The Cork Guinness Jazz Festival is an annual music festival held in Cork City, Ireland in late October every year since 1978.
Cork Guinness Jazz Festival is Ireland’s biggest jazz event and attracts hundreds of musicians and thousands of music fans to the city each year.
CORK GUINNESS JAZZ FESTIVAL
Jim Mountjoy founded the festival in October 1978.
Mountjoy was a marketing manager of the Metropole Hotel in the city at the time, and, faced with filling his property for the weekend, scheduled the first jazz festival to coincide with the newly instituted October bank holiday.
A small committee was formed and obtained sponsorship from John Player & Sons.
The country’s first jazz festival successfully attracted thousands of jazz fans. Guinness became the major sponsor in the 1980s.
As festival director between 1978 and 1986, Mountjoy also introduced a Pub Trail, a Jazz Boat (from the UK) and a Jazz Train (from Dublin) to expand the festival.
He also travelled to the UK, mainland Europe, Canada and the United States to promote the festival.
Over 40,000 people now visit Cork Guinness Jazz Festival each year from many parts of the world.
To date, over one million jazz fans have visited Cork to hear noted jazz musicians such as: Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Mel Torme, Wynton Marsalis, Buddy Rich, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Cleo Laine, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Gerry Mulligan, Stéphane Grappelli, Sonny Rollins, Esbjorn Svensson Trio, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Gregory Porter, Billy Cobham, Damon Albarn and others.
The festival offers a top package of performance and educational opportunities aimed at school, college, community and university bands and ensembles from overseas.
Famous jazz stars and educators coming to Cork will deliver clinics and guest appearances free of charge – all part of the special Cork Guinness Jazz Festival experience.
Many visitors to Ireland love the relaxed ‘home from home’ comforts of staying in an approved Bed and Breakfast.