Cork Jazz Festival to begin recovery of live entertainment industry after Covid-19 hit

THE 43rd Guinness Cork Jazz Festival has taken off as the first indoor music event in Ireland since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic 20 months ago.

The three-day event – estimated to be worth € 45 million to Cork’s economy – has been hailed as a forerunner for the recovery of Ireland’s live entertainment industry.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney both supported the festival while urging people to strictly adhere to all Covid-19 control guidelines.

All jazz venues will impose strict checks on vaccination certificates and photographic identity, while the ability to comply with social distancing guidelines will be curtailed.

Former Lord Mayor of Cork and Blackpool GP Councilor John Sheehan has urged festival-goers to have fun while adhering to Covid-19 guidelines.

“The message is that people are having fun while being cautious and cautious given the current level of daily Covid-19 detections. “

Cork hotels and restaurants have reported high booking levels for the weekend.

This year’s jazz program will feature headliners such as New York hip-hop legend Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) and the punk ensemble Naked Animals.

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The program will also feature stars such as Matthew Halsall, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Mick Flannery, Susan O’Neill, Mack Fleetwood, DJ Jenny Greene, King Kong Company and Kit Downes.


One of the headliners is hip hop legend Mos Def. Photo: Reuters

Hip hop legend Mos Def is one of the headliners. Photo: Reuters

The jazz route will once again be one of the highlights of the festival’s programming.

Diageo’s Director of Partnerships Rory Sheridan said it was very exciting to see the return of the festival, which was founded in 1978.

“We all missed the hum of the crowd and the beat of the drum, so we are delighted to once again host the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, providing a platform for musicians to perform and welcoming thousands of people to Cork for enjoy the festival atmosphere. that we were all looking forward to coming back ”.

“This will be the first major festival in Ireland since the pandemic to take place, which is a milestone not only for musicians and the events industry which has been one of the hardest hit industries, but also for festival-goers who were expecting some good news. “

Cork Jazz President Fiona Collins said the events associated with the festival will also be a major draw.

“One of the highlights for many will be the Fringe Festival, which will see the return of some of the best bands including the New York Brass and Hyde Park, as well as more familiar local bands such as Rebel Brass bringing music to the bands. streets of Cork. . “

The Jazz Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel will welcome fans of Swing, Funk, Groove, Blues and Dixieland for an exciting mix of Irish and international acts on several stages of the hotel.

Blarney and Kinsale will also host major musical events over the weekend.

Over the years, Cork Jazz has featured a galaxy of big names in jazz including Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Cleo Laine, Art Blakey, Gerry Mulligan, Mel Torme, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Marsalis, BB King, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton , Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin Jones, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea and a host of other big international names.

Willie J. Johnson

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