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Your jazzy guide to Cork this weekend

By Sarah Finnan

October 24, 2019 at 3:10pm


Today is Thursday folks, you’re almost there.

You’ve made it over the mid-week slump and the weekend is within touching distance. It’s so close I can almost taste it.

Just. One. More. Day.

Anyone heading south for the 42nd Cork Jazz Festival is in for a real treat as there is so much going on.

Kicking off today, the annual event runs until Monday and will see 1,000 musicians from 20 countries perform in 70 venues across the city. What a buzz.

And good news, almost 95 percent of events are completely free.

As a Rebel County first-timer (I know, I know, absolutely scandalous) there’s so much I want to see and do this weekend, so I’ve put together a few of the things that I’m hoping to check out myself along with some of the top jazzy highlights too.

General Gorgeousness:

Crawford Gallery

Fond of a good art gallery, me. Free to wander around, it plays home to a wide range of exhibitions.

Such stunning installations, I can’t wait to get lost in here.

English Market

A trip to Cork wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the English Market, or so I’ve been told. Not that I needed to be convinced on the idea of a food-fuelled stroll through the stalls.

Shandon Belltower

Dependant on how motivated I’m feeling, I may or may not attempt the 132 steps up Shandon Belltower. Offering a 360-degree view of the city, it would probably be worth it for the photo ops alone.

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Cork is gorgeous

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Brunch at Dwyers

Dwyers do a bottomless brunch deal for only €20. That’s it all said really.

Deep South

I have it on good authority that any night is a good night at Deep South, especially one during the Cork Jazz weekend.

And judging by their Instagram feed, their beer garden is pretty unreal.

Festival Picks:


Blaze of Jazz Parade

The official launch of the festival, it’s sure to set the city ablaze. Red-hot jazz bands, fiery Cork characters, dramatic musical march full of flaming antics. Start as you mean to go on.

Guinness Music Trail

Running all weekend this is the best way to see the city come to life through music. Encompassing over 40 venues, you’ll get a taste for genres from ska to swing to jazz to brass.


Jazz on the Plaza and Jazz Food Fair

Housed in the Super Dome Jazz Stage on the Opera House Plaza, there will be live performances all afternoon accompanied by a food fair on Emmet Place. If there’s food, I’m there.

Kurt Elling

One of the headline acts for this year’s festival, the Grammy award winner will pay tribute to jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Shirley Horn and Nancy Wilson.

Described as “the standout male vocalist of our time” by The New York Times, there are limited tickets left so be quick.


Jazz Jamboree

One of the final jam sessions, it will feature all the brass bands as they say adieu to Cork for another year. Plus jamboree is just such a fun word to say.

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas

Another headline act, the Motown diva is listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists”. Get ready to get your groove on because their set will have you dancing in the street.

Make sure to check out the Metropole Festival Club too, as the heart of the festival the atmosphere will be second to none here.


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