Over the last couple of years I’ve gained a new appreciation for jazz. I never really got jazz as a genre of music and always just assumed it was a bit too high brow for me. But then I started going out with a jazzer and suddenly, I was meeting incredible musicians and hearing some fantastic sets. Jazz was accessible at last!
This bank holiday weekend, my jazzer and I ventured down to Cork for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. What a way to spend a weekend! The city of Cork was a delightful host to our antics!
The drive down to Cork has never been easier with new roads all the way. We stayed in the Garnish House B&B – which was clean, warm and absolutely ideal for walking in and out of town. Our host even had tea and fresh scones ready and waiting for our arrival. Now that’s hospitality!
Saturday afternoon was spent in gorgeous cosy coffee shops and wandering around the Metropole hotel, whose conference rooms were buzzing with beats, melodies and applause. Even though it was freezing outside, an ice cold beer was the ideal complement to the craic inside! Our gang (made up of jazzers and non-jazzers alike) filled up on Captain America’s and a bit of X Factor before hitting the town that night. We ended up in Crane Lane, where a Stone Roses tribute band was holding court! Not exactly jazz, but still a great way to spend a night.
With slightly fuzzy heads, we gathered in Puccinos for breakfast the next morning/afternoon. Tea, sausages, rashers, eggs and hashbrowns have a way of setting you up for the rest of the day, don’t they? After more gorgeous wandering, and lots of autumn leaf kicking, we ended up at a rather bold place….karaoke. Yes, it was three o clock in the afternoon, yes, we were pretty sober and yes, we had an absolute blast! With our own private booth and a few more drinks, we were kings and queens of the mic. If you had walked by you would have heard very questionable renditions of Shania Twain, Bob Marley, Oasis and Queen. You would’ve laughed. We certainly did!
This was followed by a walk and some hot chocolate in Fitzgerald Park – which looked like a sea of brown, red and yellow leaves. You have no idea how hard it was to resist jumping straight in!
Saturday included a scrumptious Italian meal and wine followed by world class music at the Savoy. One of my favourite bands, Creamy Goodness were opening the show with their usual brand of soul and funk. They even brought along their break dancers who livened things up and got the whole crowd grooving! The main attraction for the evening was world famous saxophonist, Maceo Parker who calls his band “the tightest little funk orchestra on earth”. Even in flats my feet were killing me from all the dancing! The night was capped off with the absolutely legendary sounds of Springbreak – an 80′s cover band who teleported the entire Savoy back to 1987! Their costumes were amazing, with the guitarist bringing his own fan onstage to give his hair the wind swept look.
Sadly we arrived at Bank Holiday Monday a little too quickly and it was time to head back to Dublin. We loved Puccinos so much that we went back and did breakfast all over again before hitting the road and heading back to reality.
Already counting down the days until Cork Jazz 2011!