10 Nov. 2017, 8pm

Francesco Turrisi and Róisín Elsafty: with special guest Emer Mayock

Italian born, Dublin based jazz pianist, musical conceptualist and explorer of new sonic realms, Francesco Turrisi furthers his previous explorations into the ancient melodies of sean-nós with this special performance with traditional Irish singer Róisín Elsafty. Turrisi, a multi-instrumentalist is a graduate of jazz and early music from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and has performed with the New York avant-garde ensemble Bang on a Can as well as touring with Bobby Mc Ferrin. This performance will feature Róisín Elsafty with whom he has collaborated with on his album for piano solo and voice, ‘Grigio.’


Róisín Elsafty has been innovative in both theme and style of the sean nós singing tradition while remaining loyal to her self imposed limits of the Connemara style where she was born. Róisín revives old songs with fresh arrangements and has brought contemporary issues into the thematic content of sean-nós, as well as Arabic influences (inspired by her half-Egyptian heritage) into the vocal style of this music.

In this collaboration Turrisi reimagines the ancient melodies of sean-nós in bold new settings. The intent is not to accompany the already complete Sean-nós songs but to create a colour that might add an unusual or different element to the songs to achieve something original. The original soundscape created by Turrisi’s technique such as his use of ebows in Eleanor a Run, or his overdubbing of sounds created with his hands inside the piano creates what gives the illusion of an almost electronically created soundscape.

This performance will also include music from special guest musician, composer and curator of the Undercurrents series Emer Mayock on flute and uilleann pipes. Emer and Francesco have collaborated in the past on original compositions and traditional repertoire from Ireland, the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa.

“Whether he is providing rhythmic propulsion, introspective stirring flights, or meandering sleepy lines, one leaves knowing his playing and his musical charisma carries weight and originality.” – Totally Dublin
“She renders sean-nós’s impenetrable qualities gloriously transparent with her delicate ornamentations, which betray the subtlest of Arabic influences” – The Irish Times