Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald hailed the festival as one of the city’s top events as he hosted a civic reception to mark its 40th anniversary.
Hotel bookings are up 4% on the same period last year, with the city in line for an estimated €15m boost over the next four days.
With headline acts including Imelda May, The Swing Cats, Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Sarah McKenzie, the Booka Brass Band, and the Kenny Garret Quintet, a free open-air concert takes place on Emmet Place tonight, headlined by soulful star Brian Deady, a Skibbereen native, and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Paddy Casey.
Some 350 musicians and street performers will take part in a jazz parade on Washington St at 1pm tomorrow.
More than 35 city pubs, hotels, restaurants, and club venues will feature in the free jazz trail, with fringe events including brass band street music, free ‘jazz camp’ music workshops, a ‘Taste Jazz’ food experience in association with Taste of Cork, and a hop on/hop off open top ‘Big Band Jazz Bus’ circling the city.
The legendary Festival Club in the Metropole Hotel will be curated by Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club of Soho, London, and will feature many Irish and overseas musicians. And Ronnie Scott’s All Stars band will play The Everyman on Sunday afternoon.
Festival chairpwoman Fiona Collins said they are delighted to open the city to music enthusiasts.
“They should bring comfortable shoes as there is a huge programme of music and entertainment, the majority of which are free, right across the city with jazz-inspired events taking place in restaurants, pubs, galleries and public buildings as well as on the streets,” she said.
Bus Éireann will operate late-night services from St Patrick’s St to Carrigaline, Ballincollig, Blarney, and Midleton at 1am, 2am, and 3am during the festival.
Full details for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival line-up at www.guinnessjazzfestival.com.
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