The Guinness Jazz festival returns to Cork City this bank holiday weekend (28th- 31st), bringing with it some of the biggest names in the business. This year’s line up offers a more eclectic mix, with genre legends sharing the bill with the likes of Dan le Sac and Ghostpoet. With over 70 venues set up throughout the city, revellers can spend four days flowing from bar to bar on a wave of offbeat rhythms. Sure to be the source of innumerable “I was there man” anecdotes for years to come, here are some of this weekend’s unmissable performances:
Another Honest Jon’s Chop-Up! – Damon Albarn & Flea – The Savoy Theatre, 9pm
The Savoy will provide the backdrop for a once in a lifetime performance from Honest Jon’s roster. Label co-founder Damon Albarn (Blur) will be joined on stage by Flea (RHCP), The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Afrobeat legend Tony Allen amongst others for a genre-defying jam session. The former cinema theatre is sold out in anticipation of this truly unique collaboration.
Fred – The Bowery, 8pm
Fred return home for the weekend for an intimate performance at the Bowery rooftop-bar. With the night’s sky above and the Peace Park below, Fred’s upbeat anthems will fill the surrounding area with an air of optimism and candour.
Ham Sandwich – An Brog, 9pm
Student Mecca An Brog hosts our next great musical export Ham Sandwich for an evening of catchy indie pop and cheap pints. The four piece have built up quite a following in the Southern Capital, thanks in part to their emphatic performance at Cyprus Avenue earlier this month.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – The Pavilion
There is a special place in the heart of Cork reserved solely for this mesmerising Chicagoan 9 piece. Having sold out six shows in the city in the last two years, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble return to The Pavilion this Saturday for what’s shaping up to be another spell-binding performance.
Stanley Jordan – Triskel’s Christchurch, 8pm
Jordan’s iconic two-hand tapping guitar style inspired disbelief in audiences worldwide when he first arrived on the scene in the 80s. His piano-like approach to the guitar influenced countless other genre-defining players over the years; from Steve Vai to Erik Mongrain. Thanks to an astute festival committee, Jordan’s performance will take place in the sublime Christchurch venue; one of the finest acoustic spaces in the city.
Grandmaster Flash – The Savoy, 9:30pm
The forefather to turntablism as we know it, Grandmaster Flash invented innumerable DJ techniques in the 70s including punch phrasing, backspin and scratching. His status as a cultural icon was consolidated in 2007 when he became the first hip hop artist to be inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Nearly 35 years since his arrival on the scene, Flash continues to headline festivals worldwide, sharing stages with the likes of The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, & Massive Attack. An interesting alternative to the festival’s other big names, his show at The Savoy is sure to attract a diverse following.
Ghostpoet – The Pavilion, 8pm
In 12 months, Coventry-born MC Ghostpoet has gone from struggling independent artist to Mercury Music Prize finalist. His stellar debut album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam was released to universal critical album, garnering comparison to fellow philosophical MCs Scroobius Pip and Kate Tempest. Following a seminal headlining set at Electric Picnic, Ghostpoet makes his debut Cork appearance in the suitably eclectic Pavilion theatre.
Dan le Sac – Cyprus Avenue, 11pm
A brief hiatus from his cohort Scroobius Pip has inspired le Sac to embark on a series of beat-heavy solo sets. The amiable grime house merchant returns to Cork for a late night Sunday performance at Cyprus Avenue. Never one to pigeon-hole his sound, le Sac’s DJ sets flow seamlessly from genre to genre, combining elements of electro, drum n bass and Hip-Hop into one fist-pumping soundtrack.
Tickets for the festival are available here.