Down With Jazz Festival Dublin
Cormac's first profession was as a Software Consultant working on projects for major banks, stock-brokers and coding a security screening system for the Irish Passport Office!
He is the youngest son of respected Dublin pianist, Chris Kenevey. Even as a child, Cormac was no stranger to theatre pits, darkened back-stage areas, cabaret stages and television studios as he accompanied his father around the city. Complemented by a vinyl collection filled with classic Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Weather Report and Mel Tormé albums, the foundations were laid deep and firm.
It's no great surprise then, that Cormac abandoned the world of computing after a few short years in order to pursue a career in music. In 2006, he funded and recorded his first album This Is Living - a collaboration with the exceptionally talented Dublin stalwart Phil Ware and his Trio. It was quickly picked up and released by Alan Bates at the CANDID record label in London (home to Stacey Kent and Jamie Cullum). Thus began a career as a jazz singer with a string of critically acclaimed national and international appearances. His second album The Art of Dreaming confirmed his place on the international jazz scene. This also features the Phil Ware Trio, with guest Guitarist Hugh Buckley, and string arrangements by his good friend Cian Boylan.
His tour dates have included locations in London (Ronnie Scott's, Pizza Express Dean St) around Europe, and as far afield (if you start in Dublin) as Abu Dhabi and Mexico. During this period he also took the time to complete a Masters Degree in Jazz performance, specialising in the art of Vocalese and in the vocal stylings of hero and eventual mentor, Mark Murphy.
Almost a decade on, with a young family of his own, and having collaborated on many projects including his Velvet Lounge Band in Dublin (see upcoming dates section), many appearances with the RTE Concert Orchestra and countless shows and projects, Cormac will release his new album in 2018.
The new record pays tribute to the stylings of his many influencers as a jazz singer and features new lyrics to music by Brad Mehldau and Irish composer Julien Colarossi. The band features the wonderful Johnny Taylor (piano) Damian Evans (bass) and Dominic Mullan (drums).
- Mac Cormonson
(gathered like delicate flowers from the grikes of the Burren landscape)
"Immediately refreshing, he exudes confidence, wit and style.
Everything is beautifully proportioned ★★★★"
– The Times (Live review)
"Charismatic Irish jazz singer Cormac Kenevey wowed the crowd during his performance"
– The Gulf News (UAE)
"A scintillating performance "
– Nigerian Tribune
– Record Collector
– Donald Helme JazzIreland (HotBox Podcast)
– Sunday Independent
"Kenevey brings heart, spirit and warmth to everything he sings "
"Clearly a striking and individual talent "
– The Jazz Rag
"It's clear that the young Irish singer Cormac Kenevey possesses the charisma that jazz sorely needs at the moment"
– Clive Davis, The Times (Live Review)
“Highly recommended. This singer knows how to communicate on all levels. His lush baritone gives his audience something to remember. His winning way with a song easily recalls the spirit of Mel Tormé. Kenevey caresses a lyric comfortably and makes it his own.”
– Jim Santella, Cadence Magazine, New York City
“An elegant young crooner ”
– The Guardian (UK)
“Better than Frank Sinatra!”
–Dave Fanning, 2FM (although, in fairness, he doesn't like Frank Sinatra)
“An exciting début album from Ireland's leading jazz vocalist. Although still in his twenties, Cormac Kenevey already has his own bag of tricks to bring to the table. The core quartet of singer, pianist and rhythm section gel superbly as a unit. Kenevey has an infectious swagger and fine baladeering skills.”
– Jazzwise Magazine
“one of the best of the newcomers is Cormac Kenevey, a young Irishman who bears the influence of Harry Connick Jr, yet posseses his own brand of beatnik charisma as he proved during an imposing Soho club date earlier this year.”
– The Sunday Times (a general feature on the state of jazz music as a whole)
“He knows what he's at. Polished and professional, it's clear from his audience that a buzz is developing around this singer”
– The Irish Times
“Surprising maturity for someone so young.”
– Sunday Independent
“An engaging young Irish singer expertly backed…a new and interesting male singer on the contemporary jazz scene.”
“ ★★★★..Could be huge.”
– Sunday Tribune
“An interesting mix. Everybody swings on this one. There is sincerity and imagination in his delivery.”
“Catch him in the lovely Cafe Theatre before he gets too big for his boots! Definitely don't miss this one.”
“he has what it takes to make a real contribution”
– Journal of Music in Ireland
“One of the gigs of the festival. Kenevey is a wonderful singer...”
– Wexford Opera Fringe Festival 2004
“Kenevey possesses one of the most distinctive warbles in Irish music"
– Metro Life
“The brightest star in the jazz vocal firmament”
“Smooth, accomplished and assured”
“Very impressive…go see him live and buy the album now!”
– Evening Herald
“…seemingly effortless professionalism and substance…he has talent in abundance.”
– Jazz Journal International
"This new CD reminds listeners of why Kenevey's popularity continues to grow"
– Journal of Music Ireland
“The Art Of Dreaming is as smooth as a glass of 16-year-aged Three Wood Bushmills whiskey and deports itself with a knowing confidence and understated élan”
– Michael Quinn, BBC, UK
Some Favourite and Proud Moments
Venues & Festivals:
- Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club main stage, London
- Pizza Express Jazz Club , Dean St, London
- JJ Smyths Jazz & Blues Club, Dublin
- National Concert Hall, Dublin
- Abu Dhabi Jazz Festival
- EuroJazz Festival Mexico City
- Cork International Jazz Festival (Ireland)
- Bray Jazz Festival (Ireland)
- Marbella Jazz Festival (where I was "discovered" by Candid Records)
- Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival Belfast
- Wexford Opera Festival
- Kilkenny Arts Festival
- Galway Jazz Festival
Appearances & Things:
- Both The Art of Dreaming and This is Living were RTE Radio 1 "Album of the Week" when they were released.
- Many guest appearances with the RTE Concert Orchestra in live concert and for broadcast.
- Cormac was Voted into the Top 10 of the Downbeat Magazine Annual Readers Poll
- Featured on Friday night is Music Night (The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra) with Paul Gambaccini.
- Featured with a huge cast of the Dublin family of musicians and performers on An Evening for Earl at the Gaeity theatre in Dublin, a dedication to the late Earl "Darby" Gill, with my own father, Chris Kenevey in the orchestra.
- A handful of national TV and Radio interviews and appearances which were all very exciting.
A Selection Of Additional Projects and Shows:
- The Good Life - A Tribute to Tony Bennett with the Cian Boylan Trio
- The Velvet Lounge Band - Georgie Fame meets Ray Charles with Van Morrison cycling past.
- Cormac Kenevey & Hugh Buckley - various duo collaborations and festival gigs.
- Toot Sweet and The Shadow Man - Cian Boylan's great New Orleans inspired outfit. Featuring Cormac on Vocals and Percussion.
- Six Of The Best - Collaboration with the late Brendan Marnell and an all-star group of Irish musicians.
- Galia Arad - Cormac as backing vocals and percussion kit for the talented Singer Songwriter, guesting with the Jools Holland touring band.
- Mostly Cole Porter - Cormac's touring show with the Johnny Taylor Trio
- Sings Chet Baker - Cormac's very first touring show. With Phil Ware Trio.