Jazzing it up for festival’s 40th birthday bash

A party atmosphere kicked off the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival when large crowds thronged a free open-air concert, signalling the start of celebrations for the festival’s 40th birthday.

Jazzing it up for festival’s 40th birthday bash

The Bank Holiday weekend gigs will feature hundreds of musicians and street acts, who are expected to attract more than 40,000 visitors to the city. Last night’s open air concert in Emmet Place was headlined by Brian Deady and multi-platinum singer-songwriter, Paddy Casey.

Today’s highlights include the Jazz Parade, which starts on Washington Street at 1pm.

It will be the biggest to date with more 350 musicians and street performers taking part.

The festival organisers have this year collaborated with street theatre companies Bui Bolg, Dowtcha Boy, Cork School of Music, Cork Fringe and the city council to bring even more entertainment onto the streets.

There will be a free Guinness music trail in more than 50 city pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants. In addition, there are ‘The Fringe’ events with 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 famous 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. The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars band will play The Everyman tomorrow afternoon.

Other headline acts include the brilliant jazz pianist Monty Alexander; Memphis jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater; London singer/songwriter SOULÉ; Grammy Award-winning Kenny Garrett; and critically-acclaimed Nicholas Payton and James Morrison.

Festival chairwoman, Fiona Collins, said they are delighted to have organised a huge programme of music and entertainment, the majority of which is free: “It will be right across the city with jazz-inspired events taking place in restaurants, pubs, galleries and public buildings as well as on the city streets for everyone to enjoy.”

Jennifer Gleeson, Guinness Cork Jazz sponsorship manager, said the organisers are particularly excited to collaborate with the Ronnie Scott Jazz Club, whose founding father Ronnie Scott played at the inaugural festival in 1977: “Guinness is thrilled the festival has grown over the years to truly become a globally-renowned Jazz festival.”

Late night revellers will be pleased to know that Bus Éireann is putting on services from the city centre to several destinations, with departures at 1am, 2am and 3am.

They will run to the Carrigaline, Ballincollig, Mayfield, Glanmire, Ballincollig, Midleton, Mayfield and Blarney areas.

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