The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

This week Guinness is hosting the 38th Cork Jazz festival. From the 28th-31st of October, Cork is the only place to be for jazz fanatics, or those that enjoy a feel-good swing. There is literally so much going on, so no matter what your availability or budget, you’ll find something to suit!

Over the four days there will be concerts held in various different venues around Cork including the Opera House, The Everyman, The Oliver Plunkett and The Hanover. Artists performing at the concert include Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet, Booka Brass, Picture This (which has sold out already!), The Riptide Movement and many more. Find tickets here.

Local Cork band Collage & Co.
Local Cork band Collage & Co.

Concerts aren’t the only performances over the four days. There’s the Guinness Festival Club at the Metropole, featuring different live acts over the weekend. With a diverse mixture of jazz, funk, swing, groove, blues and Dixieland, this festival should net be missed! Tickets cost 25 euro for Saturday & Sunday evening, but entry is free on Monday and Friday! There are also afternoon sessions where everyone is welcome free of charge, starting around 12 or 1 depending on what day you go. The Jazz Brunch on Saturday and Sunday at 12 sounds blissful (maybe that’s because I love any excuse for brunch).

For even more music, Guinness Music Xtra is running throughout the four days across various locations – check out here for more details because I couldn’t possibly list all the acts and venues! Then the Guinness Music Trail invites you to trot along to different locations and experience over a dozen artists performing from midday till well into the night (if you can last that long).


Now that we have covered all the music, let turn to the events. There are so many events to accompany the musical performances to encourage you to get involved and try out some jazz for yourself. Cork Jazz Camp invites all musicians and non-musicians to participate in these “relaxed and informal” sessions. Free of charge, you just have to show up on the day! If the blues are more your thing, then there is a blues and groove workshop on also, where you’ll be learning from the artists themselves.

For aspiring jazz singers, there is an open mic events where sopranos can show off and altos can be appreciated. There will be people on hand to offer advice and intimate singer corner sessions where you can really get one on one advice from educators or musicians. Family Jazz allows children to get a taste for jazz during one hours concerts with movie hits, pop classics and performances from CIT Cork School of Music students with a host of different instruments.


And to finish there is the Swing Dance Party. I mean, what is music without dancing? There’ll be demonstrations and workshops to teach you the basics, give you the techniques and get you swinging. Free of charge and open to all ages!

And while you’re in the rebel county, you may as well try out their new Gelato spot for a treat in between concerts.

For information about accommodation see the website.

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