Macy Gray among headline acts for 2023 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Celebrating its 45th year, the world-renowned festival will see its biggest programme yet, with more ticketed shows than ever before, an extra date added, an extended music trail through the city, and a stellar line-up of Irish and international musicians and emerging talent who are pushing the boundaries of the genre.

Add to that pop-up events, late night parties, boat trips, collaborations and brass bands marching through the city streets, and you can see why it’s one of Ireland’s most popular festivals.

The hugely successful 2022 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival smashed all records attracting over 100,000 visitors to Cork City and this year promises to be bigger and better.

Some of the headline acts for the highly anticipated weekend have just been announced. Expected to sell-out quickly is R&B/soul singer and actress Macy Gray, who will headline at the Cork Opera House on Thursday 26th October. It promises to be a fantastic night with a very special repertoire of classic hits from the 1970s and some showstoppers from her new album The Reset

Fresh from a busy summer of headlining major music and jazz festivals all over Europe this summer, Morcheeba will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1st album with a gig in Cork Opera House. The same venue will play host to Grammy Award winner Corrine Bailey Rae on Sunday 29th Oct.

She’ll be showcasing her new album which is due out this September just weeks before the festival. Fellow Grammy winner Kurt Elling, renowned for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, will play The Everyman Theatre on Friday 27th October. 

Also at the Cork Opera House over the weekend are the incredible family band Hypnotic Brass Ensemble regarded as the greatest brass band of them all who will showcase classics of Hip Hop over 50 years. Grab your tickets early for these as they are a sell-out every year. 

A venue favourite, Live at St Lukes will be back this year, with a great lineup of intimate gigs to be announced in the coming weeks.  

Jazz purists will be impressed by the line-up at the Everyman, Triskel and the Greenroom at Cork Opera House. Trumpeter, producer and composer Matthew Halsall, who is redefining spiritual jazz for the next generation will play The Everyman on Fri 27th Oct while Fred Wesley, former band leader of James Brown will play the iconic theatre on Sunday 29th. 

Cyprus Avenue will once again play host to the Jazz After Dark DJ Sessions. World renowned broadcaster & DJ, Gilles Peterson, who’s played a pivotal role in supporting forward-thinking underground music globally and beyond over the past three decades will take to the decks at the Cork venue.

This year will also see headline acts once again at Cork City Hall, curated by Tom Keating, featuring Djs Jenny Greene, Mack Fleetwood, Tony Hadley and more to be announced.

After its resounding success last year, the Cork Jazz Boat will also return for 5 different jazz tours and performances along the harbour.

Pictured at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival last night, GoGo Penguin closed Friday evening and at the Everyman Theatre as the festival swings into it’s 44th year. Pic:Naoise Culhane Photography

Festival goers can expect a diverse range of musical styles, including traditional jazz, swing, bebop, fusion, and everything in between, ensuring there is something to suit every taste.

Commenting on the programme, Festival Director Mark Murphy said, “This year, we’re bringing in bigger acts, we have more venues and more ticketed shows at each venue.  We’re also extending the Guinness music trail throughout Cork City’s vibrant venues, bars and restaurants, which provides a platform for local artists and an immersive experience for festival-goers.”

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is one of the biggest and longest running events on the Irish music calendar. Last year, the festival hosted over 1000 musicians and world class jazz greats from more than 20 countries, and a Guinness Music Trail in over 72 pubs, theatres, clubs and hotel venues across the city, Douglas and Kinsale.

There’s also always a Big Fringe of mainly free music that sees international and local Big Brass Bands perform around the city, organised by the local Cork Jazz festival committee.

And the Metropole Hotel, the original home of Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, will once again host the Metropole Festival Club with an extended programme of show stopping performances.

Tickets will go on sale this coming Friday, 7th July.  Attendees are encouraged to secure their tickets early to save disappointment, with some headline acts expected to sell out quickly.  For the latest news and updates, including line-up announcements, fringe events, the music trail and more, see or follow the festival on @GuinnessCorkJazz.

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is supported by Diageo, Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork Airport. For full event information check out

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