Ballydehob gets all jazzed up for May Bank Holiday festival

Posted on: 3rd April, 2018

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

Ballydehob, ‘the Village with the Festive Heart’ is ready to get jazzy again this May Bank Holiday Weekend (May 4-7). The Ballydehob Jazz Festival rolls out another outstanding programme including international concert headliners, live music trail all weekend, dance workshops, art, concerts and the return of the giant puppet in the New Orleans Jazz Funeral Parade! This year’s festival is bigger and even bolder – 45 performances, four days, 11 venues – all in one West Cork village.

Ballydehob Jazz festival will feature artists and performers from four continents – Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australia. This year’s headline acts are Barrence Whitfield and The Savages, Trio Balkan Strings and the triumphant returning heroes The Home Jazz Band. The best Village Music Trail ever put on includes Australian duo Oh Pep! Irish wordsmith Stephen James Smith, Irish songstress Clare Sands, festival favourites East Coast Jazz Band and the eclectic Jimbino Vegan and The Jazz Cannibals, not to mention the classically talented Paul Dunlea Quartet.

Headline Acts

Barrence Whitfield and The Savages [Saturday, May 5, 7pm Festival Hall] are the men of SOUL and are here to get the party started in the festival hall. Barrence Whitfield is a full-throttle rocking screamer in the spirit of Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, and Solomon Burke. Whitfield has been called ‘Crazed, frenetic and completely unhinged’!  Barrence and The Savages shot out of Boston in the mid-80s with the force of a cannonball and after touring internationally  have built up global cult fanbase,  performing live on famed late night music TV programme ‘Later…with Jools Holland’ on the BBC .   

Home Jazz Band (Saturday, May 5, 11pm and Sunday, May 6, 10pm, Festival Hall) is an innovative and playful traditional jazz and swing band hailing from one of the most important places in the Swing Jazz revival: Vilnius, Lithuania. Making a triumphant return after scooping the Best Swing Jazz Band at an International Swing Festival in Lisbon, this band rediscovers old jazz songs and spices them up with a hopping New Orleans flavour and the swinging style of the golden era jazz. Consisting of some of the best jazz musicians and guided by their bandleader and international jazz dance instructor, Mindaugas Bikauskas, Home Jazz Band is a perfect match for dancers and people who like a hot vintage Jazz party.  This year they will be joined by the enigmatic lead vocalist Milda Stasaityté                

Trio Balkan Strings (Friday, May 4, 7pm Festival Hall) are an internationally virtuosic guitar trio not to be missed by music lovers and aficionados. The Trio Balkan Strings are Zoran Starcevic and his two sons Nikola and Zeljko. They create original guitar music by fusing several Balkan styles – Serbian, Gypsy, Macedonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Mediterranean and Greek – with jazz, Gypsy swing, classical music,  They have performed at jazz, classical, guitar and world music festivals in the U.S., Canada and virtually every European nation except Ireland, that is until now. And Ballydehob Jazz Festival is proud to be the first to bring the virtuosos to Ireland .

Tickets for all Headline Gigs www.ballydehobjazzfestival.org (Early Bird / Combo Deals also Available )

Moonshine Shindig Festival Club

See a show, stay for the party at the Moonshine Shindig Festival Club with live music, DJs and swing dancing til late o’clock, getting the feet swinging and the heart singing. It’s the time machine ticket to the Jazz Age. Swing dance workshops will be held all weekend – and this is where you get to bust out your best jitterbug or lindyhop your way over to the bar and just take in the big band swing scene in the Festival Hall

The Parade, The Fringe and The Trail!

The Jazz Festival has something for everyone in each little corner of   Ballydehob. The New Orleans Jazz Funeral Parades take place on early Saturday and Sunday evenings; a full band, dancers, spectacular costumes, all led by ‘Catrina’ the giant 15-foot puppet crafted in Ballydehob village. Last year she was joined by ‘Diego’ her equal in size and spectacle. Watch this space to see if it will be love or war). Contact Festival Organisers if you would like to participate in the parade and costume workshops.

The Jazz Music Trail takes place across all the village, all weekend, with daytime and evening events. All events on the Trail are free.  Live music and spoken word with top local and international acts including Jimbino Vegan and The Jazz Cannibals, Clare Sands, Oh Pep (International Award winning Australian Act), East Coast Swing Band, Black Bean (local favourites and a highlight last year!) Stephen James Smith (wordsmith), Paul Dunlea Band, Colm Motherway, Sam Clague, Fandango Duo, The Runaway Retro, Jazzabella and Accabella and more to be announced. The Fringe events include art exhibitions, dance and art workshops, as well as a ‘history of jazz’ talk in the old Bank building.

This ambitious music event is run entirely by local volunteers – led by Creative Director Joe O’Leary (Fred, Levis Cornerhouse) and an eclectic gang of music lovers and festival buffs who share a vision to promote the arts and entertain the masses.

For more information on how to book art and dance workshop places or buy festival hall event tickets, purchase raffle tickets (prizes include a hotel break, commissioned artisan jewellery, restaurant voucher for the hottest restaurant seat in Ireland this summer, guided night kayak trip) or on how to be a Jazz sponsor, go to the festival website www.ballydehobjazzfestival.org.

Ballydehob Jazz Festival is supported by the Arts Council, Cork County Council and by local sponsorship.

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