Cork get­ting ready to ‘jazz it up’ for the 40th year in suc­ces­sion

EX­CIT­ING MIX OF IN­TER­NA­TIONAL ARTISTS LINE UP UN­VEILED FOR EUROPE’S TOP JAZZ FES­TI­VAL

The Corkman - - NEWS - BILL BROWNE

CORK is once again set to re­ver­ber­ate to a vi­brant melt­ing pot of mu­sic over the forth­com­ing Oc­to­ber bank-hol­i­day week­end with more than 40,000 peo­ple set to de­scend on the city for the an­nual ex­trav­a­ganza that is the Guin­ness Jazz Fes­ti­val.

Now cel­e­brat­ing its 40th an­niver­sary, the fes­ti­val which be­gan as a lo­cal gath­er­ing of mu­si­cians has evolved into one of the most high-pro­file jazz events in Europe, draw­ing some of the world’s top mu­si­cians to Lee­side.

Over the past four-decades the Cork Guin­ness Jazz Fes­ti­val has hosted some of the most in­flu­en­tial jazz artists ever to grace the global stage in­clud­ing Ron­nie Scott, Ella Fitzger­ald, Dizzy Gille­spie, Dave Brubeck, Wyn­ton Marsalis, Van Mor­ri­son, Buddy Rich, BB King, Gre­gory Porter, Mar­cus Miller and Chick Corea to name just a few.

Over re­cent years fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers have taken the brave step of broad­en­ing the event’s re­mit, bring­ing a more eclec­tic mix of artists span­ning a wide va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal gen­res.

The 40th edi­tion of the fes­ti­val will see more of the same, with more than 1,000 mu­si­cians from more than two-dozen coun­tries set to play venues across the city and county.

This year the stel­lar line-up will in­clude in­ter­na­tional acts such as Mem­phis jazz leg­end Dee Dee Bridge­wa­ter, Grammy Award-win­ning Kenny Gar­rett, Ni­cholas Pay­ton & James Mor­ri­son as well as home-grown soul sen­sa­tion Imelda May. An­other high­light will be a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion of the mu­sic from the biggest sell­ing jazz al­bum of all time, Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’ cour­tesy of Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop.

To mark the 40-year mile­stone, the fes­ti­val has also part­nered with Ron­nie’s Scott’s Jazz Club of Soho, a first for any Euro­pean jazz fes­ti­val in Europe. Ron­nie Scott’s will op­er­ate a pop-up jazz club at the Fes­ti­val Club in the Metropole Ho­tel, which will fea­ture many Ir­ish and over­seas mu­si­cians, with the Ron­nie Scott’s All Stars Band play­ing The Ev­ery­man Palace on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Speak­ing at the fes­ti­val launch Jennifer Gleeson, Guin­ness Cork Jazz Spon­sor­ship Man­ager, said the leg­endary band leader Ron­nie Scott was the first in­ter­na­tional head­liner to play the in­au­gu­ral event.

“It is fit­ting that as we cel­e­brate 40-years of the fes­ti­val we have cre­ated this ex­clu­sive part­ner­ship with his fa­mous Lon­don jazz club. This vi­tal con­nec­tion opens up a bril­liant op­por­tu­nity for the fes­ti­val to con­nect di­rectly with the vast Ron­nie Scott’s Club net­work of jazz fans all over the world – and to bring more over­seas vis­i­tors to the event,” she said.

As well as the tick­eted gigs, there will be a plethora of free of charge jazz en­ter­tain­ment over the week­end at over 70 venues in­clud­ing pubs, ho­tels, restau­rants and clubs.

On-street en­ter­tain­ment will also fea­ture heav­ily this year with an open air con­cert at Em­met Place, head­lined by Brian Deady and Paddy Casey, as well as a street pa­rade fea­tur­ing vi­brant street per­form­ers, march­ing bands and even a ded­i­cated jazz bus.

Back by pop­u­lar de­mand, the Jazz Fringe will fea­ture free at­trac­tions all over the city in­clud­ing the Fes­ti­val Club at the Metropole Ho­tel, a Jazz Gospel Ser­vice at St Anne’s Church in Shan­don, a food fair and open air jam ses­sions.

For full fes­ti­val de­tails and to pur­chase tick­ets for the 2017 Guin­ness Cork Jazz Fes­ti­val log onto www. guin­ness­jaz­zfes­ti­val.com.

At the launch of the Cork Jazz Fes­ti­val 2017were, from left: Gary Baus, Guin­ness Spon­sor­ship Man­ager Jennifer Gleeson, Bren­dan Ó Ruaidh & Co­lette Forde.

Brian Deedy, Dee Dee Bridge­wa­ter, Ni­cholas Pay­ton and Imelda May will all be part of the Guin­ness Cork Jazz Fes­ti­val 2017 line-up.

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