More than 1,000 musicians from 20 countries will perform at this year’s Cork Guinness Jazz Festival, which is expected to generate €35m for the local economy.
Now in its 41st year, the festival will take place over the October bank holiday weekend and will feature headline acts like China Moses, Laura Mvula, Blind Boys of Alabama, Nnenna Freelon, Stanley Clarke, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and The Maria Schneider Orchestra.
The new programme also includes a ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ Jazz Parade (Parade of the Walking Dead), free Jazz on the Plaza with open-air gigs, a bespoke light and jazz show, Unity at Live at St Luke’s.
The event is undergoing a renaissance this year, under new festival director, Sinéad Dunphy, who promises “an augmented and better-than-ever festival experience”.
The festival wants to emulate the success of major international jazz events, like Montreal and New Orleans.
“This will ensure that Cork continues to be the home of jazz in Ireland and one of the most important arts festivals in the world.
Our festival has the potential to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world,” Ms Dunphy said.
She said the festival wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing commitment of sponsors, Diageo, local publicans, and the dedication of the hard-working festival committee.
The main venues include the legendary festival club at The Metropole, where the festival was founded, The Everyman, Cork City Hall, Cork Opera House, Cork School of Music, the Firkin Crane Theatre, and the Triskel Arts.
As usual, there will be free entertainment in 70 city venues, including pubs, hotels, restaurants, galleries, public buildings and clubs, as well as on the city streets.
This year’s festival will celebrate the golden era of the social dancehalls of a century ago, with The Swing Jive, on October 27, at Cork City Hall, where two of Europe’s biggest jazz dance bands, Meschya Lake and The Dizzy Birds and Gentlemen & Gangsters, will perform.
They will be joined by members of the Irish Swing Community, who will reacquaint jazz festival party people with the One-Step, Two-Step, Waltz, Foxtrot, Peabody, Balboa, Shag, Lindy Hop, Swing and Jive dances.
For tickets, go to guinnessjazzfestival.com.