FIONA COLLINS, FESTIVAL CHAIRPERSON
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.