Solly Lipsitz, a prominent member of Northern Ireland’s Jewish community died on Saturday. Lipsitz, lovingly known as ‘Northern Ireland’s Mr. Jazz’ enjoyed a distinguished and influential career in the local music scene.

He was a former music critic with the Belfast Telegraph, owned the famous Atlantic Record shop specialising in Jazz imports and the Jazz Club on the Embankment in Belfast.

In a number of interviews Van Morrison described the influence Lipsitz and the music he brought to Belfast had on his development. Lipsitz is credited in the liner notes of a number of Morrisson’s own works (Magic Time, Born to Sing: No Plan B).

He was an Honorary Member of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts and is credited for discovering a number of important local talents.

A highly cultured Jazz and arts aficionado he brought much needed sophistication to a Belfast and Northern Ireland during some of its most calamitous times.