Weather fails to dampen jazz weekend festive spirits

IT got off to a soggy start, but no amount of moisture could have killed the carnival in Cork last night where jazz junkies got down and dirty to swinging big band music and lashings of Latin groove.

Over among the six stages of the Gresham Metropole, the epicentre of all things jazz, the Sax Sisters injected a shot of sultry into a Friday afternoon.

The Dublin City Jazz Orchestra upped the tempo later in the day and by midnight, to a groove that had gained considerable momentum, it was time for the Blues Brothers Banned, an 11-strong outfit not for the faint-hearted, and then, the Jive Aces with all the glitz and glitter of the Rat Pack, before Harry Connolly and his band raised the roof and wrapped a long evening.

For those who sought out an alternative trail to the Gresham, the Robert Glasper Experiment took the stage at the nearby Everyman Palace where a slightly more sedate audience relished the amazing improvisation skills of a brilliant band.

Around the city, pubs played host to a variety of jazz, funk, groove, swing and hip-hop, all coloured with synths and huge brass sounds and copious amounts of Guinness. The more established bands commanded an entry fee, but there was plenty on the fringe for those stretching the beer budget for a long weekend.

The activity continues apace today with the Charlie Haden Quartet West due to hit a few high notes at the Everyman Palace this afternoon as part of their 25th anniversary tour. Alto saxophonist Charles McPherson will follow with his quartet before Herbie Hancock takes to the stage.

Over in the Savoy, the Brand New Heavies, pioneers of the London acid jazz scene, form the first part of the evening’s double bill, followed by Apes and Babes, a lively lot from Norway who entertain with an astonishing range of vocal sounds.

Back in the Gresham an eclectic line-up will include samba specialists, the Swingin’ Bluecats and the Garda Síochána Band. With parking and pints at a premium, the best advice is to come early, don’t drive and stay late.

Picture: The 'Jive Aces', John Travolta's house party band get jumpin' on the South Mall boardwalk yesterday on the opening day of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, with singers Ian Clarkson and Rebecca Grant. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

What’s on this weekend


- Brand New Heavies/Apes & Babes (Savoy Theatre, Patrick Street, at 8pm. Tickets are available from

- Therapy? (Cyprus Avenue. Show starts at 7.30pm).

- Stone Roses Experience (Crane Lane Theatre. Show starts at 9.30pm).

- Beat ‘N’ Blow (Reardens. Show starts at 11.45pm).

- Guinness Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel:

11am Festival Jazz Choir.

1.15pm Kings School Big Band and the Chester Cologne Jazzhouse Band.

3.30pm George Kilby Jr Roots Show.

11.45pm Blues Brother Banned.


- Steve Winwood plus Yuri Honing’s Wired Paradise (Everyman Palace Theatre. Show starts at 8.30pm. Tickets are available from

- Andreas Varady and the David Lyttle Quartet (River Lee Hotel at 2pm. Tickets are available from

-Three Voices – Winstone, Linx, De Viti & Guillermo Rozenthuller Duo (River Lee Hotel. Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are available from

-The Cotton Club Night including live jump jive and swing band (Firkin Crane. Show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from

- Guinness Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel

1.15pm Alex Mathias Quartet.

9.45pm The Booty Band.

9.45pm Duane Andrews Quartet.

11.45pm Slammers Maximum Jive Band.

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