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OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS Artist Q&A with Joe O’Callaghan

Limerick’s Joe O’Callaghan is a genuine force in Irish jazz guitar, with extended tasteful lines, contemporary chord shapes and an instinct for rocking out when the need arises. His newest ensemble, the Joe O'Callaghan Trio features pianist Izumi Kimura and bassist Derek Whyte. Ahead of their performance at Signal Series on Thursday 5th September, we spoke to Joe about influences from Zen Buddhism, the openness to create new experiences with each performance and visions of the future. 

Q. What is the most important thing to you when making music? 

That the music is open enough to have the potential for different experiences each time, and that there's an honesty and fearlessness in the performance .

Q. Who or what inspires you at the moment - be it in music, arts, politics or your personal life?

At the moment, I'm very interested in Zen Buddhism and its integration into the moment by moment awareness, and the stripping away of all affectations in ordinary life and also in music, so as to create an energy which can evolve into so many possibilities.

Q. How would you describe the kind of music that the Joe O’Callaghan Trio makes?

I'm very lucky to have two outstanding musicians, Derek and Izumi, in the trio with me. They are such open, really gifted musicians and wonderful people too, so the music can be anything from lyrical to avant-garde to straight-ahead swing and everything in between. This can be very exciting as it's never predictable.

Q. In your ideal gig, what experience/response would the audience have? 

It would be that the music resonates with the audience in a somewhat deep way and that they feel something,even if they hate us!

Q. What direction do you see the music industry headed towards in the next 20 years?

It's really hard to predict as technology changes so quickly these days, but whatever medium people use to listen to and perform music in the future, as human beings, we still react to music in pretty much the same way as we did thousands of years ago, it's nostalgic, emotional, comforting, disturbing, inspiring, enriching etc. and this will continue until we become part-machine-part-human. Then we'll probably lose our frailties that define as as human, and then maybe we'll have a new genre of 'post -human industrial robot jazz'!


Thanks Joe!
Hear the Joe O'Callaghan Trio live at
Signal Series
Thursday 5th September, 9pm
Arthur's Blues & Jazz Club
Tickets €12 online/€15 at the door

– posted