Ballydehob, the village of festivals, is gearing up for yet another mouth-watering Jazz Festival,
BALLYDEHOB, the village of festivals, is gearing up for yet another mouth-watering Jazz Festival, which organisers are describing as ‘bigger and even bolder’ this year with over 45 events taking place over the May Bank Holiday weekend from April 28th to May 1st.
This year’s festival features artists and performers from three continents – Europe, Africa and the Americas and includes dance workshops, art, cabaret, live music and the ever popular New Orleans funeral parade. This ambitious music event is run entirely by volunteers – led by creative director Joe O’Leary, and an eclectic gang of music lovers and festival buffs who share a vision to promote the arts and entertain the masses in one of the last outposts.
‘It’s been a big year building up to the Jazz Fest Holiday weekend. Where else can you have over 30 nationalities, revellers and musicians mingling together, 20 times the population of the village coming in and all to celebrate the unique power of music, dance, spectacle and community?’ asked Joe.
‘Last year we had Lake Street Dive headline in the Festival Hall and the following week they were visiting Mr Obama in the White House – so, from one centre of the universe to another!’ he joked.
Joe also added that the founding father of the Ballydehob Jazz Festival, John Fagan, who recently passed away, will be in everyone’s thoughts this year.
‘We are eternally grateful for his vision, passion and perseverance when, in 2007, he decided to step up and put on a jazz festival in the ‘back of beyond’ in Ballydehob,’ said Joe.
This year’s headline acts are Home Jazz Band and Freedoms Trio. Home Jazz Band are an innovative and playful traditional jazz and swing band from one of the most important places in the Jazz revival – Vilnius, Lithuania. This band rediscover old jazz songs and spice them up with a hopping New Orleans flavour and the swinging style of the Golden Era of Jazz. Freedoms Trio are a remarkable international collaboration of Norwegian guitarist Steinar Aadnekvam, Mocambiquen drummer and singer Deodato Siquir and Brazilian bass virtuoso Rubem Farias.
One of the family entertainment highlights is the New Orleans Jazz Funeral spectacle. It is back again this year on both Saturday and Sunday evenings Last year, it was led by giant puppet Katrina but rumour has it this Mexican beauty will not be alone in the skies over Ballydehob this year. See www.ballydehobjazzfestival.org for more.