guitar. All backed by our polished rhythm section, led by either Pat Corless or Miki Belton on drums. Out in front there is an amazing array of vocal talent within our pool of singers. On any given night, you may hear the:

  • expert improvisation and interpretation of jazz singer and trumpeter Keith McDonald
  • smooth, dulcet tones of Nicola McGuire Thomas
  • versatile and dynamic Barbara Vulso who can "take the paint off the walls"
  • velvet timbre of crooner, Alan Greaney

In February 2000 the band started a 20-year-long Monday night residency in Galway city. First at Galway's popular live venue BarCuba* (later renamed to Bar 903, and more recently to McGettigan's Sports Bar) where they played to packed houses. From May 2010 to September 2018, the venue changed to Busker Browne's, in the town centre, and then in November 2018, to Seven Bridgestreet, just around the corner. It was decided to move away from the Monday night perfomance model in late December, 2019.

Aged from 18-80, people came along, either to dance or just listen to the band's exciting performances. Visitors from all over Ireland, UK, mainland Europe and USA have told us that they have never had such a fantastic night's entertainment. To underline these comments, the band has appeared at the Westport Arts Festival, Carrick Watermusic Festival, Ennis Music Festival, and Galway and Claribridge Oyster Festivals as well as the Cork, Galway, and Derry Jazz Festivals.

The big band has recorded two CDs to date (excerpts available in the 'Listen to the Band' section).  'This could be the start' was released in 2003, and 'At Last', in 2008.  The band has also performed live on radio (e.g. Lyric FM) and TV (e.g. The Late Late Show - RTE1, where, on their second appearance, they had the distinction of being the only guest band ever to have played in every musical number in the show - even the famous theme music).

A popular choice for corporate entertainment, this big band has been the highlight of the opening of Raddisson or Hilton Hotels in Galway, Cologne (Germany), Cork, and Limerick. The band is regularly seen at corporate functions and charity balls across the length and breadth of the country.

The Black Magic Big Band is also extremely popular for wedding celebrations all over Ireland and are recommended to clients by venues such as Dromoland Castle. For more information, view a sample wedding play list or skip to our dedicated 'Wedding' section.

Booking enquiries can be made via the contact page on this web site.