Cork Jazz Festival

The Metropole Hotel Cork

We hope you had a great time at the 2018 Cork Guinness Jazz Festival. We'll update this page with news of the 2019 Festival as soon as we have it.


The 2018 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival will take place over the October Bank Holiday Weekend, Thursday 25th to Monday 29th October, in Cork City boasts an exciting line up of world-class Jazz greats, bringing the Festival back to its roots as the Jazz haven of Ireland.

We are the hotel where the festival was founded and the home of The legendary Festival Club, the central hub of the festival. Our famous Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel is one of the biggest attractions at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. For four days and nights it becomes the heart of this blockbusting event, offering fans a wide variety of jazzy sounds on up to five stages. The Everyman Theatre, Cork City Hall, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork Opera House and Firkin Crane will also play host to some swinging Jazz headliners throughout the weekend. 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS for the Jazz Festival Club at The Metropole Hotel Cork

New VIP Packages for 2018 at The Metropole Hotel Cork Below

BECKETT PLATINUM VIP JAZZ SUITE (a package for the Jazz purist)

Introducing the jazz lounge at the Beckett Suite, experience smooth jazz sounds in an intimate seated venue perfect for the discerning jazz lover. Our platinum package includes include a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne served to your table on arrival with chef’s Charcuterie board with tapas and oysters. We offer table service drinks until 12 midnight along so you can sit back and enjoy the Jazz. Afterwards you can avail enjoy access to the overall hotel entertainment.  Don't miss out on this fantastic and unique Jazz experience, book a table of two or four today for only €75 per person.

VIP Package 1

Table of 4 to the exclusive VIP access BECKETT PLATINUM JAZZ SUITE to include a bottle of MOET Champagne at your table on arrival, chef’s charcuterie board with tapas and oysters for 2, table service drinks until 12 midnight along with access to the overall hotel festival club entertainment = €75.00 per person

Click here to book

VIP Package 2

Table of 2 to the exclusive VIP access BECKETT PLATINUM JAZZ SUITE to include a bottle of MOET Champagne at your table on arrival, chef’s charcuterie board with tapas and oysters for 2, table service drinks until 12 midnight along with access to the overall hotel festival club entertainment = €80.00 per person

Click here to book

Click here to view the Jazz Festival Line up at the Metropole Hotel Cork this year

You can also avail of one of our Jazz & Dine packages, available on Saturday evening at 7pm and Sunday evening at 8.30pm


The Cork Jazz Festival is still a while away, but here at The Metropole Hotel we celebrate our love of Jazz all year round with our Sunday Lunch with Jazz every Sunday from 1pm to 3pm. For bookings please call us 021 464 3700.


The Jazz Festival was founded on an idea created by Jim Mountjoy, the then Metropole's marketing manager, way back in 1978. Since then the hotel has hosted many of the greatest names in jazz and jazz-related sounds and has helped the festival to grow from strength to strength.

Big names such as Ronnie Scott, Georgie Fame, Roy Hargrove, Blossom Dearie, Lonnie Donegan and Roy Ayers have graced the Metropole stages over the years along with dozens of hot bands including The Jive Aces, the Dutch Swing College and The Jazz Crusaders.

It's the range of top bands and sounds on offer that bring the fans in the Festival Club doors – with an exciting mix of jazz, blues, funk, groove and swing from all corners of the globe on the Metropole menu.

For 2018 the Metropole music mix has been upgraded in tandem with the growth of the overall Jazz Festival – where over 40,000 fans are expected to enjoy the Jazz Festival experience, many of whom will head to their favourite venue, the Festival Club.

2018 LINE UP

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival line-up features Grammy award-winning Maria Schneider and her Orchestra for their first-ever Irish appearance, the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama, celebrated US Jazz singer and composer Nnenna Freelon, UK soul songstress Laura Mvula, Chicago’s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble as well as Stanley Clarke, Billy Childs Ensemble, Billy Cobham, Fred Hersch, T.S. Monk, Donny McCaslin, Belfast’s jazz evangelist Linley Hamilton, Frank Vignola’s Hot Jazz Trio and Pablo Ziegler Trio with dozens more acts yet to be announced.  

Additional artists announced include the steller line-up in ‘The Late Room’ at the Cork Opera House including Ireland’s Umbra, David O'Rourke & Paul Dunlea Duo, Ronan Guilfoyle, The Paul Dunlea Sextet, Cormac McCarthy's Sùp Trio as well as the poetic Chicago born Jazz singer/songwriter Sachal Vasandani and his Quartet. While over at the Cork School of Music, Cork’s favourite international operatic soprano, Mary Hegarty turns to the dark side again for another chapter of the Jazz Songbook.

Also, this year’s festival will celebrate the golden era of the social dancehalls of a century ago with The Swing Jive on Saturday, 27th October at Cork City Hall where two of Europes biggest Jazz dance bands Meschya Lake and The Dizzy Birds and Gentlemen & Gangsters will be joined by international dancers, members of the Irish Swing Community who will reacquaint jazz festival party people with the One-Step, Two-Step, Waltz, Foxtrot, Peabody, Balboa, Shag, Lindy Hop, Swing and Jive dances. Dress sharp, polish those shoes and bring your best self for an unforgettable night which promises to be one of the biggest dance e vents ever seen in Cork city.

There is also plenty of free entertainment with up to 1000 jazz musicians from over 20 countries performing in over 70 city venues including pubs, hotels, restaurants, galleries, public buildings and club venues as well as on the city streets. A choice of Fringe events such as a ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ Jazz Parade, Swing Dance Classes, free Jazz on the Plaza open-air gigs, flash mobs, a Swing Jive, and a Secret Jazz Trail as well as Jazz Bites food festival will ensure there is truly something for all music and cultural tastes.

For the first time ever, the weekend will kick off with a fantastic carnival-like ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ Jazz Parade on Thursday evening, 25th October.  This bright and colourful spectacle will roam through the streets of Cork bringing with it the alluring dance of the macabre. The deadly display, which is a nod to Mexico’s famous ‘Day of the Dead’ Parade, will include street performers and floats from Cork City Art Link who will partake in a New Orleans funeral procession with live improvising jazz musicians paying homage to the greatest artists of jazz gone from this world.  It’s the perfect start to Halloween season and will make you want to get your jazz on for the weekend ahead.

In partnership with the Festival, Triskel Arts Centre will curate a weekend of music and film from the world’s most prestigious jazz record label ECM which is sure to excite jazz music history buffs. 


Sinéad Dunphy, the new Festival Director has high hopes for this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.  “Jazz music is constantly evolving so it’s only fitting that Ireland’s largest Jazz Festival continues to evolve too.  We’re bringing it through an exciting new phase of rejuvenation and expansion, so it will be a bigger and better celebration of arts than ever before. Attendees can expect a fresh, authentic and downright jazzy feel this year, as we get back to the roots of the Festival and reflect what’s going on right now in the Jazz world.  There will be an unparalleled blend of headline acts, gigs and fringe events, along with exciting new elements including the ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ Jazz Parade and a very hush, hush secret jazz trail.”

“I’m delighted to work with Guinness and the local Jazz Festival committee to ensure this year is the best yet so that Cork maintains its status as the home of jazz in Ireland, and one of the most important jazz festivals in the world.”


Tickets are available to buy from the festival website


Make sure you follow the festival's social media channels for the latest news:


Jazz up your stay at home of jazz at the newly refurbished Metropole Hotel Cork.

Enjoy a two- Jazz city break including Bed & Breakfast and a three-course dinner in the newly refurbished Metropole Hotel Cork. The hotel is the home of Cork jazz for 41 years and is proud of its jazz tradition, your dinner during your stay will be in the newly refurbished and stylist Met Bar & Bistro. This can be booked by emailing


Cork Guinness Jazz Festival, what an amazing weekend.

'Got ourselves and our car checked in about noon on the sunday by a very helpful young lady.The place was alive with people enjoying the atmosphere. Did some walking around and found live bands in a number of places. Great music, food and craic.The hotel itself offered us everything. Happy smiling staff everywhere, we must mention Nicola in the dining room, gorgeous smile! All in all a memorable stay. Of course couldn't fault the weather either which made getting around all the easier!'

Review from maureenharrington04 via TripAdvisor. 

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