The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is off to an incredible start this year, with a surprise performance from American singer Macy Gray on Wednesday night. Gray, who had a sold-out show at the Cork Opera House on Thursday, treated fans to a secret intimate gig at Coughlans Bar in Cork city.
During the performance, the Grammy Award winner showcased tracks from her new album, The Reset, as well as performing some of her older favorites. Gray is just one of the many talented artists, both international and Irish, who will be taking part in the festival, which officially kicked off on Thursday.
Now in its 45th year, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is set to be the biggest and best yet, with an extended program featuring over 100 ticketed shows and 500 musicians from 40 different countries. The festival offers something for everyone, with a diverse range of genres including ska, swing, jazz, and brass.
The Guinness Music Trail, a popular feature of the festival, will guide attendees to more than 73 venues across Cork City, Douglas, and Kinsale. In addition to the scheduled performances, there will be pop-up events, collaborations, late-night parties, and even a brass band marching through the city.
Some of the festival highlights include Macy Gray’s performance at the Cork Opera House on Thursday, October 26. On Friday, October 27, there will be performances by Kurt Elling at The Everyman, a Jazz Boat Journey with Jerron Paxton on Cork Harbour Cruises, and a 50 Years of Hip Hop show by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at the Cork Opera House. Matthew Halsall will also be performing at The Everyman, and The Charlatans will take the stage at Cork City Hall with special guests Pillow Queens. Brandee Younger will be at the Triskel Arts Centre, and the WeGotTheJazz presents Evolution exhibition will be opening at St Peters throughout the weekend.
On Saturday, October 28, there will be performances by Amaro Freitas at the Triskel Arts Centre, Tony Hadley (ex-Spandau Ballet) with special guests at Cork City Hall, Karen Underwood at the Cork Opera House, Morcheeba at the Cork Opera House, Cork Jazz All Stars XCLSV23 at the Cork Opera House, and another Jazz Boat Journey with Jerron Paxton on Cork Harbour Cruises.
On Sunday, October 29, Corinne Bailey Rae will be performing at the Cork Opera House, Gilles Peterson will be at Cyprus Avenue, and Fred Wesley & the New JBS will be at The Everyman.
With such an impressive lineup of artists and a wide variety of musical styles, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is sure to be a memorable event for music lovers across the city and beyond.