Concert marks jazz festival build-up

THE build-up to Cork’s 30th jazz festival began yesterday with the first of a series of free public concerts designed to broaden its appeal.

While the weather may have given some the blues, Jazz Week, funded by dozens of city centre businesses, kicked off to spread the jazz buzz across the city.

Jazz Week spokesman Bill Johnson said the week-long event is designed to support the main Guinness Jazz Festival event.

“We aim to bring the jazz festival into the community, to involve the people of Cork in the festival,” he said.

“While the core events, based at the Metropole, the Everyman and the Opera House are usually sell outs, we want to make the festival more meaningful to as many people as possible, and to broaden its appeal.”

Lord Mayor Donal Counihan launched Jazz Week with a concert at City Hall by the Cork School of Music Big Band. It marked the start of dozens of free concerts at schools, in libraries and shopping centres in the run up to this weekend’s jazz festival.

Jazz pianist Colm ‘Stride’ O’Brien entertained patients at a psychiatric hospital yesterday. He will also perform a free concert at the city library at 3pm today.

Cork-born jazz pianist Cian McCarthy, who has just completed his studies at the prestigious Berkley Music College in Boston, will perform at the Crawford Gallery, Emmett Place, at 1pm tomorrow.

Tickets will be available at the door.

Three New Orleans-style marching bands have been hired to entertain shoppers on city streets.

A jazz band will perform at Mahon Point shopping centre every day from tomorrow.

Cork City Library will host an exhibition celebrating 30 years of jazz festivals, including books, articles, photographs and jazz paraphernalia.

A giant video screen in the city centre will show jazz videos, films, and news throughout the week. Leading jazz bands will also visit dozens of city schools over the coming days.

The George Kilby Jnr Band will play at the Ursuline Secondary School in Blackrock at 11.30am tomorrow. On Thursday, the Adamant Jazz Band will play at Fr Mathew’s NS in Togher, the Lamarotte Jazz Band will play at St Mary’s on the Hill NS, Knocknaheeny, the George Kilby Junior Band will play at the North Presentation Secondary School in Farranree, and the A470 Big Band will play at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa on Tramore Road.

The Gresham-Metropole Hotel will host a jazz party on Thursday to celebrate 30 years of jazz festivals.

There’ll even be jazz on the water with a jazz cruise around Cork Harbour on Saturday on board the Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven.

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