Countdown to 42nd Cork jazz festival begins

The 2019 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival was officially launched last night, with the 42nd incarnation of the event hosting a number of big names across the 70 city venues on the weekend of October 24-26.

Countdown to 42nd Cork jazz festival begins

The 2019 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival was officially launched last night, with the 42nd incarnation of the event hosting a number of big names across the 70 city venues on the weekend of October 24-26.

Various stakeholders and others associated with the event gathered in Cork’s newest venue, the Kino on Washington Street, to hear Diageo/Guinness confirm its commitment to a festival it has supported since 1982.

Event organisers also revealed details of a music roster that must tread the difficult path of ensuring commercial success while also staying credible. In recent years, the festival has gotten some stick from the purists for stretching the definition of ‘jazz’ — a move it has always defended on commercial grounds — but having Kurt Elling among the major headliners should keep both camps happy.

Recognised as one of the best vocalists in the business, the American singer also brings popular appeal, with his set at City Hall likely to include standards by the likes of Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole.

Another huge name among the 1,000 musicians on the roster is Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, the classic Motown group behind such hits as ‘Dancing In The Street’, ‘Nowhere to Run’ and ‘Heatwave’.

As ever, Triskel is among the venues providing for those who fancy something edgier, with British jazz innovator John Surman heading up a 50th birthday tribute to the ECM label. The Metropole Hotel — birthplace of the festival in 1978 — is launching a ‘Platinum VIP Lounge’ serving up smooth jazz with champagne, tapas, and oysters.

Earlier this year, the jazz festival hit the front pages after the departure of its director Sinéad Dunphy, after just a year in the role, but the local festival committee continued to work with sponsors Diageo to ensure the continuation of one of the country’s longest-running music events.

Fiona Collins, chairperson of the Guinness Cork Jazz committee, said: “The festival committee is delighted to work in partnership with Diageo Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork Business Association, Cork Chamber, and businesses all over the city to create another fantastic weekend programme to be proud of, and it’s a great opportunity to showcase the city and it’s welcoming vibe to thousands of Irish and overseas visitors.”

Ms Collins confirmed that the festival would kick off with a family-friendly jazz parade on Friday through the city’s streets.

Organisers say the festival attracts 40,000-plus people to Cork, and is worth millions to the local economy.

guinnessjazzfestival.com

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