Skip to main content
Criss cross europe

Chris Cross Europe 2020

IMC is delighted to announce that guitarist Chris Guilfoyle has been chosen to represent Ireland in the Criss Cross Europe Band for 2020. Chris will be a member of a pan-European band, coached and led by the legendary Jim Black, who will perform eight concerts in six countries late in 2020.

Criss Cross Europe

Criss Cross Europe came to life under the name Jazz Plays Europe in 2008, to encourage interaction between the different European jazz scenes. Each year, Criss Cross Europe brings together 6 promising young jazz and improvising musicians from 6 European countries to form a pan-European band. During a residency period these musicians work together, guided by experts and an artistic coach – a flag-bearer of the European jazz scene, which culminates in a European tour. During these residences, musicians can experiment, collaborate to find an intercultural musical dialogue, and also focus on their own career development on a European level.

The Criss-Cross Europe partners are Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (Scotland), Improvised Music Company (Ireland), Paradox & AMPA (The Netherlands), Music LX (Luxembourg), Estonia Jazz Union (Estonia) and JazzLab (Belgium), and 8 concerts will take place across the 6 countries. The band performs in Dublin on 3rd December 2020. Information regarding this concert will be released in the coming months on IMC’s events page.

With rehearsals beginning in Estonia in October, Chris will be working with a European band of musicians from six countries, led by jazz drumming legend Jim Black. The members of the Criss Cross Band in 2020 are:

Ananta Roosens (BE) - violin & trumpet
Chris Guilfoyle (IRL) - guitar
Michael Meis (LUX) - drums
Sanne Rambags (NL) - voice
Aleksander Paal (EST) - alto sax
David Bowdon (SC) - bass

Jim Black

Jim Black is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians bringing jazz into the 21st century, in addition to being one of the most influential drummers of our time. Based on the foundation of his virtuosic but highly personal approach to jazz drumming, Black’s aesthetic has expanded to include Balkan rhythms, rock song-craft and laptop soundscapes.

Growing up in Seattle, Black then studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he formed Human Feel with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. Subsequently moving to New York, he took featured roles in some of the most critically acclaimed bands of the time, like Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin’s trio, Pachora, and Dave Douglas’ Tiny Bell Trio. Thus began thirty years of near-constant touring and recording, with artists like Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz, Steve Coleman, Tomasz Stanko, Nels Cline, and Laurie Anderson.

Chris Guilfoyle

Chris Guilfoyle is a familiar face on the Irish jazz scene as a guitarist, composer, bandleader, and educator currently based in Dublin. After completing his BA in Jazz Performance at Newpark Music Centre, Dublin in 2010, he went on to receive a Masters Degree in Music Performance from Lucerne University, Switzerland in 2014.

Over the last 10 years, Chris has toured regularly around Ireland and abroad including the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium and France. Since 2011, Chris has been a member of faculty on Newpark Music Centre’s BA in Jazz Performance program, and has since become a Jazz Lecturer at Dublin City University where he teaches guitar and ensemble studies. He is also a founding member of the Dublin Jazz Co-op, a collective of Irish jazz musicians putting on weekly gigs in the Workman’s Club, Dublin.

Chris leads his own group Umbra, a critically acclaimed quintet featuring some of the most promising musicians in Ireland. Umbra have released two records in the last two years and have toured extensively in Ireland and Europe. In his relatively short career, Chris has played with some of the biggest names in jazz including Dave Liebman, Jim Black, Tom Rainey, Theo Bleckmann, Nils Wogram, Ralph Peterson, John O’Gallagher and David Binney and also performs with Ronan Guilfoyle, Conor Guilfoyle, Sean Carpio and Michael Buckley, some of the most highly regarded musicians on the Irish jazz scene.

We spoke to Chris for our Other Side of the Tracks interview series in March 2019. Have a read through HERE to learn more about some of his inspirations and approaches to music-making.

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to the IMC newsletter to keep up with the latest in Irish Jazz.

Sign up

Help us hold that note

Help support artists, and make the musical world in Ireland a richer place.