Sofa Sessions Spring Season 2020

The Sofa Sessions, Kilkenny announce an exciting Spring season of concerts, commencing Thursday 6th February, featuring national and international musicians in the atmospheric Terrace Room at Billy Byrne’s. 

Musicians from the US, Japan, France, Germany and Venezuela join some of the finest Irish jazz musicians in an intimate, listener-friendly space that RTE Radio 1 has called ‘perhaps the best jazz venue in Ireland’.

The Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrne’s is thrilled to announce its Spring programme with an exciting and eclectic programme of fresh-sounding creative music, featuring some of the finest musicians on the national and international stage. Programmed by local musician and Irish Times jazz critic Cormac Larkin, the Sofa Sessions begins its fifth year of weekly concerts the next one being on Thursday February 13th, bringing high-level instrumentalists and acclaimed vocalists to the discerning Kilkenny audience.

Since its inception in 2015, the Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrne’s has been gaining an international reputation for the outstanding quality of its programme, presenting musicians of rare abilities and creativity in the intimate, listener-friendly Terrace Room at Billy Byrne’s. One of Kilkenny’s best-loved public houses, Billy Byrne’s is famed for the warmth of its welcome, and musicians and audience alike have been effusive in their praise for the laid-back comfort and music-friendly atmosphere of its cosy Terrace Room.

Over the last five years, the Sofa Sessions has brought some of the jazz world’s most acclaimed performers to Kilkenny, including international stars like US vocalist Theo Bleckmann, ex-Jazz Messengers saxophonist Jean Toussaint and famed UK vocalist Norma Winstone, as well as the cream of the Irish jazz scene, including singers Mary Coughlan, Honor Heffernan and Flo McSweeney, renowned guitarist Jimmy Smyth, internationally respected bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, folk legend Andy Irvine and a host of rising stars from the fertile Dublin scene.

This year’s programme, which commences on Thursday 6th February, carries on the Sofa Sessions tradition of bringing the best creative music to Kilkenny. Highlights include a recreation of Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool by an eight-piece touring ensemble; Athens, Georgia guitarist Dan Nettles’ genre-bending Kenosha Kid; leading UK pianist Kit Downes’ collaboration with top Irish musicians; eminent Irish bassist Ronan Guilfoyle’s celebration of the music of Brazil; and a host of other exciting acts.

The Sofa Sessions takes place every Thursday night at 9pm, and is always free-of-charge (though we do invite donations from our audiences – all money donated goes directly to the musicians). Full details of each concert are posted on the Facebook page at


Sofa Sessions Spring Season 2020


13th Feb            Derek O’Connor & Joe O’Callaghan

Late Late Show and Camembert Quartet saxophonist Derek O’Connor makes his Sofa Sessions debut with the acclaimed Limerick guitarist Joe O’Callaghan

20th Feb            Birth of the Cool: Conor Guilfoyle Octet

A stunning eight-piece band, bringing Miles Davis’ epochal 1957 recording to life, begin their Arts Council supported tour of Ireland at the Sofa Sessions

27th Feb            Tommy Halferty International Trio

Ireland’s greatest jazz guitarist leads a trio featuring two of the Paris scene’s leading musicians, bassist Sebastien Boisseau and drummer Christophe Lavergne

5th March          Kenosha Kid

US guitarist Dan Nettles flies in direct from Athens, Georgia with his unique blend of surf rock and contemporary jazz with a country twang

12th March       Emilie Conway’s Spring Show

Acclaimed Dublin vocalist presents a Spring-themed programme of favourite songs with a top-flight band including classy pianist Johnny Taylor

19th March       Cormac O Brien Trio feat. Kit Downes

Leading Irish bassist leads a trio featuring acclaimed pianist Kit Downes, one of the leading innovators on the London jazz scene

26th March       Carole Nelson Trio (Album Launch)

Award-winning Carlow pianist and songwriter launches her new environmentally-themed album, Arboreal, with a special trio performance

2nd April           Meilana Gillard’s RBG Trio

Belfast-based US saxophonist Meilana Gillard leads her talent rich trio with two of Dublin’s leading jazz musicians, bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady

9th April           Honor Heffernan

Ireland’s first lady of jazz vocals returns to the Sofa Sessions by popular demand, accompanied by acclaimed UK pianist Phil Ware

16th April         Ronan Guilfoyle’s Tudo Bem!

Ireland’s leading jazz musician and composer Ronan Guilfoyle presents the music of Brazil with a star-studded international group

23rd April         Cora Venus Lunny & Izumi Kimura

Critically-acclaimed duo of violinist Cora Venus Lunny and Japanese pianist Izumi Kimura explore the exciting terrain of free improvisation

30th April         Neil Ó Loclainn’s Cuar

Acclaimed bassist and band-leader Neil Ó Loclainn from Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare leads his innovative trio blending Irish traditional music with jazz and improv


Previously at The Sofa Sessions


About the Sofa Sessions

The Sofa Sessions is a concert series with a difference - top quality jazz and creative music for people who like their music served live, in the relaxed, friendly surroundings of Billy Byrne’s atmospheric Terrace Room.

The series, curated by respected Irish Times jazz critic Cormac Larkin, recreates the energy and atmosphere of a New york jazz club, presenting renowned national and international musicians, up close and in person, with none of the stuffiness and formality of a concert hall, nor any of the distractions and noise of a traditional pub gig.

Serious music for curious cats…

Red Keane
Author: Red KeaneWebsite:
Red is the founder and creator of Jazz Ireland, he actively maintains and develops the Jazz Ireland website and is very active on its social networking profiles.
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