Cork Jazz Festival Trail 2018 Overview

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

This was first published in The Evening Echo [Cork] on 2018-7-5, text underneath photo.


TID - Echo - Jazz Trail

While of course the headline artists playing in The Cork Opera House, The Cork Opera House and City Hall are guaranteed to be tremendous acts, and spending a day or evening wandering around the Metropole is also a classic way to enjoy the Cork Jazz Festival, to many people the real heart of the festival is the music trail – over the course of the 5 days over 50 venues host 100s of concerts. Here are a few gems to look out for…

The Oliver Plunkett will have nearly 40 gigs over the the weekend, but two that stand out in particular are ‘The Midnight Jazzy Ramble’ on Thursday at 12pm, where a host of musicians sit in a circle in the middle of the bar and the audience stand around them watching them jam, and also Friday at 9.30pm when The Cosmic Funk Band play upstairs.

Tom Barrys on Barrack Street have just one concert a day, all at 8pm, but have made great selections to get the party going with The Watermelons on Friday; One Horse Pony – who just released their new single ‘Hot One’ and are playlisted on RTE Radio 1 – on Saturday; and She Said on Sunday.

People who want to have a good old rock out will be very pleased with the fare at Fred Zeppelins, on Parliament Street, with The Slut Club playing on Thursday night; King Witch, Hundred Year Old Man, Doomas, Raum Kingdom and Mendicant playing late on Friday; Jobseekers, Stanton’s Grave and The Audible Joes playing on Saturday night;and an early evening performances by Sinner Boy, a Rory Gallagher tribute band, playing at 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Anyone who enjoys a concert at any of the Live At Saint Lukes concerts will be able to enjoy free gigs before and afterwards in Henchys across the road as well; keep an eye out in particular for The Underscore Orkestra, who play a great combination of Balkan, Klezmer, Blues and Americana. They will be playing there on Friday at 9.30pm (after the David Duffy Quartet’s Unity Project) and Sunday at 5.30pm.

One visiting band to definitely keep an eye out for are The Hot Club Of Jupiter, a Parisian and Gypsy jazz group who are playing 8 gigs in 3 days and promise ‘if you make it to all 8 you get to be in the band!’ They will be playing at the official launch of Crawford & Co on Anglesea Street on Friday at 6pm at their new ‘after work club’ with free pizza and pints for all – a good way to start any weekend! (They also play there on Saturday at 7pm.)

Some of the other recently opened bars and venues in Cork to check out include The Bridge on Bridge Street with Gary Baus bringing his sax, deep knowledge of swing jazz and fun times from Friday to Sunday at 5pm, with DJS to close afterwards; The Grand Central which only opened last week on Washington Street, formerly The Bailey, will have Cork’s Soul Legend Karen Underwood playing Friday to Sunday at 6pm, and notably has a concert from Paddy Casey at 8.30pm on the Friday too.

Dali, formerly the Pav, on Careys Lane will host a 14 hour Techno gig on the Saturday, and on Sunday host ‘AmyAmyAmy’ when Briony O’Toole and her ten piece band celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s album ‘Frank’ at 7.30pm. Following that at 10.30pm will be Nubiyan Twist, a big band who have focus on groove with Afrobeat, Dub and Soul influences as well as the jazzier end of Hip-Hop in the mix. The other half of that double bill is Blue Lab Beats, who have remixed tracks for the likes of Jodie Abacus, Dua Lipa and Rag’n’Bone Man, but their own DJ gigs have brought them throughout the world and gained many millions of listens online.

Coughlans Bar on Douglas Street, like so many venues have several concerts a day worth mentioning, but keep an eye out on Saturday at 8pm for Whoa! Mama, a new band who specialise in taking hits from all over the airwaves, artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, The Bangles, The Cardigans and Beyonce, and get your dancing. Coughlans will also have Shookrah playing on Sunday at 11pm, who will have been playing earlier that day in the Old Oak at 1pm.

Marlene Enright who was nominated for the Choice Music Prize earlier this year will be playing in Electric, South Mall, at 5.30pm on Friday and at 4pm Saturday and Sunday. A little later Pontious Pilate and The Naildrivers will be playing The Brog on Oliver Plunkett Street at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, their set of classic ska covers mixed occasionally with their own original material never fails to get any crowd going. They also play the legendary ‘last gig of the entire festival’ when they start playing at 11.50pm in The Crane Lane to take proceedings onto the Tuesday!

All venues and their concert times can be found at

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