home News Jazz festival attracts 40,000 to Leeside | Ellen Desmond

Jazz festival attracts 40,000 to Leeside | Ellen Desmond

The annual Guinness Jazz Festival started and ended on a high note from the 25th to the 28th of October last, with an estimated 40,000 attending events.

A renowned tourist attraction and a much welcomed economic boost for the city to tune of €15m, the ‘Jazz Weekend’ saw Cork bustling with buskers, blues and beer.

Names such as Chic & Nile Rodgers, Rene Marie and Bilal took to the stages of the Everyman Palace Theatre and Cork’s Opera House. Arguably the most anticipated act gracing Cork during the festival, Primal Scream, headlined the finale of the weekend to rave reviews.

In the lead up to the Festival, Thursday the 24th in UCC saw saxophone and keyboard players in the Student Centre café for some daytime entertainment.

This was later followed by a student jazz party in The New Bar, featuring The Marron Swing 3io and special guests.

UCC’s very own Head of Jazz and Popular Music, performer and composer Paul O’Donnell, demonstrated the University’s talents throughout the festival with the launch of his new group POD during the weekend.

POD played the compositions of O’Donnell in the Granary Theatre on Friday and later “with high energy rhythms and a fusion of jazz, pop, celtic, latin and world music elements” in UCC’s Devere Hall on the Sunday.

Legendary Irish musician and composer, Mícheál O Súilleabháin described POD as a band that “sizzles.”

“Cork has been building towards something like this for the past three decades, and the music energy at UCC is central to its emergence.”

With core magical musicians such as Niwel Tsumbu on guitar and Oleg Ponomarev on violin and with guest musicians such as Cora Venus Lunny and Mel Mercier, O Súilleabháin remarked, “it is more like a nomadic global experimental jazz school.”

Well known as the primary creative force behind the emergence of jazz and popular music studies at UCC, O’Donnell is a regular performer at music festivals at home and abroad, and he has worked with many leading jazz musicians.

The future of Jazz links with Cork and UCC were set strong following the atmospheric and impressive talents on show over the four days.