The 2012 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival was officially launched in Cork Opera House last night and it promises to be a fun filled festival which takes place over the October Bank Holiday Weekend from 26-28 October. Over 1,000 musicians from 22 countries will be travelling to the Leeside and will feature over 400 performances in more than 50 venues throughout Cork. This year's line up promises a eclectic mix of performers and some of the highlights will be Roy Hargrove, De La Soul, Gregory Porter, Beach House, Jean Toussaint and Natalie Williams.
Speaking at the launch Con Dennehy, Chairman of Cork County VFI called for a Hollywood style jazz walk of fame to be set up on McCurtain St which would honour some of the world's best musicians and would also boost tourism.
As well the headliners in the Festival, The Guinness Music Trail will feature in over 50 venues citywide promising a range of music styles including jazz, blues, funk and dixieland. The majority of these events are free and some of the top names appearing on the trail include The James Taylor Quartet, Lee Hedley Band, The Mary Stokes Band and local jazz heroes, The Roaring Forties who entertained the crowds at the official launch. There will also be The Big Jazz Fringe, which is a week long series of fringe events, aimed at extending the Festival experience for locals and visitors alike. some of these events include the Jazz Food Fair, Live at the Library, Beat on the Street and Jazz Gospel Service.
"We are delighted to announce the line-up for the 2012 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival which is now established as a highlight of Ireland's flagship arts and culture calendar. Year on year, the festival has grown and we are looking forward to another successful year. This is an event for everyone to enjoy with a great range of acts and musicians lined up to perform throughout the city.Alongside the headline acts such as Natalie Williams, De La Soul and Beach House, it's great to see the Guinness Music Trail boast such an impressive line-up, " said Rory Sheridan, Head of Sponsorship at Diageo.
World Renowned saxophonist, Jean Toussaint was in Cork for the announcement and he will play with Natalie Williams at the festival as well as giving a masterclass in 'Mastering the Sax' as part of Cork Jazz Camp.
"I am delighted to be back in Cork to launch the 2012 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, especially as I am part of such an exciting line up. The festival this year is set to be one of the best to date and I am looking forward to not only the performance, but also soaking up the atmosphere throughout the city over the weekend, " said Jean. Read a full interview with Jean in next week's Cork Independent.
See www.guinnessjazzfestival.com for full details of the 2012 festival.