Get into the Swing of All Things Jazz at the 2018 Guinness Cork Jazz ‘Fringe’ Festival!

Fringe Highlights - Dia de Los Muertos Jazz Parade, Unity at St. Lukes, Swing Jive and headliners at new festival venue Cork City Hall, ‘Requiem for Truth’ in Nano Nagle’s Goldie Chapel, Metropole Festival Club, Jazz Photographic Exhibition, and much more!


The 2018 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival will open like never before, kickstarting the bank holiday weekend with an incredible carnival-like ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) Jazz Parade through Cork city centre on Thursday evening, 25th October.


This bright and colourful spectacle of more than 100 musicians, artists and performers, will weave through the streets forming a New Orleans style funeral procession, celebrating both the living and the dead through music, dance and art.


Cork Community ArtLink, who will also host the famous Dragon of Shandon Parade one week later on Halloween night, have created a series of large-scale macabre floats to parade through the city with improvising jazz bands and costumed dancers paying homage to some of the great jazz musicians who are gone from this world.



Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Paudie Dineen and Dave McArdle from Cork’s RedFM will officially launch the parade opening this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at 7pm on Grand Parade. The procession will move off up Oliver Plunkett Street bringing the streets to life with all kinds of jazz, before turning back down Maylor Street and on to Patrick Street, and returning to Grand Parade. With hundreds of schools closed across Cork for Presidential elections the following day (Friday October 26th), it’s the perfect night for families to come out into the city centre to enjoy the music and spectacle of the Jazz Parade and get into the groove for the weekend ahead!


In another first for the festival, a special immersive audio-visual experience fusing jazz, contemporary classical music and electronica has been commissioned to be performed in the beautiful setting of St. Luke’s Church. ‘Unity’ with the David Duffy Quartet combines an impressive lighting show featuring 4k stunning microscopic projections and a live jazz performance asking us to examine what it is that connects, unifies and binds us, on the fringes of the jazz festival.


This year’s festival will also celebrate the golden era of the social dance halls with The Swing Jive on Saturday 27th October at Cork City Hall, where two of Europe’s biggest Jazz dance bands, ‘Meschya Lake and The Dizzy Birds’ and ‘Gentlemen & Gangsters’ will be joined by international dancers and members of the Irish Swing Community who will reacquaint jazz festival party people with the One-Step, Two-Step, Waltz, Foxtrot, Peabody, Balboa, Shag, Lindy Hop, Swing and Jive dances. Dress sharp, polish those shoes and bring your best self for an unforgettable night which promises to be one of the biggest dance events ever seen in Cork city.


And for theatre buffs, the Festival is also presenting a live theatre and jazz show, ‘Requiem for Truth’ in Nano Nagle’s Goldie Chapel. Truth, we are told, is dead. If so, then who organises the funeral? Stomptown Brass, the outrageously energetic 10-piece street-funk band, and Collapsing Horse, the most exciting young theatre company in Ireland, invite you to join them as they take on an audacious task: to host a Funeral for the Truth. Witness the colourful exuberance of the Haitian Voodoo-inspired New Orleans jazz funeral as it smashes up against the mournful, solemn ceremony of Roman Catholicism. An extravagant, chaotic street party, with a dark twist.


This year, Cork City Hall - which is a fantastic new venue for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival - will also play host to festival headliners including the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama (Friday 26th October), British soul singer-songwriter and two-time MOBO award winner, Laura Mvula (Saturday 27th October), and five-time Grammy Award winning jazz collective, the fantastic Maria Schneider Orchestra (Sunday 28th October); all headline acts of international acclaim not to be missed.


As always at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, a huge number of the musicians performing over the weekend will play free open-air gigs at locations across the city as part of the festival Fringe so there really is something for all the family.


Venues include the Festival Club in the Metropole Hotel, Cork City Library on Grand Parade, CIT Cork School of Music, the River Lee Hotel and the now annual Jazz on the Plaza stage on Emmet Place where brass bands and jazz musicians from all over the world will take to the stage every half hour from Friday October 26th to Sunday October 28th from 1pm - 6pm. The Jazz Bites Food Fair on Emmet Place will also keep the masses fed on the finest of artisanal foods while enjoying the music across the city throughout the day.


Atmospheric photographs captured by the Irish Examiner in the early days of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, including images of jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Rich and Dizzy Gillespie, will appear in a new exhibition at the Triskel Arts Centre. ‘Jazz Memories With The Irish Examiner’ featuring 20 images from the Irish Examiner/Evening Echo archive opens at the Triskel on October 19 and runs until November 2.


Also keep an eye out for the touring Jazz bus, which will bring jazz to the people through routes weaving around Cork, while down on the ground, all sorts of jazz and brass ensembles will bring the streets to life with impromptu walk-abouts and New Orleans Jazz Funeral processions!


The Fringe offers a plethora of interesting, free, and family-friendly entertainment complimenting the main 2018 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival programme which has a fantastic line up of musical acts in headline venues and pubs across the city and county, so this year’s festival ensures there is something on offer for everyone!




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