Welcome to a new episode of IMC’s weekly BAN BAM podcast, where we explore creative work from inspiration to execution, through conversations with a host of women working in jazz and creative improvised music today.
Our guest today is Catherine Sikora, a powerful saxophonist and improviser born and raised in West Cork, and based in New York for over 20 years.
We chat about her teenage determination to learn the saxophone, despite many obstacles. The gently discipline of her creativity - an evolution of viewing instrument practice as an energy practice, a sanctuary of exploration, instead of a chore or place of self-criticism, her recent journey into blogging (a 'must read' for any jazz musician, educator or student), and the importance of decolonizing music education.
Sikora has devoted her life to researching the magic of that sound with her saxophones, particularly in her solo work, which forms the main backbone of her creative output.
In addition to her solo work, Sikora works frequently in duo and larger settings, with Eric Mingus, Brian Chase, Ethan Winogrand, Ross Hammond, Christopher Culpo and Matteo Liberatore. She is proud to be one third of the joyful rowdiness that is Eris 136199.
Sikora is active as an educator, working with students on advanced concepts of improvisation and strategies for creativity, as well as on overcoming performance anxiety and other musical inhibitions. She teaches masterclasses and private lessons, both in person and online.
Explore more of Catherine's music HERE including the recording 'Backbone' featured on the show.
Improvised Music Company (IMC) is an Irish Arts Council funded resource organisation for Irish and Irish-based jazz musicians, and a specialist promoter of jazz, improvised and ethnic music in Ireland.
BAN BAM is an activity which began in 2017 to develop and support the work of women in jazz and improvised music, particular female instrumentalists and composers which are underrepresented in this genre.
@improvisedmusic on Twitter and Instagram
Our podcast theme tune is a track by Irish jazz artist Justin Carroll's Togetherness.