|Louis Stewart at Certaldo in 2005
Photo credit: Andrew Condon / Courtesy of GMF
Irish guitarist Louis Stewart passed away earlier today at the age of 72. He passed away peacefully in a hospice, after a short battle against cancer.
His career from the late 1960’s onwards took him to the highest level worldwide, but his loss is most deeply felt today in the Irish jazz community. As a self-taught home-grown musician who had unquestionably made his mark internationally, Stewart is – with very good reason – utterly revered by the Irish jazz community.
New York-based guitarist David O’Rourke has described him on Facebook page as “my hero, my mentor, my influence, MY FRIEND!”
Ronan Guilfoyle has written: “For young aspirant jazz musicians of my generation Louis was a God – the man who had done it all, the first Irish jazz musician to be of a level with the very best in the world, and as such he was an example and inspiration to all of us.”
Oliver Dowling who promoted him for the past 11 years, and organized his last appearance on October 4th, 2015 says: “It was an honour and a privilege to have known him, a true gentleman and a amazing musician. He enjoyed his pints of Guinness, his favourite Irish whiskey (Paddy), and his cigarettes. A very quiet and humble man, who was extraordinary when he played his guitar. He was one of the last to not own a mobile phone or have access to the Internet. He often talked to me about his time in London playing with Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes. I will miss him.“