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6 Acts To See at Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Words: Ellen Kenny
Art: Aiesha Wong

Don’t miss out on these artists combining improvisation, creativity and self-expression at Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival returns for its 44th year with a host of new acts, venues, and experiences. Taking place from 27 to 31 of October, the festival celebrates some of the biggest names in jazz while also creating a platform for new and exciting music. 

Ahead of the festival, we put together some of the most exciting acts so you get the most out of your festival experience. These artists from Ireland and abroad are combining their talent to showcase the best of jazz: improvised, chaotic and passionate.

Thursday October 27, St. Luke’s

KASSA OVERALL X BRICKNASTY X JAR JAR JR WITH THE SAM HEALY QUARTET

To start off the weekend, catch a trifecta of talent with Kassa Overall, Bricknasty and Jar Jar Jr with the Sam Healy Quarter. 

Kassa Overall is a Grammy-nominated musician, emcee, singer, producer and drummer. He is known for avant-garde experimentation with hip-hop production techniques creating a whole new way to perform jazz. As a frontman of New York’s jazz scene, his underground sounds are a welcome addition to Cork. 

BRICKNASTY has become one of the in demand acts in Dublin. They draw influence from neo-soul to create soulful chords combined with and R&B to create genuinely original music.

Jar Jar Jr moves between the art of sampling to creating music from scratch, depending on what takes his fancy. He will be joined by the Sam Healy Quartet to create an explosion of music. 

Click here to get tickets for Kassa Overall, BRICKNASTY and Jar Jar Jr with the Sam Healy Quartet at St. Luke’s.

Friday October 28

THE BOOKA BRASS BAND

Performing Friday, you can’t miss the Booka Brass Band

A five-piece from all across Ireland, the Booka Brass Band were brought together by their classical background and desire to experiment musically. As Ireland’s first New Orleans-style brass band, they have created a symphony of unique urban brass with upbeat sets, bringing a high-energy atmosphere to this year’s festival. 

Click here to get tickets to the Booka Brass Band on Friday 28 October at St. Luke’s.

Friday October 28, St. Luke’s

OMAR X ZASKA X JERU THE DAMAJA

Following Booka, head over to Omar, Zaska and Jeru the Damaja. 

The father of British neo-soul, Omar has worked with the likes of Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder. Known for emerging on Britain’s R&B scene in the 1990s, Omar defines boundaries and molds soul with a variety of genres. The blend of hip-hop, funk, jazz-pop, rock to shakes an audience and challenge expectations. 

ZASKA is a modern funk neo-soul band led by guitarist and songwriter Max Zaska. Previous collaborators include Hozier, Denise Chaila and Melina Malone. The group is known for their feel-good blend of neo-soul, modern funk, and indie jazz. With a reputation for incredible, high-energy live performances, ZASKA has headlined shows and festivals throughout Ireland.

Jeru the Damaja has been an essential part of hip hop culture for over twenty years. The rapper and record producer constantly pushes his creative limits to new unexplored realms, known for creating unique “hardcore conscious” style.

Click here to get tickets to Omar, Zaska and Jeru the Damaja at St. Luke’s.

Saturday October 29, St. Luke’s

YENKEE

Yenkee is a Pop project formed from the lo-fi bedroom recordings of Cork artist Graham Cooney. His sincere and soulful music combines the catchy dreaminess of an indie pop song with the tasteful palettes of 60s and 70s rock. A combination of groove and soul, the six-piece live show organised by Cooney is a dream come true. 

You might also recognise Cooney from his viral video judging the quality of pint pouring with his dad. No better man for Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. 

Click here to get tickets to Yenkee at St. Luke’s. 

Saturday October 29, The Everyman

MAS EXODUS

Mås Exödus exploded onto the scene in 2021, the brainchild of Mark Murphy and guitarist & MD Max Zaska. Exploring modern contemporary jazz with a host of Irish talent including Dylan Lynch and Neal Dorrington, the shared love of traditional soul with new jazz creates an explosion of music and passion. 

Having already performed at Guinness Cork Jazz Festival last year, this emerging jazz project is not one to be missed.

Click here to get tickets to Mås Exödus at The Everyman.

If you can’t head down to Cork for four days of jazzy bliss, don’t worry. Click here to enter our exclusive competition to win tickets to Guinness Cork Jazz presents: Alchemy, an event celebrating all forms of art at the Complex in Smithfield. 

Click here to see the full Guinness Cork Jazz lineup from October 27 to 31. 

Please drink Guinness responsibly.

Visit drinkaware.ie for more info.

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