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Swing by Kinsale for Jazz Festival fun!


If you prefer a more relaxed setting for jazz, Don O’Mahony has the solution

Looking for a mix of jazz and coastal beauty? Well how could one resist such a lovely invitation to visit Kinsale during the Jazz Festival! But really Kinsale’s famed beauty can only be a mere backdrop to the real business in hand - the jazz!

The Guinness Kinsale Jazz ‘Fringe’ Festival has announced an exciting line-up of more than 100 free gigs for the October bank holiday weekend. Every bar and hotel in the picturesque town will be in full swing with residencies and more than 100 gigs in more than 20 venues from noon until late each day.

“The Guinness Kinsale Jazz ‘Fringe’ Festival is a fantastic add on to the main event taking place in the city. It’s perfect for those who want to escape to the coast for a day or a night over the weekend,” says Una McCarthy from Diageo, who is managing the Kinsale ‘Fringe’, adding: “This event is a fantastic collaboration between all the vintners in the town, the local Chamber and Guinness.”

It certainly is quite a feet of organisation and with so many of the pubs located near each other it’s bound to create it’s bound to bring a real sense of vibrancy to the town. The event sees the return of a lot of familiar faces as well as the arrival of number of exciting new acts to the area.

The first notes signalling the commencement of revelry will be sounded at the Armada bar on Pearce Street at 3:30pm on the Friday and they will be played by Kinsale Jazz Festival regulars 20 Fingers & 2 Hands. Literally! A clue as to what to expect is in the name. a three-piece, 20 Fingers & 2 Hands play a high velocity mix of Boogie Woogie and blues, seasoned with some rock n roll, thundered out on two pounding pianos. As ever, the unacknowledged drummer gets the short end of the stick but he’s there too, with two arms and two feet, holding everything together with a wave of clever drum riffs. 20 Fingers & 2 Hands will play the Armada across the weekend.

A Jazz Festival weekend in Kinsale wouldn’t be the same without music scene veteran and jazz festival stalwart Billy Crosbie, who will be appearing with singer Deirdre McCallum on Friday at 5:30pm in the Trident Hotel. He’ll be taking it easy until Sunday, and who can blame him! On Sunday he has four gigs, the first of which is at lunchtime at the Kinsale Hotel. At 5pm he reunites with Deirdre Mccallum at The White House and at 7.30pm he hooks up with Grainne Long at the same venue. Billy sees out the day when he joins his friends at Actons at 10pm. Billy sees out the weekend where it all began for him, with his Jazz Lunch at the Trident Hotel.

Also enjoying a busy weekend is Cork City Jazz Band alumnus Sharon Crosbie who will be playing Hamlets at 9:30pm on Friday, the Folk House at 1pm on Saturday, Kitty O’Se’s at 5:30pm, The Blue Haven, where she regularly performs at 10pm and back again on Sunday at 2pm. Later that night she plays The White House and she finishes off the weekend on Monday with a 2pm date at The Blue Haven.

Bringing a slightly different flavour to proceedings are Kinsale regulars Two Time Polka. Formed in Cork in 1994, the versatile six-piece have developed a distinctive sound that has its roots in Cajun, Zydeco and Bluegrass music and have some added some Cumbia flavours to the mix. They play Hamlets at 7pm on Friday and they play The Blue Haven on Saturday and Sunday at 4pm and 4:30pm respectively.

Possibly the hardest working band over the weekend is UK outfit Cream Crackered. A popular ‘Fringe’ fixture, the Crackered will parade their repertoire of 50's, 60's, 70's and even 80's numbers, from Carl Perkins and The Searchers to Status Quo and Dire Straits, at Kitty O’Se’s on Friday at 6pm and again on Saturday at 3pm, at the Armada later at 7pm and Sam’s Bar at 10pm. They have a well-earned lie in on Sunday, returning to Sam’s at 4pm and then dashing down the road to Kitty O’Se’s for 5pm, and back to Sam’s for 10:30pm. They close the weekend at the Armada on Monday with a Jam Session with Bantry’s favourite party band Loose Change at the Armada at 6:30pm.

Meanwhile, Loose Change play Oscar Madisons on Friday at 4pm and 10pm. On Saturday they play Hamlets at 3pm and 10pm and Blue Haven on Sunday at 7.30pm and 10.15pm, before mixing it with Cream Crackered on Monday.

Sticking with the early 50's style swing, West Coast jump blues and Chicago blues are the UK’s Gentleman Tim And The Contenders. You can catch them all weekend at the Trident Hotel.

And finally, they may only be playing one gig in Kinsale but the 10-piece Blues Brothers Banned will be urging you to raise a huge goblet of soul with them at The White Lady at 2pm on Monday. Chicken wire optional.

There are plenty more bands playing over the weekend. For full details check out www.kinsale.ie