Cork Jazz Festival

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Cork Jazz Festival
Festival logo (2010)
Genre Jazz
Dates Late October
Location(s) Cork, Ireland
Years active 1978+
Website
GuinnessJazzFestival.com

The Cork Jazz Festival is an annual music festival held in Cork City, Ireland in late October every year since 1978.[1]

The festival is Ireland's biggest jazz event and attracts hundreds of musicians and thousands of music fans to the city each year.[2]

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.[3][4]

A small committee was formed[5] and obtained sponsorship from John Player & Sons.[6] The country's first jazz festival successfully attracted thousands of jazz fans.[5] Guinness became the major sponsor in the 1980s.[6]

As festival director between 1978 and 1986,[7] Mountjoy also introduced a Pub Trail, a Jazz Boat (from the UK) and a Jazz Train (from Dublin) to expand the festival.[8] He also travelled to the UK, mainland Europe, Canada and the United States to promote the festival.[8]

Over 40,000 people now visit the festival each year from many parts of the world.[1][2]

To date, over one million jazz fans have visited Cork[4] 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.

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