Cuar is an Irish chamber music ensemble founded by Neil Ó Lochlainn.

The project explores composition and improvisation within the framework of Irish traditional music, playing new music written especially for the group. Citing influences as varied as Tommy Potts, Tony MacMahon, sean-nós singing and uilleann pipe music, on the one hand; and the Karnatak (South Indian) music tradition, composers Morton Feldman, Bela Bartok and downtown Jazz on the other. Together they forge a unique sound world which establishes a new, distinctly Irish, creative chamber music language.

The group perform together in Ballydehob Community Hall, and show will broadcast on Ballydehob Jazz Festival You Tube Channel on Saturday 1st May.

Neil Ó Lochlainn – double bass, flute, compositions
Ultan O’Brien – fiddle
Sam Comerford – clarinet, saxophone
Colm O’Hara – trombone


Tradition :: Meditation :: Collaboration :: Love

The group has been featured at festivals and events through out Ireland including the Kaleidoscope Night Dublin, NUI Galway Arts in Action concert series, the Galway Jazz Festival, Féile na Bealthaine Dingle and Masters of Tradition Bantry.

In April 2017 they released their debut album Roscanna on Raelach Records. The album is a 5 movement suite in specular structure inspired and based on Irish dance music forms and sean-nós singing

In September of 2019 the group were residents at the Heinrich Boll cottage on Achill Island. While there they developed a new collection of compositions inspired by the cottage and its surroundings. This music is due for release in 2021.


“Cuar is redefining the possibilities of Irish traditional music and taking it—roots and branches—into haunting, imaginatively fertile new terrain” Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

“a long awaited ear-craningly beautiful missive from the new post genre frontier” The Irish Times

“a distinctive musical intelligence that in my opinion is only to be found in a small of people” Tony MacMahon