More than 1,000 musicians from 20 different countries are lined up to entertain an estimated 40,000 fans expected to attend this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

Details of the line-up for the 34th annual music festival were announced at a special reception in City Hall last night and include an extensive fringe programme and live music trails.

Hundreds of music sessions are planned in more than 60 venues, including pubs, theatres, clubs and hotels over the October Bank Holiday weekend.

Over 95% of the sessions will be free for what is widely acknowledged as one of Europe’s premier jazz festivals.

American jazz pianist Justin Kauflin will open the festival at The Everyman on the Friday night in a powerful double bill with contemporary jazz star Jacob Collier.

Other jazz sensations headlining at the festival include Grammy Award winner Robert Glasper, top American jazz vibist Jason Marsalis, Sheryl Bailey, The Hot Club of Cowtown and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

In addition to the jazzy lineup, the Irish pop rock band Picture This will open an eclectic series of concerts at Cork Opera House the same night, followed by an array of top acts including Mexican superstars Rodrigo y Gabriela, hit makers BellX1, Cork soul sensation Brian Deady and folk legend Loudon Wainwright III.

Gemma Bell of Guinness with Jack McGowran, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival programme director
Gemma Bell of Guinness with Jack McGowran, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival programme director

This year’s festival will include free gigs on the Jazz Fringe, including Big Band Jazz, Jazz on the Plaza and Street Bands, and on the Saturday a record of six overseas marching bands will strut their stuff through the city streets.

Meanwhile, top names performing on the Guinness Music Trail include the Ben Waters Boogie Band, Interskalactic, the New York Brass Band, Holland’s Oriental Jazz Band, Jack L, Riptide Movement, Cathy Davey and Rob Strong.

Cork School of Music will play host to Jazz Camp during the festival, featuring numerous free of charge workshops and master classes, presented by many of the stars of the festival.

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival sponsorship manager Gemma Bell said the company was delighted to continue its support for the event which it first sponsored in 1982.

“Over the last 34 years, Guinness and the Cork Jazz Committee have worked closely together to ensure the festival continues to grow and support the local economy.

“It is brilliant to see the festival expand and continue to attract a bigger audience year after year,” Ms Bell said.

She said the local organising committee have done a great job adding even more to the festival programme.

“The atmosphere at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is always electric and we are looking forward to another great festival ahead.”

Check out this amazing interactive map for the http://guinnesscorkjazzmap.irishexaminer.com/">Cork Guinness Jazz Festival

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