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Macy Gray surprises fans at a secret gig ahead of her sold out show at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Posted on: 26 Oct 2023

American superstar Macy Gray wowed fans at a secret intimate gig yesterday evening ahead of her sold out show at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. 


The jazz inspired evening in Coughlans Bar, Cork City, gave those lucky enough to be there a real taste of what is in store for the weekend ahead. 


Along with her own California Jet Club band, the ever-electric Grammy award winner gave a very special performance with tracks from her new album The Reset and older favourites - a mix of her signature vulnerable intimacy and some resoundingly rebounding singalong pieces. Macy Gray plays her sold out show at the Cork Opera House tonight (Thursday 26th Oct).


Macy is one of a host of international and Irish and emerging talent to perform at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, which kicks off today for five days of thrilling entertainment. This year's festival promises to be the biggest and best yet, with renowned jazz artists descending upon Cork for a weekend of unforgettable performances. The expanded programme features an extra date, with more than 100 ticketed shows and 500 musicians from over 40 countries.


Festival goers can also make the most of their festival experience by hitting the best music venues on the Guinness Music Trail which offers music to suit every appetite. Revellers will discover everything from ska to swing and jazz to brass as the trail leads you to more than 73 venues across Cork City, Douglas and Kinsale.


Add to that pop-up events, late night parties, and collaborations and you can see why it’s one of Ireland’s most popular festivals. 


Some highlights over the coming days include: 

Thursday 26th October

Macy Gray - Cork Opera House


Friday 27th October

Kurt Elling - The Everyman 

Jazz Boat Journey with Jerron Paxton - Cork Harbour Cruises

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - 50 Years of Hip Hop - Cork Opera House

Matthew Halsall - The Everyman

The Charlatans with special guests Pillow Queens - Cork City Hall

Brandee Younger - Triskel Arts Centre

Opening of WeGotTheJazz presents Evolution exhibition (all weekend) – St Peters


Saturday 28th October 

Amaro Freitas - Triskel Arts Centre

Tony Hadley ex Spandau Ballet & Special Guests - Cork City Hall

Karen Underwood - Cork Opera House

Morcheeba - Cork Opera House

Cork Jazz All Stars XCLSV23 - Cork Opera House 

Jazz Boat Journey with Jerron Paxton - Cork Harbour Cruises



Sunday 29th Oct

Corienne Bailey Rae - Cork Opera House

Gilles Peterson - Cyprus Avenue

Fred Wesley & the New JBS - The Everyman

Jazz Boat Journey with Jerron Paxton - Cork Harbour Cruises



One of the highlights for many is The Big Fringe, an exciting celebration of jazz on the streets that complements the headline shows and adds to the Festival experience for locals and visitors alike. Organized by the local Cork Jazz Festival Committee, the Big Fringe, offers a FREE program that will feature impromptu soulful moments of jazz, big brass bands, and spontaneous performances by some of Ireland and Europe's finest jazz talent. Locals and visitors alike can expect to be captivated as the streets of Cork City come alive with the sounds of incredible live jazz.


Check out the Oliver Plunkett Street Stroll on the Friday evening at 6pm when a number of Marching Bands take over Oliver Plunkett Street with a special cacophony of music in a mini jazz parade. You’ll also spot these bands performing throughout the city streets over the weekend and at the Jazz on the Plaza super dome jazz stage on the Opera House Plaza, Emmet Place in the city centre with live music all afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, and throughout the streets of Cork City for Beat on the Street. The open top Big Jazz Bus will be providing shoppers and visitors with a festival vibe as it tours the city from Friday to Sunday, accompanied by lively jazz bands performing on top. One of the festival's must-see events is the Jazz Jamboree - a free brass band jam session on Opera House Plaza, Emmet Place, at 5pm on Saturday. Music fans are also encouraged to explore the picturesque coastal town of Kinsale for the Kinsale Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, which complements the main festival in the city.


For the latest news and updates, including line-up announcements, fringe events, the music trail and more, see guinnesscorkjazz.com or follow the festival on @GuinnessCorkJazz.  The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is supported by Diageo, Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork Airport.