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  • Interviews / Q&As

Trombonist, composer and arranger Paul Dunlea is one of the most in-demand musicians on the Cork scene. His playing lingers on the ear with finely melodic improvisations bringing life to favourite standards alongside his original works. We caught up with him to chat about his music & upcoming releases.

Tell us about your upcoming release - is this the War of Independence suite?

I recorded the War of Independence Suite - Loch Trasna Suite in November ‘22 and am currently at the mastering stage. It features Ben Castle (tenor), Cormac McCarthy (Keys), Michael Janisch (Bass) and Diego Ramirez (Drums) It should be released in September this year but I also have another album complete which was recorded in February at Rudy Van Gelder Studios in New Jersey. It features myself, Trevor Mires & Ryan Keberle on Trombones, Ike Sturm (Bass) Jim Ridl (Piano) and Billy Kilson (Drums) I'm hoping to have that ready to go by the end of the year.

Does this suite of music have a personal meaning for you?

Absolutely, I've always had an interest in Irish history and being able to compose music based on individuals and events of the past is very inspiring.

Musically speaking, how do you go about taking the steps from initial inspiration to a finished piece/suite of music/ album?

For this particular subject matter, I suppose I was trying to write a kind of soundtrack to the images evoked in my mind whilst trying to have a continuity throughout the suite even though the individuals and events represented are diverse. But to be honest, notes and chords on a page are one thing but it's the musicians that bring it all to life through their craft and I'm very lucky to be working with some of the best around.

What would you like listeners to experience when listening to this music - live or recorded?

Ultimately, I want the listeners to enjoy the music and I hope that in some way both the music and the subject matter resonates with them.

IMC presents the Paul Dunlea Quintet live at Arthurs, June 15th.

Tickets on sale now!

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