“What we play is life” Louis Armstrong – Jazz Musician
There must be something about cities on water that works really well with jazz festivals. Lakeside Montreux in Switzerland has been attracting artists and audiences since 1967 – New York City on the Hudson – Paris on the Seine, New Orleans on the Mississippi – all of these are centres for the music – and in a few days time Cork City confirms its reputation as Europe’s friendliest jazz festival, Patrick Street and other places providing the backdrop for the worldwide jazz groove.
Truth be told – Ireland and jazz music are sometimes strange bedfellows – but the Cork City Festival has been running strong since the first event in 1978. This year’s programme sees luminaries from all corners of that world, including leading US pianist Herbie Hancock, the UK’s Steve Winwood, Ireland’s own Louis Stewart, Norway’s Tord Gustaven and hundreds of other performers.
Significant numbers from the UK are intending to travel – with their equipment – by the most relaxing and failsafe method available, courtesy of Fastnet Line: We expect our own MV Julia will be loaded with its share of drum kits, double basses, saxophones and other instruments. Not wishing to cock a snook, but taking a musical instrument onto a plane these days can be an extremely nerve-wracking and hazardous experience for a musician – especially if the item is of value. Fewer and fewer musical instruments are being allowed into aircraft cabins these days and the handling of instruments in the hold can be risky, to say the least.
No such worries with our ferry service – either for foot passengers or those driving themselves to and from the festival. To help the mood of the City along and at the same time as the Jazz Festival, Cork will be holding its own October Fest beer festival. The original Munich-based Oktoberfest for some reason got itself underway in mid September. As well as the many craft brews provided by the city’s own Franciscan Well, the October Fest looks at European brews, with draught beers not available in Ireland imported especially for the event. We hope that you make it over with Fastnet Line for one of Ireland’s most cosmopolitan annual events.
See (other part of website) for times and return packages to the UK. Jazz is largely an urban art-form and the the Cork cityscapes will grow and change in time with the music for many decades to come.
Paul O’Brien – Fastnetline