9 February 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
The announcement of a new monthly jazz session at popular Cork City venue The Shelbourne Bar on MacCurtain Street is sure to be music to jazz lovers’ ears. Dubbed ‘The Guinness Jazz Jam’, the first live event swings into action on Thursday 18th February from 9.30pm with plenty of fanfare and razzmatazz expected.
With up-tempo monthly sessions featuring local jazz hero Harry Connolly and guests, the Guinness Jazz Jam is sure to ‘get under your skin’. Harry Connolly’s jazz credentials are many – he is a vocalist, master of the tenor sax and flute, and is one of the founding members of the Jazz Festival.
Harry will be joined on stage with a host of well-known international and local musicians, including Ian Date (guitar), Dave Duffy (double bass), Niall Marron (drums) and many more who will add their own musical influences on the greats like Charlie Bird Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan. Jimmy Van Heusen, Dexter Gordon, and Miles Davis.
There will also be a special feature spot for emerging Irish young jazz talent each month.
The idea behind the Guinness Jazz Jam is to maintain the link between Cork and jazz throughout the year, and not just for the hugely success Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, which attracts 40,000 visitors annually. It is expected to attract the best local, national and international musicians.
Harry Connolly, said, “The Shelbourne Bar has been the premier venue for the jazz festival since its inception and I have been playing there for 17 years, so it is the perfect venue to continue Cork’s jazz legacy”.
Owner of The Shelbourne Bar, Phillip Gillivan, feels there is huge demand for a regular jazz venue in Cork: “There is a true love and appreciation for jazz in Cork, and The Shelbourne Bar is delighted to partner with Harry Connolly and Guinness to bring this monthly Guinness Jazz Jam to the people of Cork”.
Fiona Collins, Chair of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Committee, said “Cork is synonymous with jazz because of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, so it’s a really welcome move to see one of our premier venues – and one of the first venues in Cork to embrace the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival back in 1978 – to take this legacy to the next level with a year round jazz residency. Visitors and locals alike expect it, and I feel it will be hugely successful.”
Michael Lyons from Guinness said, “The Guinness Cork Jazz festival is our premier music sponsorship. What a great way to keep it alive and vibrant in Cork City throughout the year with the Jazz Jam at the Shelbourne. We are delighted to be associated with it and I wish Philip every success with this new exciting initiative.’
If you are tempted by the sounds of Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Coltrane, Nat King Cole and Miles Davis, then pencil in an unforgettable monthly night of jazz fever to your social calendar and start ‘feelin’ good’.
The first Guinness Jazz Jam takes place at The Shelbourne Bar on McCurtain Street Cork on Thursday 18th February.