Swap Autumn chills for shivers of excitement as the infamous Guinness Cork Jazz Festival returns this weekend, from Thursday 27th – Monday 31th October. This year’s line-up is incredibly exciting with some of the biggest names in jazz arriving in Cork for what is tipped to be the most magnetic Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, worth €20+ million to the local economy!
The Big Fringe, which takes place beyond the headline stages and venues, is always a festival highlight. The mainly free programme will see impromptu soulful moments of jazz, big brass bands, and unique performances with some of Ireland and Europe’s finest jazz talent spill onto the streets of Cork City and beyond over the weekend.
The line-up, which is organised by the local Cork Jazz Festival Committee, includes fantastic international and national acts like the energetic New York Brass, Lamarotte JazzBand, Hyde Park Brass Band, Brass Kings, TBL8 Brass, Stomptown Brass along with Cork’s own Code of Behaviour, Rebel Brass, the Barrack Street Band and Blarney Concert Band.
You’ll spot these bands performing at the Jazz on the Plaza super dome jazz stage on the Opera House Plaza Emmet Place from 1pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, on Daunt’s Square, and throughout the streets of Cork City for Beat on the Street.
The open top Big Jazz Bus is also returning due to popular demand, which always gives shoppers and visitors alike a festival vibe as it tours the city from Friday to Sunday with fun jazz bands on top.
Don’t miss the Jazz Jamboree on Opera House Plaza, Emmet Place, at 5pm on Saturday! This great free Jam Session will feature all the brass bands as they bid farewell to Cork and the Festival for this year.
On Sunday there will be a Jazz Gospel Service at the iconic St. Anne’s church in Shandon at 10.45am. The spiritual Harvest Jazz Service will feature Carrigtwohill Gospel Choir and Hyde Park Brass Band.
Music fans can also head along to Cork City Library on Grand Parade for a Live at the Library presentation where Dr. Ian Darrington MBE will help you to get more from listening to music.
Once again, festival fans are also encouraged to swing on down to the picturesque coastal town of Kinsale over the weekend where the Guinness Kinsale Fringe Festival serves up an extra helping of jazz in its pubs and venues to compliment the main festival in the city.
Lamorotte Brass Band are performing on the streets of Kinsale from 2pm on Saturday and other acts lined up to perform over the weekend at venues throughout the weekend include Martin Ryan, Andy Dunne, the Ciara Stacey Band, Alleycats, Crosbie Noonan and O’Brien, , The Crew, and King K.
Fiona Collins, Chairperson of the Cork Jazz Festival Committee said: “The Big Fringe is always a festival highlight for many. We’re delighted to see popular brass bands including New York Brass, Lamarotte JazzBand and Hyde Park returning, as well as more familiar local acts such as Rebel Brass bringing life, colour, and sound to the streets of Cork. The festival committee is delighted to work in partnership with Diageo Ireland, Cork Airport, Failte Ireland, Ireland’s Ancient East, Cork City Council, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Pure Cork and Choice Cuts, together with businesses all over the city to bring jazz back to the streets of Cork. “
The Fringe of course compliments the main stage headline acts and this year there is a fantastic line-up, including The New Power Generation “Celebrating Prince”, GoGo Penguin, Ralph Towner, Booka Brass Band, Hermeto Pascoal Jazzanova (Live!), King Kong Company and Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80 to name just a few! Main stage venues include The Everyman, Cork Opera House, The Metropole Hotel, Live @ St. Luke’s, St. Peter’s Church, Cyprus Avenue and Triskel Arts Centre.
Festival goers can optimise their festival experience and make sure to hit the best music venues by checking out the mapped Guinness Music Trail which offers music to suit every appetite. Revellers will discover everything from ska to swing and jazz to brass as the trail leads you to more than 70 venues across Cork City, Douglas and Kinsale who will host an impressive array of jazz acts and more from across Ireland and beyond.
The VQ will take place again this year, with the Harley Street Line-Up on the newly pedestrianised street from 1pm-4pm from Friday to Sunday. Jazz will also spill from venues along the MacCurtain Street area throughout the day from noon.
Of course, no trip to the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival would be complete without a visit to the famous Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel, where the jazz festival was founded in 1978. This year’s line-up includes The Swing Bandits, New York Brass Band, The Underscore Orkestra Trio, Gary Baus, Judith Owen and her New Orleans Gentlemen Callers, The Swing Cats, Pixie & The Gypsies, Harry Connolly, Roaring Forties and The Motones. It still holds its place as the beating heart of the festival, staging free jazz shows on Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoon, with ticketed shows each evening.
To top it all off, a world first, Chuck Stewart’s photography collection has been carefully curated over the last four years to debut at the Guinness Cork Jazz festival at St Peters Church. The “We Got the Jazz” exhibition showcases work of the African American fine art photographer, who is renowned as the most important music photographer of the twentieth century. Curated by renowned Limerick photographer Brian “B+” Cross (Mochilla) and produced by festival director Mark Murphy (Choice Cuts) in close collaboration with the Chuck Stewart Estate & Fireball Entertainment Group, this is set to be an unmissable event during the revitalized Jazz Festival and a new regular feature of the programming annually – exploring the visual arts relationship with Jazz.