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Getting back in into the swing

THE Improvised Music Company, always eager to challenge its audience, brings a series of unfamiliar, even obscure, names to its Sunday night Pendulum at Dublin's JJ Smyth's.

Tonight the Pendulum features Lupo, a singing duo made up of Sarah Buechi and Lauren Kinsella, backed by Ronan Guilfoyle's new group Trilogue, with Japanese pianist, Izumi Kimura. Buechi comes from Switzerland, is now head of the jazz vocal department at Newpark Music Centre, and has studied Karnatic classical music in India. She and Lauren Kinsella have also made a CD together, Sessile Oak.

Next Sunday the Will Vinson/Lage Lund Quartet will perform in the same venue. Vinson (alto sax) is originally from the UK. Now based in New York, he is a regular member of the Mingus Big Band and joined Northern Ireland guitarist Mark Mc- Knight on his impressive debut CD Overnight.

Lage Lund is a Norwegian-born guitarist who won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Prize. The rhythm section consists of Orlando Fleming (bass) and Jochen Ruckert (drums).

A Swedish/Irish collaboration, Mantrum, comes to JJ's on Sunday, January 24. The Scandinavians are Thomas Backman and Nils Berg (saxes), while Shane Latimer (guitar), Cormac O'Brien (bass) and Shane O'Donovan (drums) are the Irish members of the quintet.

Back on home territory, Puck Fair need no introduction. Brian Dunning (flute), Sean Whelan (guitar) and Robbie Harris (percussion -- famous for his breathtaking command of the bodhrán) bring their successful mix of jazz and Irish music to JJ's on Sunday, January 31.

Ronan Guilfoyle continues to keep busy with a variety of groups. Trilogue can be heard again at noon on January 24 in the Hugh Lane Gallery, free.

Sunday Independent