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Beginning to End

Is there a more enigmatic musician of the Irish diaspora than guitarist Christy Doran? Since forming the Swiss band Om in the 70’s, Doran has been insinuating himself into the very fabric of European contemporary jazz from his lakeside base in Lucerne, recording for ECM, leading his power quartet New Bag, and collaborating with towering figures like John Surman and the late Edward Vesala.

Irish dates are rare, but he’s back for performances of a joint commission between Kilkenny Arts Festival and Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, with new music co-written with leading Irish composer and bassist Ronan Guilfoyle. Its inspiration will be Samuel Beckett, though not in any literal sense, focussing instead on the writer’s unique cadence, contour and metre as a source for jazz improvisational materials. Other potent voices from Ireland and Switzerland are in store with drummer Sean Carpio and the unique Isa Wiss, a striking young vocalist who evokes the exploratory techniques of the great Sidsel Endresen.

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