Irish Examiner - Supplement - - JAZZ 40 -

As Chair­per­son, I am de­lighted to wel­come ev­ery­one to the 40th Guin­ness Cork Jazz Fes­ti­val.

It is quite an achieve­ment to have come this far. Of course it all started in 1978, when a group of friends and jazz fans came up with the idea for a jazz week­end fes­ti­val at Cork’s Metropole Ho­tel.

How­ever, ideas come and go and many of them die a slow death once the ini­tial en­thu­si­asm has faded.

It takes drive, be­lief and per­sis­tence to nur­ture an idea, to bring it from a vague con­cept to some­thing real and tan­gi­ble. Un­der the stew­ard­ship of the found­ing com­mit­tee mem­bers, the fes­ti­val took its first ten­ta­tive steps and it was from this break­through event that the cur­rent fes­ti­val evolved. Com­mit­tee mem­bers have come and gone since then, but the Guin­ness Cork Jazz Fes­ti­val re­mains a vi­brant, flour­ish­ing event, which brings 40,000 visi­tors and over 1,200 mu­si­cians to 50 venues around the city.

With that in mind, I would like to thank the found­ing mem­bers on be­half of Cork for that orig­i­nal spark and all the sub­se­quent com­mit­tee mem­bers and sup­port­ers who ca­joled, nudged and pro­pelled the fes­ti­val through good times and bad.

A fes­ti­val does not ex­ist in iso­la­tion from place. The won­der­ful char­ac­ter of the Cork Guin­ness Jazz Fes­ti­val comes solely from the char­ac­ter of Cork. From the lo­cal peo­ple and busi­ness who are the beat­ing heart of the city. The story of Cork is very much in­ter­twined with the story of the Fes­ti­val but a fes­ti­val should not be static and must adapt to a chang­ing world if it is to con­tinue to thrive. As cus­to­di­ans of the fes­ti­val, each gen­er­a­tion needs to find the pas­sion and en­ergy to make the fes­ti­val their own. To find that mix of tra­di­tion and in­no­va­tion that will make it more alive, more vi­brant, more di­verse and more fun.

As Chair­per­son, I would like to thank ev­ery­one on this year’s com­mit­tee, as well as our part­ner, Guin­ness Di­a­geo, who have been ex­cep­tional.

With­out their sup­port, the fes­ti­val would never have reached the heights that it has.

Thanks also to Fáilte Ire­land and Cork City Coun­cil for their on­go­ing sup­port.

Thanks to all of the mu­si­cians who bring their tal­ents, and the fans who flood into Cork for the fes­ti­val. It is their hu­mour, en­ergy and ex­cite­ment which an­i­mate the city and bring the fes­ti­val life.

So I urge you, to get out, get a feel for what Cork, has to of­fer you, from pa­rades, march­ing bands, mu­si­cians from all over the globe and of course the great at­mo­sphere in the city over the week­end.

Get out and cre­ate your own sto­ries in Cork over the Guin­ness Cork Jazz Fes­ti­val week­end.

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