With any luck, it’ll be the last online event of the year.
But the organisers of the annual Ballydehob Jazz Festival are firing ahead with plans to stage a virtual event this May bank holiday weekend, unveiling an outstanding festival programme featuring some of Ireland’s finest contemporary jazz artists.
“It’s been the strangest, toughest year in anyone’s living memory and we’re still not out of it yet, but the show must go on.” said festival director Joseph O’Leary.
“We had to ask ourselves what can we do?”
On that note, here’s the plan for 2021:
Nightly concerts: On May 1st, 2nd and 3rd, at 8pm each night, a series of concert performances recorded right in the heart of the village in the newly revamped Community Hall will be streamed online via the Ballydehob YouTube Channel. Catch ReDiviDeR including Matthew Jacobson (described as “one of the most dynamic forces in Irish jazz, on and off the stage” by The Irish Times), Cuar, an Irish chamber music ensemble led by Neil O’Lochlainn, The Cormac McCarthy Sextet, and festival favourites Niwel Tsumbu and Eamonn Cagney (with much-loved guest singer Camilla Griehsel).
Headline performance: On Monday, May 3rd, viewers will be treated to a performance of Loch Trasna (Roaring Water Suite), an original piece of music commissioned by the festival and written by Cork trombonist and composer Paul Dunlea.
“A new suite in four movements inspired by the extraordinary efforts and courage of local men and women of Cork during the War of Independence, performing with Paul will be four of Ireland’s leading improvising jazz musicians – Chris Engel – sax, Chris Guilfoyle – guitar, Dan Bodwell – bass, and Matthew Jacobson – drums,” said Joe.
In the village: Not all the fun is happening online. Ballydehob Jazz Festival has partnered with Working Artist Studios, the local art centre, to create family creativity packs filled with all the materials to make your own Jazz decorations (including a stained glass design) which will be used to decorate the Village windows throughout the weekend. Contact [email protected] to pick up your pack – donations welcome.
A new village wall mural commissioned by the Ballydehob Jazz Festival has also been created by Cork artist Anthony Ruby and will be unveiled over the weekend.
Tickets for the festival are on sale now here and the price is a donation of your choice (suggested donation €15).