Friday 19 December 2014

Jazz: The enterprising sounds of Downes and O'Brien

Grainne Farren

Published 01/09/2014 | 02:30

PIANO MAN: Kit Downes will join Cormac O’Brien, Michael Buckley and Shane O’Donovan
PIANO MAN: Kit Downes will join Cormac O’Brien, Michael Buckley and Shane O’Donovan

The enterprising bass-player Cormac O'Brien is bringing Kit Downes, a British pianist, to Ireland for a five-day tour from September 9 to 13. They will co-lead a quartet featuring Michael Buckley (sax) and Shane O'Donovan (drums).

Kit Downes is based in London and leads a trio called Troyka as well as another under his own name. He has performed at some of the major international jazz festivals, including Newport, Vancouver, London, Glasgow and the North Sea. As well as leading his own groups, he has played with Clark Tracey, Julian Arguelles and Peter Ind. His latest CD is Live at the 2013 Cheltenham Jazz Festival with the eighteen-piece Troykestra.

Cormac O'Brien has backed local heroes like Louis Stewart, Hugh Buckley and Tommy Halferty, as well as international artists such as Bobby Watson and Anders Bergcrantz. He is a member of the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, and is a course director in Newpark Music Centre.

Michael Buckley has been in the public eye from an early age, starting on flute and going on to tenor and alto saxophones. He toured with the Mingus Big Band and, more recently, appeared with the Edinburgh Jazz Festival Orchestra. He has performed with Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie and Nils Wogram, among others.

Shane O'Donovan studied with Conor Guilfoyle and completed a diploma in jazz performance at Newpark. He is Louis Stewart's regular drummer, and has backed top names like Guy Barker and Greg Osby.

The quartet's tour of Ireland begins with a midnight concert in Crane Lane, Cork, on Tuesday September 9.

The next three gigs, each at 9 pm, are in Dolan's, Limerick, JJ Smyth's, Dublin and Billy Byrne's, Kilkenny. They end with an afternoon concert in McHugh's, Belfast, on Saturday 13th.

Today's attraction in JJ Smyth's is the Richie Buckley Quintet with John Moriarty (guitar), Phil Ware (piano), Paul Moore (bass) and Kevin Brady (drums).

Where would you find a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? Doors open at 4.30pm.

Sunday Independent

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