City to celebrate 25 years of jazz and jubilation

CORK’s emporia of swig and swing are about to go into warp speed as the Guinness Jazz Festival prepares to celebrate its 25th birthday by boldly going where it has gone before The event, running on October 25-28, has been hailed as the biggest jazz party in the world, with thousands descending on the southern city every year.

Few places can produce the infectious mardi gras atmosphere that is felt at the festival.

The list of international artists who have graced the event over the years reads like a Who’s Who of Jazz, including legends such as Ella Fitzgerald and Stephan Grappelli. This year, the organisers have gathered some of the relatively new kids on the jazz block, such as pianist Brad Mehldau and guitarist John Scofield.

Continuing the festival’s Latin trend, Cuban sounds will be produced by Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

Guinness sales manager Michael Lyons says the event is expected to attract more than 40,000 people and generate 20 million for the local economy.

This year’s festival will be the biggest yet, featuring more than 100 bands and 700 musicians from 25 countries.

Venues include the Everyman Palace Theatre, Gresham Metropole Hotel, Cork Opera House, Triskel Arts Centre, the new Guinness Jazz Pavilion and over 50 other clubs, pubs and fringe venues.

Guinness Jazz Masterclasses will be held at The Firkin Crane, Shandon, on Sunday, October 27. San Francisco’s Mimi Fox will discuss and demonstrate her guitar style while Chicago’s Wheatbread Johnson will invite beginners and improvisers to play around with Chicago blues.

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