Conor Doherty studied music at University College Cork and specialised in piano, guitar and percussion. Under the tutelage of Mel Mercier, he had a particular focus on North Indian, West African, Javanese and Irish traditional music. After completing his BMus he moved to Lahore, Pakistan to study tabla and dhol drumming. He became the official pupil of the renowned Sufi dhol drummer Papu Sain and spent three years submerged in the life of a Sufi music student which he funded by teaching at a local school. After returning to London he completed a Master’s degree in ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths College with Professor John Baily, using his Pakistani fieldwork as a basis for a dissertation on Sufi trance drumming in Pakistan.
In 2001 he began teaching ethnomusicology and music at The Brit School for Performing Arts in South London. He has written world music units for Edexcel BTEC exams, and contributes to Music Teacher magazine. He has travelled extensively, taking lessons as he goes, including an extended period of study at The University of Ghana and gamelan lessons in Java. Conor is also a singer/guitarist, performing Irish and English folk music at clubs and festivals.