Monday 22 May 2017

Amy's dad jazzes up festival

Mitch Winehouse performing in the Bodega Bar as part of the Cork Jazz Festival yesterday
Mitch Winehouse performing in the Bodega Bar as part of the Cork Jazz Festival yesterday

Edel Kennedy

HE'S launched his own career on the back of his daughter's talent. But that didn't stop Mitch Winehouse, father of British soul singer Amy, from drawing the crowds to the Cork Jazz Festival.

A self-confessed "fame junkie", he packed out the Bodega Bar on Sunday night before taking to the stage again yesterday afternoon.

Bar manager Kate O'Shea said the gigs were "very successful and very busy".

"It went down really well," she told the Irish Independent. "He played music from his new album and a few of Frank Sinatra's songs. The crowd loved it."

She said his wife accompanied him -- but there was no sign of his daughter. "We thought she might show up because she's been known to go to some of his gigs."

A former London taxi driver, he acknowledged he wouldn't be playing to packed venues without the help of his talented daughter.

Opportunity

"Of course I wouldn't be in this position without Amy. But now the opportunity is there, why not take it?" he said.

But he added that he's aiming for a different audience than his daughter. "Everyone likes this music, young and old. But there is so much more that no one's ever heard."

Among the other big names who played at the 32nd festival were jazz and funk legend Herbie Hancock, Maceo Parker and Steve Winwood.

Festival director Jack McGouran said the event was "recession-proof".

Major fringe festivals also took place on the outskirts of Cork in an effort to capitalise on the estimated €6m boost the event brings to the local economy.

This year more than 90pc of all performances were free of charge. This helped boost bookings by up to 10pc, along with a conscious decision to broaden the programme beyond mainstream jazz.

Irish Independent

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