Niwel Tsumbu


(Shows: Skibbereen, Everyman, Glebe Gardens, Bantry House, Kino)

Since arriving in Ireland in 2004 from the Congo, Niwel Tsumbu has developed an enviable reputation as a masterfully elegant and fluent guitarist, vocalist, musician, collaborator and composer. 

He has performed with the finest Irish and international musicians (Sinead O’Connor, Glen Hansard, Liam O’ Maonlai, Baaba Maal, Donal Lunny, Donal Dineen) while continuing to craft his own distinctive sound derived from rhumba, soukous, classical, jazz, world, rock, and much more. Renowned for his versatility and virtuosity, Tsumbu has appeared at many festivals around Ireland and overseas including China at Expo alongside Xiaohui Ma.   He continues to collaborate with leading artists and theatre companies including Abbey Theatre, Cork Opera House and Roger Doyle Heresy 

Éamonn Cagney


(Shows: Skibbereen, Everyman, Glebe Gardens, Bantry House, Kino)

Éamonn Cagney is an Irish percussionist, composer, performer and educator and is recognised as one of Ireland’s premiere musicians. Along with collaborating with many artists, ensembles, choreographers, composers and performers, he leads his own groups Treelan and RITHIM. He has recently worked with: Iarla Ó Lionáird, John Spillane, Afel Bocoum, Mel Mercier, Míchéal Ó Súilleabháin, Julie Feeney, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Roger Doyle, Conor Linehan – Abbey Theatre, Loah,  Karen Casey, Martin Tourish (Altan), Camilla Griehsel and Niwel Tsumbu.

He has performed worldwide over the last 20 years and his deep experience of world, jazz, Irish traditional, improvised and contemporary music inform his numerous original projects and collaborations, including his acclaimed 2011 album “Convergence”, and his 2016 album “Enchantment” with Treelan.

Cormac McCarthy

B&W image of Cormac at the piano


(Shows: Bantry House, Kino)

Cormac McCarthy is a pianist, composer and arranger born in Cork, Ireland. He has performed and composed in a wide range of musical genres; from classical, jazz, pop, to Irish traditional music. In 2010, having completed his Masters degree in composition at the CIT Cork School of Music, Cormac received the prestigious Bill Whelan International Music Bursary for young Irish composers studying abroad. He spent a number of years living in Chicago, where he completed a Masters in Jazz Studies at DePaul University. His compositions and arrangements have been recorded by such jazz icons as Phil Woods and Jeff Hamilton. As a pianist, he has performed extensively throughout Europe and the US, recording and performing with artists including Peter Washington, Billy Drummond, Liz Carroll, Mark Lettieri, Padraig Rynne, Donal Lunny, Martin Hayes, The RTE National Symphony Orchestra, The RTE Concert Orchestra, The Cork Opera House Orchestra, The New Irish Jazz Orchestra, as well as being a member of the forward-thinking Irish traditional group NOTIFY. In 2015, Cormac released Cottage Evolution, his debut LP as bandleader, to widespread critical acclaim. Cormac lectures in piano, keyboard, arranging and composition at the CIT Cork School of Music, and is director of the Cork School of Music Jazz Big Band.

Maurice Seezer

Piano, Accordion, Vocal

(Shows: Skibbereen, Everyman)

Maurice Seezer is a musician, songwriter and composer for film and theatre.

Film-scores written or co- written by Maurice include ‘Angel Baby’ (1995), ‘The Boxer’ (1997), ‘Disco Pigs’ (2000), ‘In America’ (2003), ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ (2006), ‘The Pier’ (2011).  

He collaborated on 3 albums with Gavin Friday for Island Records from 1989 until 1995, “Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves”, Adam ‘n’ Eve and ‘Shag Tobacco’. Since the early 90’s he has contributed original songs to soundtracks for Jim Sheridan, Baz Luhrmann and Michael Rhymer (‘In The Name Of The Father”, “The Boxer”, “In America” ‘Romeo And Juliet’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ among others).

Collaboration and production credits include work with Bono, Gavin Friday, Maria McKee, Andrea Corr, Camilla Griehsel, Sinead O’Connor, Interference (Fergus O’Farrell) and Colin Vearncombe (aka Black).

Maurice played a pivotal role in developing Mamasongue for the stage and acted as musical director for the first two shows.

Concord Nkabinde


(Shows: Skibbereen, Everyman)

Concord Nkabinde (South Africa), is a performing and recording artist, composer, arranger, record producer, and an educator.

Nkabinde began his pursuit of music as a kid in his hometown of Soweto. Later he completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and worked as a full-time Music Teacher. It was performing live as a Bass Guitarist that led him to working with South Africa’s & International musicians such as Johnny Clegg, Abdullah Ibrahim, Colin Vearncombe AKA “Black”, Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Phil Manzanera, Joyous Celebration, Roy Ayers, Ernie Smith & many more. He received the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz in 2006.

As a Composer Nkabinde has written for commercial projects as well as commissioned works for the SAMRO Foundation and UNISA Competitions. Concord runs his own record label, Drocnoc Music, through which he has commercially released 2 CDs & a live DVD which was nominated for a South African Music Award in 2012. He has served as a Board Member of POSA (Performers’ Organization of South Africa) as well as a Vice-Chairman of CASA (Composers Association of South Africa).

Diego Joaquin Ramirez


(Shows: Everyman)

New York City-based drummer Diego Joaquin Ramirez was born and raised in Cork, Ireland. He played his first gig on drum set with his fathers’ band at age 4 and by the time he was 17, Diego was performing regularly around Ireland and Europe. He attended Berklee College Of Music, The Banff International Jazz Workshop, the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, and has studied with Ralph Peterson Jr, Terri Lyne Carrington, Nate Smith, Rodney Green, Andre Antunes, Jamey Haddad, Clarence Penn, and Tyshawn Sorey.

He is a current member of numerous NYC-based groups including Marc Cary & The Harlem Sessions, Wayne Tucker and The Bad Motha’s, and his own group SULA. He has performed with many other notable musicians including Vijay Iyer, Cyrille Aimee, Duane Eubanks, Michael League, Jazzmeia Horn, Alina Engibaryan, Grace Kelly, Stacy Dillard, Greg Tardy, Theo Hill, Luques Curtis, Walt Weiskopf, Niwel Tsumbu, Loah, Ruth-Anne Cunningham, Brian Deady, and Liam O’Maonlai.

His recognition and awards include the Berklee Vater Drum-Set award, the Cork City Arts Award, the TD Fellowship award, the ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composition award, and finalist in the 2017 DC Jazz Prix Competition with his group SULA.

He has played at many international venues and festivals including the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Fest, Montreal Jazz Fest, SXSW, The Kennedy Center, The DC Jazz Fest, Barranquilla Jazz Fest (Colombia), Umbria Jazz Fest (Italy), Cork Jazz Fest (Ireland), BIRD (Rotterdam), Minton’s Playhouse, Smoke, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Smalls, Fat Cat, Zinc, Nublu, and continues to perform at venues and festivals all around the world. Diego is endorsed by Canopus Drums.

Graham Hopkins


(Shows: Skibbereen)

Born and raised in Ireland to the sounds of Dixieland jazz, Graham has been playing drums since childhood.

He’s recorded and played live with a variety of different artists including Glen Hansard, The Frames, The Swell Season, Therapy?, Halite, Gemma Hayes, My Little Funhouse, Caitríona O’Leary, Rosanne Cash, Tom Jones, Marlon Williams, Oh Pep!, Rhiannon Giddens, David Kitt, Mundy, The Reindeer Section, Alphastates, Autamata, Ann Scott, Josh Ritter, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Mark Geary, Jape, Colm Quearney aka Q, Square Pegs, Ollie Cole, The Pale, Pugwash, Jerry Fish, An Emotional Fish, Lisa Hannigan, Miriam Ingram, Paula Toledo, Ferghal McKee (Whipping Boy), Richard Cocciante, Andrew Strong, Fionn Regan, Lir, The Cake Sale, Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries), Snow Patrol, Bronagh Gallagher, Boss Volenti, Duckworth Lewis Method, Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy), The Walls, Spectrum, Conor Deasy (The Thrills), and Nina Hynes.