The best performances are often spontaneous.
That’s why it’s worth heading off the beaten track in Cork this weekend and taking a stroll around parts of town where some of the more unexpected Cork Jazz Festival fun happens.
As the 43rd annual celebration gets underway from October 22nd to Monday, October 25th, there’s more to check out than ever before and much of it is completely free and happening outdoors – ideal if you’d rather skip the pub or soak up the atmosphere al fresco.
From big brass bands to solo sax players, visiting international musicians will be popping up all over the city.
Here’s where to catch the best street and unticketed performances:
1. The Big Jazz Bus
You can’t miss it; the open-top Big Jazz Bus makes a welcome return to the festival from Friday on and will tour the city until Sunday with lively bands on board. Listen out; you’ll hear it coming.
2. Jazz on the Plaza
Visiting international bands will tour through the city throughout the weekend, performing on the super dome stage at Emmet Place as part of Jazz on the Plaza.
Look out for New York Brass, Hyde Park Brass Band, Brass Kings, TBL8 Brass, Stomptown Brass along with Cork’s own Code of Behaviour, Rebel Brass, the Barrack Street Band and Blarney Concert Band who will perform at Daunt’s Square.
3. Harley Street Line-Up
For the first time ever this year, the city’s Victorian Quarter will stage the Harley Street Line-Up, with jazz spilling out of each venue on MacCurtain Street throughout the day from noon.
Pop along and grab a taco to go, then enjoy Voiceworks Indie Choir/The Cosmics, the Victorian Quarter All Star Jazz Quartet, Cork SM Saxophone Jazz Quartet, the Alison Ronayne Jazz Trio and more.
4. Afternoon jazz at The Met
No trip to the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival would be complete without a visit to the famous Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel, which holds its place as the beating heart of the festival, staging free jazz shows for all the family on Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoon, with ticketed shows each evening.