Photos: The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions, plus upcoming gigs

Have you been to the Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrne's yet?

The Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrne’s welcomed The Savage Five recently (10 May).

It was another fine night of free entertainment from an act fronted by “Ireland’s hidden music hero”, according to the BBC. The Savage Five are Suzanne Savage (vocals), Hugo Smit (cello), Alwyn Westbrook (violin), Alisa Smith (viola) and Sven Otte (double bass).

Ian McDonnell was there to pick up the shots on the night. Check them out below and keep scrolling for upcoming gig details for more of The Sofa Sessions.

The Savage Five Photos

The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography

Co-writers Suzanne Savage and cellist Hugo Smit draw on influences as broad as Cole Porter, Björk and Bartók, creating their own sonic world. With humour and pathos the five deliver their own clear-sighted and subversive take on the art song, moving deftly between delicately arranged stillness and full-blooded whirling dervish.

Add to this unmistakable influence of Irish music; Suzanne’s distinctive and soulful voice and lyrics speak of a deep connection to the landscape, of standing stones, love, war, falling… and quite fancying strangers.

The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography
The Savage Five at The Sofa Sessions. Photo: Ian McDonnell/Mc Gig Photography

Next up at The Sofa Sessions

You can start tonight (17 May) as Paul Tynan and Jake Hanlon make their way to Billy Byrne’s alongside Peter Hanagan and John Daly.

These are two of maritime Canada’s most distinguished jazz musicians, trumpeter Paul Tynan and guitarist Jake Hanlon. Joining them for their three date tour of Ireland are bassist Peter Hanagan and drummer John Daly.

The “rare talent” that is Sue Rynhart makes an appearance on Thursday 24 May. The vocalist and composer will be accompanied by two of the most sought after musicians on the Irish jazz scene, US bassist Dan Bodwell and Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi (familiar to Kilkenny Arts Festival goers in recent years).

On Thursday 31 May, it’s the turn of Joe O’Callaghan, who performs alongside Izumi Kimura (keys), Peter Erdei (bass) and Cormac Larkin (drums).

Into June then and on Thursday 7 June Venezuelan virtuoso pianist Leopoldo Osio, revisiting a trio first unveiled at Billy Byrnes Bar last year, with first-call Dublin bassist Andrew Csibi and resident drummer Cormac Larkin.

Freewheeling standards and Latin jazz favourites are on the agenda for this evening of hard-swinging contemporary jazz.

All this talent? Thursday nights, Billy Byrne’s on John Street, 9 bells, and it’s free.

Ian McDonnell is a music and gig photographer based in Kilkenny, Ireland. You can find Mc Gig Photography on Facebook here where recent projects include Delorentos, Darlingside, Birds of Chicago, Villiers and The Villains, Malojian, The Stunning, Shane Joyce, and more.

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Ken McGuire

The one who kicked off KilkennyMusic.com back in the heady days of 2005. Now a radio head at KCLR, award-winning podcaster, producer, food blogger at Ken On Food, music nerd and everything else in between.

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