INTERVIEW: Basork's Marty Coyle brings a taste of Bulgaria to Jazz Festival

Excitement is in the Derry Air as this weekend will see the return of the annual City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival.

A time of year when local musicians can showcase their incredible talent when they perform alongside internationally recognised artists to create a festival which never fails to deliver.

One such musician who will help create the buzz this weekend is bouzouki player Martin Coyle, a member of local fusion group 'Basork' who will use this year's festival to celebrate and showcase his International Residency in Bulgaria which draws to a close on 4th May.

We caught up with Marty to find out more about his residency, and what he has planned for local festival goers.

"It was an Arts Council N.I. supported residency and spanned from last November until it's completion now on May 4th" explained Marty.

"I suppose I've always been working towards an opportunity to properly perform and showcase in the Balkans. The music of Bulgaria in particular excites me due to its fast paced melodies, odd meters and almost jazz like structures. There is a surprising large Bulgarian community in N.I. and my band and myself have formed a really solid relationship with them over recent years.

"My past experiences of Bulgaria were tourist based. I did a lot of travelling, collecting music and listening. This trip was entirely different and I feel I got to experience the real Bulgaria both musically and culturally.

"I lived in the home of my collaborators and got to spend important time both practicing and composing in this environment. I was also lucky enough to study under tambura master Georgi Manovski. It was amazing to showcase new material out there with a mixture of both Irish and Bulgarian musicians" revealed Marty.

Having already held a showcase event in Bulgaria to celebrate his residency, Marty will now welcome a host of Bulgarian musicians for the Irish leg of the showcase to perform his new work along with his band Basork.

The cross cultural collaboration event will bring together the sound of BASORK and Bulgarian group TRIO ETNO, which consists of Dragni Dragnev, Petya Dragneva and Kristiyan Nedelchev.

"The whole experience has been amazing and I think the highlight may be yet to come on May 4th at the Nerve Centre" admitted Marty.

"It will really complete the experience being able to showcase at home and having the trio of Bulgarian performers in the BASORK ensemble is going to be a huge sound.

"We're also going to be joined by current Derry musician in residence Ríoghnach Connolly who will complete the ensemble for a truly international collaborative showcase."

Basork, featuring Trio Etno & Ríoghnach Connolly will take place at the Nerve Centre on Saturday 4th May from 8-11pm. Tickets are priced at £6 and available here


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