The weekend’s overcast, but thankfully dry, weather saw thousands come out to sample the atmosphere in the city centre over the past two days.
Most bars were packed to the door by the time darkness fell an hour earlier yesterday, and sessions were in full flow by 5pm.
While streets across Cork bustled with jazz aficionados, curious families, and partying groups out for the night, MacCurtain St and Oliver Plunkett St were particularly busy, and buskers and street vendors were kept active as the crowds milled from location to location.
Emmet Place proved a popular meeting spot for those who stopped to take in free shows from the open-air stand, or to sample the food on offer from the market established in front of the Crawford Gallery.
As night beckoned, there was a notable exodus of buggies and small children, some in Halloween costume, only for the departing crowd to be replaced by newcomers in fancy dress of their own.
Waistcoats, dickie bows, and fedoras aplenty, the dashing dandies who came in for an evening’s revelry were frequently accompanied by equally well-turned out ladies in Roaring Twenties-throwback style regalia.
Many were headed for Razzberry Jam and the Cosmic Funk Band in the Imperial Hotel, though an eclectic line-up over the weekend has ensured that there was something for everyone.
Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan joked that an extended outro to one of the Irish band’s hits was as ‘jazz’ as the five-piece would get as the chart-toppers played Cork Opera House on Saturday night.
Meanwhile Kells indie act Ham Sandwich performed an intimate set to a sold-out crowd at St Luke’s Cathedral on the same night.
Tonight, Grammy-winning singer songwriter Loudon Wainwright III will play the final Opera House show of the 2016 festival, while baritone troubadour Jack L simultaneously brings the curtains down on the Everyman’s offerings.
While today promises a more stripped-back affair compared to the previous two days, venues across the city will continue to participate in the Guinness Music Trail.
The Cork School of Music Jazz Big Band will be the highlight of the events taking place in the festival’s spiritual home at The Metropole.
The free gig takes place at 3pm and promises big-band favourites, show tunes, pop classics, movie hits, and more.
Gulpd Cafe in the Triskel Arts Centre will host some experimental music sessions for those who like their more left-field sounds.
The Sleepwalkers play the cafe at 4pm, and the Dan Walsh Trio follow two hours later — admission to both gigs is free.
Those seeking to wind down their Bank Holiday with some jazz poetry should head to the Long Valley bar for 9pm.
The conclusion of the festival coincides with the annual Dragon of Shandon parade, which will see the 36ft Dragon of Shandon, accompanied by some fantastical beasts and creatures, make its way through the city streets tonight.
In keeping with the weekend’s jazz feel, and in collaboration with the Jazz Fringe, the New York Brass Band will also join the procession as it makes its way from Shandon, across the river to North Main St, then Castle St, Cornmarket St, and Kyle St, before returning to the north side of the city to make its way home back up Shandon St.
The parade begins at 7pm.