IMC in association with Triskel

Piece by Piece #4: Cormac McCarthy

Piece by Piece: Cormac McCarthy
Friday 1st May, 8pm
Streaming on IMC's Youtube channel

IMC and Triskel are coming together to host a weekly sequence of online solo performances featuring leading Irish improvisers, streaming each Friday at 8pm. 

Moving into May with the 4th concert in the series, composer, pianist and arranger Cormac McCarthy brings to bear a background across traditional, jazz, and classical music in his music. An individualistic use of Irish traditional tunes in a jazz idiom along with sweepingly cinematic textures marries genres which are seldom brought together successfully.

In the Piece by Piece series, each artist’s input performance will influence or inspire the next performance in this musical chain. Piece by piece, artists will create new improvised work, based on the preceding work. Improvising musicians are uniquely skilled at interpretation and spontaneous creation allowing for fresh creation of the highest calibre.

Enjoy fresh new music, influenced in real-time, from world-class Irish improvising musicians, telling the story of these strange times through new music and live performance, piece by piece.

Piece by Piece is an exciting new initiative from IMC and Triskel Arts Centre, which brings an entirely new meaning to the term ‘online influencer’.

IMC and Triskel are committed to continuing to employ artists and engage audiences, particularly during these challenging times.

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Next week, Friday 8th May: Cora Venus Lunny

See the whole series here.

Read Cormac's reflections on his piece HERE.

Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy is a pianist, composer and arranger from Cork, Ireland. Noted for a diverse stylistic palette, and equally at home in a variety of genres, his music is said to "defy categorisation"  (Lyric FM).  In 2010, having completed his Masters degree in composition at the CIT Cork School of Music, Cormac received the prestigious Bill Whelan International Music Bursary, an award earmarked for young Irish composers studying abroad. He spent a number of years living in Chicago, where he completed a Masters in Jazz Studies at DePaul University.

His compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by artists including Phil Woods, Jeff Hamilton, Mick Flannery, Martin Hayes, Marlene Enright, Jack O'Rourke, The DePaul Jazz Ensemble, The Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, The New Irish Jazz Orchestra and the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra. 

As a pianist, he has performed extensively at concert venues, clubs and festivals throughout Europe and the US, sharing the stage/recording studio with artists across a wide musical spectrum, including Peter Washington, Nell Ní Chróinín, Billy Drummond, Liz Carroll, Donal Lunny, The RTE National Symphony Orchestra & The RTE Concert Orchestra. In 2015, Cormac released Cottage Evolution, his debut LP as bandleader, to widespread critical acclaim. He is also a member of Martin Hayes' most recent project, The Common Ground Ensemble.

Cormac continues to be in demand as a composer, arranger and orchestrator in tandem with maintaining an active performance schedule. He lectures in piano, arranging and composition at the CIT Cork School of Music, and is director of the Cork School of Music Jazz Big Band. 

“Cormac is world class. He is an incredible musician."

– Martin Hayes

"McCarthy as a pianist sounds a little like Brad Mehldau, yet it’s his writing style, while leaning sometimes towards aHighway Rider-type atmosphere particularly on ‘Bill’s Words’, making individualistic use of Irish traditional music with its lilting strictnesses and sudden bursts of passionate energy introduced via a pronounced jazz filter, that sets Cottage Evolution apart. The arranging, again McCarthy’s work, is excellent."

– Stephen Graham,

"Cormac McCarthy's superb arrangements for a mixed jazz ensemble defy categorization."

– Carl Corcoran, Lyric FM
  • Cormac McCarthy at Earagail Arts Festival
    , Online more info
  • Piece by Piece #4: Cormac McCarthy
    more info