Thirty-five years after its inception, the Guinness Cork Jazz festival continues to go from strength to strength.
From McCurtain Street’s hectic array of venues (wherein pubs are invaded by jazz acts, blues bands, funk outfits, and anyone who wants to try singing an Amy Winehouse song) to the equally busy South Mall, Cork city is throbbing to a dizzy jazz beat.
At the Opera House, Cork band The Frank and Walters celebrated their 25th anniversary in fine style, Imelda May performed at the same venue the previous two nights, and last night soul acts Sharon Jones and Lee Fields did the honours.
Saxophone in hand
“They’re all fine acts,” says Steve from Warrenpoint, with his saxophone in hand in the hope that he can join in with the fun, “but I have to say it’s difficult to find real jazz.”
Not everyone would agree. Indeed, real jazz in its recognised form is to be found not only at Everyman Theatre (which over the weekend featured the likes of Michel Legrand, Carla Cook, Dianne Reeves, Ed Cherry, Carmen Lundy and a very fragile-looking Ginger Baker) but also at Triskel Christchurch (which featured the more esoteric side of the genre with shows by Sounds of the Nordic Islands and Hakon Kornstad).
A blackboard outside York Street’s Craic House baldly states “feck the jazz”, but there are few takers for such unruly sentiments. For the Bank Holiday weekend, at least, jazz (and all its variants) reigns supreme.