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NAVIGATOR musician-in-residence announced for Garter Lane Waterford

IMC and Garter Lane are delighted to announce Aleka Potinga as NAVIGATOR Musician in residence at Garter Lane this October 9-20th.

Garter Lane is a new and important partner for IMC’s nationwide 10-day Navigator jazz residency programme, which was established in 2021. Since then 13 Irish-based jazz and improvising musicians have enjoyed bespoke residencies with venue partners The Source Arts Centre, Thurles, Ballina Arts Centre and The Courthouse, Co. Wicklow, and in 2023 with new partners Riverbank in Newbridge, Crescent Arts Centre Belfast and now Garter Lane in Waterford city.

NAVIGATOR offers jazz and improvising musicians professionally remunerated time and space to develop and perform work, while building creative and professional relationships in new locations.

Aleka Potinga
is a Romanian singer, cellist and composer living in Dublin for over 10 years. Drawing on a huge variety of influences including jazz, bel canto, soul, pop and Eastern music as well as the folkloric roots from her home country, her sound is unique.

Aleka has spent 20 years studying music, including a Bachelor of Arts in cello performance with the highest distinction, at the National University of Music Bucharest, and a B.A in Vocal Jazz performance, graduated with First Class Honors in Newpark Music Centre, Dublin. Both her EP 'Aleka' and her debut album 'Person I Knew' received 4 star reviews in The Irish Times.

“Hip cosmopolitan sounds... have a borderless, trans-national flavour, liberally spiced with bossa nova, downtown jazz, outlier pop, art rock and free improv” -
The Irish Times

“I am really looking forward to being in such a creative environment at Garter Lane, which is essential to the type of work I will be doing there. Having lived in Ireland for over ten years now, I feel it is time to discover the rich storytelling tradition of my adopted homeland. So I have decided to research Irish mythology with a particular emphasis on female characters, of which there are many. From this research I will write new music inspired by these stories and characters. I am really looking forward to diving into this work and also exploring the surroundings of Waterford town and connecting with the people there.” — Aleka Potinga

Aleka will be in resident in one of Garter Lane Arts Centre’s new studios, to research, develop and create new music as well as researching Irish mythology and storytelling. While in Waterford Aleka will create links with local Waterford SETU lecturer and jazz musician Dylan Bible and SETU Music Degree students. A jazz lecturer at DCU, Aleka also teaches voice and directing the DCU Vocal Ensemble and runs private jazz vocal lessons.

Sile Penkert Executive Director at Garter Lane said:

“We are thrilled to partner with Improvised Music Company on our first NAVIGATOR residency, and to have Aleka Potinga join us at Garter Lane this Autumn. As part of her residency Aleka will engage with local groups and artists as well as being one of the first artists to inhabit one of our new studios at No.5 O’Connell St. We boast a proud history of supporting and nurturing emerging talent and we are thrilled now support an innovative and talented music artist and look forward to bringing more details about the residency to the fore in the weeks to come. None of our work would be possible without the invaluable support of our funders The Arts Council and Waterford City & County Council.”

On Saturday October 14th in Garter Lane, Aleka will be joined by guitarist Chris Guilfoyle for a Lunchtime Concert of work-in-development. This will be an informal performance open to the public, no booking required. See further information on

The NAVIGATOR residency programme is part of IMC's commitment to further develop the national scene for jazz and improvised music, improve artist touring mobility, develop audiences nationwide, and develop creative opportunities and fruitful new relationships for musicians.
Follow Aleka's residency experience @alekapotinga on Instagram

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