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IMC Navigator Jazz Residencies: Cormac McCarthy in residence at An Grianán, Letterkenny

IMC is pleased to announce the second in a series of four ‘Navigator’ jazz residencies taking place in 2021, which will see pianist and composer Cormac McCarthy in residence at An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny this July.

Cork-based composer, pianist and arranger Cormac McCarthy brings a background across traditional, jazz, and classical to his innovative music. Presenting an individualistic use of Irish traditional tunes in the jazz idiom along with sweepingly cinematic textures, McCarthy successfully marries these two strong genres, which both have improvisation and interplay as core elements.

Cormac said: “The opportunity to spend time dedicated to making music, developing ideas and exploring new concepts is something all musicians and composers desire, but seldom experience. To do this at such a stunning venue, and in a county with as rich a musical tradition as Donegal, is really exciting. We have some plans in place for the residency, but I'm keeping an open mind and hoping to let the people, the venue and the wider community guide me. I can't wait to get started!”

The Navigator Jazz Residency programme, in collaboration with arts centres around the country, offers artists professionally remunerated time and space to develop and perform work with a deep sense of space, informed by community involvement.

An Grianán Theatre is an integral part of the county’s thriving cultural life and a flagship venue in the North West of Ireland. The theatre opened in October 1999 and rapidly earned a reputation for artistic excellence and accessibility. In their state-of-the-art facility, they present the best in drama, comedy, music and much more, and also have a busy programme of community and outreach events. Their work includes an exciting summer programme of performing arts for children and young people, and a long-standing association with Earagail Arts Festival, Donegal’s largest arts festival.

“The opportunity to have a musician of Cormac's calibre working in the theatre is of enormous benefit to the music community here in Donegal. Through his residency he will be exchanging ideas with other professional musicians, and engaging with our music students - generously sharing his skills and experience. We hope to offer him the chance to make new creative partnerships and enjoy our rich local musical landscape.” said Patricia McBride, Director at An Grianán

Cormac's work will be presented online on Friday 23rd July at 7pm, as part of Earagail Arts Festival.

The ‘Navigator’ residency programme is an exciting new opportunity in line with IMC's commitment to further developing the national scene for jazz and improvised music, improving artist touring mobility, developing audiences nationwide, and developing creative opportunities for musicians.

You can read here for further details about Improvised Music Company’s Navigator Jazz Residency programme and the four regional venue partnerships involved.


Cormac McCarthy's performance for 'Piece by Piece' in 2020.

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