23 October 2022
By Elaine Murphy
5 days, 1 city, 30 ticketed shows, 70 venue music trail – For the full programme of events or to book see GuinnnessCorkJazz.com
Whether you have a passion for jazz or just love festivals, the eclectic line-up at this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival has something for everyone. With more than 30 ticketed performances over 5-days, along with a free fringe programme and a Guinness Music Trail throughout the city, you can immerse yourself fully in jazz, or mix it up with a variety of sounds.
According to Festival Director Mark Murphy, “This year’s programme has an exceptional balance of really strong jazz that’s on par with jazz festivals from around the world mixed with bands that are festival crowd-pleasers. There’s pure jazz, soul, and fusions of jazz R&B, house and hip-hop. We have fun experiences like the Jazz Boat, brass bands popping up throughout the city, and the Jazz Music Trail. We also have immersive experiences like the ‘We Got the Jazz’ Chuck Stewart Photo Exhibition at St Peters. And then bands like King Kong Company, one of Ireland’s top festival acts, are playing at Cork Opera House for those who want to mix it up. Cork really has something for everyone over the bank holiday weekend!.”
With some gigs already sold out, including Seun Kuti, Gogo Penguin and the jazz boat, it’s time to get booking! Here are some of our highlights…
Get your jazz on with Laufey
Los Angeles-based singer, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Laufey (pronounced lāy-vāy) brings her contemporary jazz style to the Everyman on Sunday 30th at 6pm. The 23-year old Icelandic Chinese artist, whose music breaks down the barriers between pop and “high-brow” genres, connecting listeners across generations, grew up playing cello and piano. She was inspired by her violinist mother and became hooked on the jazz standards of Ella Fitzgerald after digging through her father’s records. Laufey’s rise shows no signs of stopping and this is a rare opportunity to see her perform live in Ireland.
Get your dance on with King Kong Company
Ireland’s top festival and dance act, King Kong Company, returns to Cork Opera House on Sunday 30th at 11.30pm. The Waterford band had a great summer with some memorable performances at Indiependence, Body & Soul and Electric Picnic.
Matinees at St. Lukes
In addition to their electric night time line-up, St Luke’s has some unique matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoon with London and Manchester based spoken word artist, writer and saxophonist Angus Fairbairn, Aka Alabaster deplume and Cooks But We’re Chefs.
Jazz at The Everyman
Hot on the heels of a recently sold out gig in Dublin’s Sugar Club, one show not to be missed is Toshín as Aretha in The Everyman on Saturday the 29th from 2.00-4.30pm. The much-loved female Irish soul/RnB artist is taking the world by storm and is sure to deliver a show stopping tribute to her musical hero!
Later that evening, for a modern contemporary jazz sound, check out Mas Exodus featuring Omar and Jeru, the brainchild of Festival Director Mark Murphy and guitarist & MD Max Zaska from 6.00-8.00pm. This is an electrifying collision of house, jazz, soul and afro styles.
And on Sunday , there is a real treat in store for fans of the Portico Quartet who play at 10.00pm. Having defied categorisation over the course of six studio albums their new electronic driven album Monument shows the band at their most direct, with a streamlined, rhythmic sound.
Triskel, a sanctuary for jazz
Triskel will once again be a sanctuary for incredible jazz. The weekend will be truly memorable, featuring Irish jazz musicians, legends from the ECM label and a Music Network tour. Headliners include Ralph Towner, Amaro Freitas and Andy Sheppard East Coast.
Brass Bands, Greenroom Jazz, and rocking beats at Cork Opera House
In addition to the fantastic headliners at Cork Opera House, like Booka Brass Band, The New Power Generation, Jenny Greene and Block Rocking Beats, there’s also a fantastic line-up of ‘Jazz at the Greenroom’. Joining soul singer, blues sister and jazz diva Karen Underwood will be Suzanne Savage, Paul Dunlea & Cormac McCarthy, Ryan Quigley Quintet and Laoise Leahy for a total of nine shows in their most intimate venue .
To jazz or not to jazz at Cyprus Avenue
There’s also a fantastic line-up at Cyprus Avenue this year! They kick off with Toucan on Thursday night, the music project of pop, funk and soul artist, Conor Clancy.
Due to high demand, fans will be delighted to hear that the venue has added another date on Friday for Boots & Kats, who have already sold out Saturday night. And the venue hosts Pillow Queens on Sunday night, following a recent sell-out gig.
For more see the full line up and the Jazz Music Trail at guinnesscorkjazz.com or check out headline venues The Everyman, Cork Opera House, Live at St Lukes, Triskel Arts Centre, St Peters Church, and Cyprus Avenue. And of course, a visit where it all began – The Metropole – is a must.
Festival goers can get the most from their festival experience and make sure to hit the best music venues by checking out the mapped Guinness Music Trail which offers music to suit every appetite. Revelers will discover everything from ska to swing and jazz to brass as the trail leads you to more than 60 venues across Cork City, Douglas and Kinsale hosting an impressive array of jazz acts from across Ireland and beyond.
Established in 1978, the festival has stood the test of time and is now in its 43rd year. The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is supported by Diageo, Failte Ireland and Cork City Council.