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Blind Date Jazz: Seán Carpio + Colm O’Hara

IMC’s Blind Date Jazz - A New Limited Series

Episode 5: Seán Carpio + Colm O'Hara
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Musicians often describe improvising with each other as having a conversation - listening, throwing out ideas, responding and developing on each other’s musical thoughts, all in real time.

Since the start of the pandemic we’ve all had less opportunity to listen and hear - feeling either isolated from other people, or besieged by a tsunami of digital content, impossible to focus and listen.

IMC’s new limited series Blind Date Jazz brings listening and creative improvisation into focus, with some of Ireland’s leading improvisers coming into the studio to create an exciting, new, musical conversation.

The twist?

Neither musician has any idea who they are playing with. Unknown, unrehearsed, unplanned and unseen. Not even aware what the other instrument is. In other words, completely blind.

For episode 5 of Blind Date Jazz, we paired up trombonist Colm O'Hara with drummer Seán Carpio.

Trombonist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Colm O’Hara has played with some of Ireland’s most innovative and interesting ensembles, including amongst others, the Crash Ensemble, the Dirty Jazz Club, Yurodny, Havana ‘che, and quartet ReDiviDeR, whose recent release ‘Mere Nation’ was praised by All About Jazz for their “beguiling hybrid of simplicity and complexity, tunefulness and adventure”. As a composer, he has recently been commissioned to write for flautist Lina Andonovska and drummer Matthew Jacobson, and has collaborated with sculptor Rory Tangney on a commission for Solstice Arts Centre Navan. Find more about Colm's work on his website:

Sean Carpio is a drummer and multi-instrumentalist, described by the Irish Times as “maybe the finest drummer ever produced here". His full-length debut WoWos in 2013 was called by DIY Mag “a determinist streak of nature loving excitability”. A prolific collaborator, he has played with the likes of Louis Stewart, Mikkel Ploug, Nina Hynes, Robert Stillman, Ronan Guilfoyle, and many more, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra & RTE Concert Orchestra. Recent work has included multimedia trio Bog Bodies, exploring electro-acoustic spontaneous composition. Other recent collaborations include work with guitarists Simon Jermyn and Cian Nugent, and with the National Concert Hall’s Echo Band. Find more of Seán's work at his website:

So, join us on this journey, as we introduce the two performers, shepherding them into the studio while completely hiding from each other’s sight. A curtain bisects the studio, obscuring the artists from one another.

They begin to play, exchanging musical thoughts, sentences, developing a theme and interacting only through the music, an open mind and completely blind. Our studio curtain drops at a certain point and they come face to face with their new improvising partner. Does the musical conversation change?

Blind Date Jazz is an exploration in listening, intuition, skill and spontaneity, all unique hallmarks of the improvising artist.

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“Jazz music is the power of now. There is no script. It’s conversation.”

- Wynton Marsalis

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