About Oran Mor
Tom and Karen founded Oran Mor after playing music together in various configurations for over twelve years. Their repertoire features Scottish and Irish music, some of which dates back to the 1700s, as well as current Celtic music and Americana tunes, with some originals tossed into the mix. Brendan Cochran, their son, joined the group to add a percussive flair and Jonathan Satz has given a strong bass foundation to the music. The group can most often be seen as a quartet, but sometimes plays as a duo or trio as well. Occasionally guest artists will join the group to add another dimension to the mix. With instrumentation that includes recorders, Irish whistles, guitars, hand drums, bass and beautiful harmonies, this group’s music can transport its listeners to an earlier time or to a happy place.
Tom grew up listening to all genres of music and singing along to the radio and records. Exposure at an early age to country, gospel, classical, Broadway musicals as well as rock and roll created a wide-ranging musical interest. He played in a high school rock band before going on to study Theater which led to a career teaching college theater classes and running a college /community theater as well as acting in and doing various technical jobs in several summer repertory theaters. Always a music fan, his interest in performing music was rekindled when he started seeing Karen in 2004. Since then he has delved back into the world of being a guitar player and singer to collaborate with Karen and her musical friends. His interest in Celtic Music grew out of researching his Scots/Irish roots and the exposure to some amazing musicians in that area. He believes music at its best is magic and medicine.
Karen began setting her poetry to guitar music as a child and has continued this mode of expression throughout her life. With a jazz-flavored folk influence in her style, she exhibits the ability to “sing the heart” which has set her apart throughout her professional career. Her gifts have taken her to concert and festival stages as well as clubs, restaurants, farmers markets, coffee houses, art galleries, school auditoriums, classrooms and more. She became a resource artist for Colorado Council of the Arts “Artist in Residence” program as part of the musical group, Rosewood, and held that position for nine years. Her experience with performance, workshops, and artistic residencies ultimately led her to teaching recorder, guitar, and voice. Her primary gift as a teacher is helping people discover the music that lives within each of them.
As a professional musician, Karen has been a vocalist and instrumentalist in a variety of groups, some local and some regional. In 2002 she released her first solo CD entitled “the Water’s Edge” featuring her original songs in arrangements with many other fine musicians. These days Karen enjoys playing Celtic and Americana music, as well as originals in a group called ‘Oran Mor’ with her husband, Thomas and their son, Brendan. Occasionally other players join the fun as well. Their music draws in people of all ages from all walks of life, transporting them to another time, place, and state of mind.
Brendan loves music and has a wide range of musical influences and interests. He started singing in accents at an early age and has never given it up. In high school he joined the percussion section of the concert band and has played percussion with rock and folk bands since. He developed and played a percussion score for a professional theater production of Roshoman. Acting and directing also takes much of his time and he has appeared in several Musicals.
Jonathan “Jonny McSatz” Satz
Jonathan has always loved music and began singing in choirs as a teenager and continued choral singing in college and then in community choirs ever since. He sang in musical theater productions in high school, college and community productions as well. Jonathan began playing acoustic guitar in high school and emulated the styles of his early musical influences such as folk-rockers James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, and others. In college, he played guitar and sang with friends at coffee houses and musical contests and for friends around the campfire. It was not until 2010 when Jonathan took up playing bass. Around that same time, he revived a musical partnership with his college pal, Steve Barbee, which led to the formation of the classic and folk-rock trio, The Logan Brothers, where he performed in the Roaring Fork Valley from 2012 to 2018. Jonathan is excited by his collaboration with Oran Mor and exposure to the wide range of Celtic and Americana music they play.
Bobby’s earliest musical expressions burbled through a trombone at age nine in his school band. Fast forward to his early 20’s and haunting melodies drifting from a bamboo flute that accompanied his extended backpacking throughout the Rocky Mountains. Freeform sounds herded by divergent influences, from Ravi Shankar to Frank Zappa to Igor Stravinsky, led to more dedicated studies in music education and performance at the University of Northern Colorado. During the 1980s and ’90s, Bobby was the Musical Director at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and saxophonist for the popular regional ensemble, the “Sirens of Swing”. He has ever since been made his home in the Roaring Fork Valley and through the years enjoyed playing with a wealth of inspiring local musicians. He has shared the stage with icons, the likes of Ernie Watts and John Denver, and performed in opening acts for Mose Allison and John McEuen (with Karen’s aforementioned group Rosewood). By Scottish heritage, the echoes of Celtic song run deep within Bobby’s musical roots and resonate joyfully with Oran Mor’s captivating repertoire.
Western Colorado and beyond