Star-studded line-up jazzes up Cork festival
MORE than 50,000 music fans have descended on Cork for the Guinness Jazz Festival, which boasts stars including former Blur frontman Damon Albarn and Clint Eastwood's son Kyle.
The event -- which runs until Monday -- is Ireland's biggest annual specialist music festival and is worth more than €8m to the local economy.
Damon Albarn featured as part of the 'Honest John's Chop Up' ensemble in the Savoy Theatre, which also starred Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Afrobeat founder Tony Allen.
Kyle Eastwood is not only an acclaimed jazz guitarist, he is also the son of legendary actor-director Clint Eastwood, and has produced several CDs as well as soundtracks which have featured in films including Flags of our Fathers. He is in Ireland to promote his new CD Songs from the Chateau.
More than 1,000 musicians from 29 countries are taking part in the 2011 event.
Other major acts taking part this year include jazz rapper Roots Manuva, jazz fusion star Jean Luc Ponty, French accordionist Richard Galliano, sax player and Beyonce support musician Tia Fuller, guitarist Stanley Jordan, the Harlem Gospel Choir and Norwegian jazz outfi Jaga Jazzist.
The venues have been expanded this year and will include Cork Opera House, Cork School of Music, the Everyman Palace, the Metropole Hotel and the Triskel Arts Centre.
Several showcase events will also take place at Cork's newly opened €5m Christchurch arts venue.
Fringe festivals also take place in Blarney and Kinsale.
"Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the people of Cork have warmly welcomed in excess of one million visitors to the festival, which has been a fantastic showcase for the city and county," festival chief executive Michael Whelan said.
Gig times available from www.corkjazzfestival.com