Cormac OBrien/Kit Downes Quartet – Dolans Upstairs – Wed September 10th, Doors 8.30 Gig 9.15pm. Admission €10
After an Irish tour in 2009 led by singer Clair Daly, Cormac and Kit discovered a shared love of many types of music ranging from free improv to the music of Thelonious Monk. This common ground allowed them to compliment each others expressiveness and had led to the formation of a new quartet to show case new originals from both musicians. They are joined by Irish saxophone legend, Michael Buckley and Cormac’s long time rhythm section associate, Shane O’Donovan on drums.
“Everyone’s favorite new pianist”
Dave Gelly, The Observer, 2011
“Stunning new jazz group from the UK”
Olaf Maikopf, Jazzthetik 2012 ****
“One of the finest pianists of his generation”
Timeout Magazine ****
“Kit Downes is the most impressive jazz pianist from England since John Taylor”
“Downes is an exceptional talent”
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph ****
Kit Downes – Having studied at both the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music (where he is now an Associate), Kit began playing and living in London age 18 -meeting and playing with peers such as Calum Gourlay, James Maddren (who make up his long-standing trio), James Allsopp and Tim Giles (who make up the ‘Golden age of Steam’) and Chris Montague and Josh Blackmore (who make up ‘Troyka’) – as well as elder more established musicians such as Stan Sulzmann (whom Kit still plays with in Stan’s band ‘Neon’), Seb Rochford and Clark Tracey – Kit began building on these musical relationships, performing throughout the UK, Europe and America with many of them (with both Julian Arguelles’ group and ‘Empirical’ touring Canada and America – with Empirical playing at Newport Jazz Festival – the first UK group to do so for a long time). He also guested with some of the leading bands in the UK around this time – ‘Fraud’, Acoustic Ladyland’, ‘Micachu’, ‘Gilad Atzmon’ as well as playing with some of his heroes – Lee Kontiz, Thomas Stronen, Django Bates (in a special commission for Jazz on 3), Iain Ballamy and Leafcutter John. Kit has toured with his own group throughout Germany, Austria, Norway and Italy, and similarly with Troyka, and also received a BBC Jazz Award for his work with Empirical, a British Jazz Award for his work with his own band and a Mercury Music Award nomination for his Trio album ‘Golden’. Kit has released two more albums since then to good reviews, and now tours with his own Quintet, Troyka, Julian Arguelles’ Quartet, Nostalgia 77, Sarah Gillespie, Thomas Stronen and Sylvain Darrifourq. In 2013 he was also nominated in the Rising Star category in Downbeat Magazine.
Cormac OBrien is one of Dublin’s busiest bassists and he has performed and recorded with many of Ireland’s finest musicians, such as Louis Stewart, Tommy Halferty, Michael Buckley, Hugh Buckley, The Kai Big Band, The Zoid Ensemble, Lunfardia, Yurodny, Jack L and Mary Coughlan. He has also played with a range of internationalartists such as Bobby Watson, Jamie Baum, Dave Allen, Ryan Quigley, Bjorn Vidar Solli, and Bruce Adams. He has held the bass chair in the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra since its inception and is a former member of the DIT Symphony Orchestra. Cormac also co-founded the group Rhythm Method, for whom he also composes. In 2012 Cormac set up the Jazz Central, Dublin’s premier jazz venue, and performs there every Sunday with different artists. He is also a course director at Newpark Music Centre and has been a part of various initiatives including The Prime Collective, Rutland Place/Space for Creative Music, Donkey Jaw Productions and Jazz at the International.
Regarded as the most important and influential musician on the Irish jazz scene, saxophonist/flautist and composer Michael Buckley has been playing professionally since the age of six when critics hailed him as a child prodigy. Born in Dublin city in 1971 Michael first came to prominence on an International level when, aged 10, he played flute with the legendary saxophonist George Coleman in the National Concert Hall. Though largely self-taught, his obvious talent has been developed by his father Dick Buckley, and such legends as Milt Hinton. Buckley has found his own unique voice playing both on saxophone and flute. The last two years alone 2012 Buckley has been collaborating with the world jazz Orchestra where michael was representing Ireland, also the Edinburgh jazz festival Orchestra (led by Tim Hagans) also small group tours and concerts with Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Joey Baron, Jason Rebello, Nils Wolgram, Tom Rainey, Chander Sardjoe, to name but a few.
Shane O’Donovan is a Dublin based drummer and electronic music composer. He began studying drums with Conor Guilfoyle and then went on to complete a diploma in jazz performance at Newpark School of Music. After over ten years of professional performance he is now recognized on the Irish jazz scene as one of the instruments leading exponents. Currently very active on the Dublin jazz scene, Shane is involved in a number of projects alongside some of Ireland’s leading jazz musicians. These include Floater; Awkward Silence Sextet; Hugh Buckley’s quartet with Michael Buckley; and Mike Nielsen’s trio with Brendan Doyle. He has also worked with many top international musicians such as Guy Barker, John Stowell, Greg Osby, Greg Burke, and Loren Stillman, to name a few.