The Cormac McCarthy Quartet brings together some of Ireland’s finest musicians, from an eclectic mix of styles and musical backgrounds. Rooted in an improvisational approach, the band traverses the limitations of genre to bring a fresh and exciting new sound.

Featuring Darren McCarthy (bass) and critically-acclaimed international fiddle duo, Lucia MacPartlin & Maria Ryan. This prestigious group will perform live in the Ballydehob Community Hall, the performance will be premiere online Sun 2nd May.


Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy is a pianist, composer and arranger from Cork, Ireland. Noted for a diverse stylistic palette, and equally at home in a variety of genres, his music is said to “defy categorisation” (Lyric FM). 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, an award earmarked 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 performed and recorded by artists including Phil Woods, Jeff Hamilton, Mick Flannery, Martin Hayes, Andrea Corr, Marlene Enright, Jack O’Rourke, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra, The DePaul Jazz Ensemble, The Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, The New Irish Jazz Orchestra and the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra.

As a pianist, he has performed extensively at concert venues, clubs and festivals throughout Europe and the US, sharing the stage/recording studio with artists across a wide musical spectrum, including Peter Washington, Nell Ní Chróinín, Billy Drummond, Liz Carroll, Donal Lunny, The RTE National Symphony Orchestra & The RTE Concert Orchestra. In 2015, Cormac released Cottage Evolution, his debut LP as bandleader, to widespread critical acclaim. He is also a member of Martin Hayes’ most recent project, The Common Ground Ensemble.

Cormac continues to be in demand as a composer, arranger and orchestrator in tandem with maintaining an active performance schedule. He lectures in piano, arranging and composition at the CIT Cork School of Music, and is director of the Cork School of Music Jazz Big Band.

Lucia and Maria

Violin virtuose duo Lucia Mac Partlin and Maria Ryan, a.k.a Lucia and Maria met while studying and living together in Cork, where they quickly realized their shared passion for Folk and Traditional Irish music. They also formed contemporary Traditional Irish quartet Strung. In their compositions and arrangements they combine their traditional, classical and folk influences to stunning effect.

The duo completed their Masters’ at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden before returning home to Ireland to record their debut album ‘Live at the Chapel’ at Griffith College Chapel in Cork as part of The Quiet Lights Festival in 2018. Lucia and Maria aim to forever push the boundaries of fiddle music and enthrall audiences worldwide.

Darren McCarthy

Darren McCarthy is an Irish bass player . He earned his degree at the Leeds College of music studying under bass master Zoltan Dekany. In 2007 Darren moved to Berlin where he performed with musicians such as David Friedma, at the A Trane , BFlat and Bei Ernst jazz clubs. Darren has been a long time member of Irish cult folk rock band Interference led by Fergus O’Farrell. In 2009 Darren moved to London to study a masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since then he has established himself on the London jazz scene as a much sought-after bassist.