Ballydehob Jazz Festival 2021

Ballydehob Jazz Festival 2021

Saturday, 1 May 2021, 8.00pm

BJF 2021 | 30th Apr to 3rd May

Ballydehob, has against all the odds this year, are rolling out another outstanding festival programme featuring some of Ireland’s finest contemporary Jazz artists.

While they will not be taking to the streets this May Bank Holiday Weekend, or piling into venues to watch live music, Ballydehob Village have been working hard to plan events so they can celebrate the Community, the Art and the Music that makes this the best small festival in the West!

Previous years have seen the Festival grow in size and stature. Ballydehob Jazz Festival headliners have included bands from New Orleans (Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns) (Stephanie Niles), Paris (Jack & Jills Swing Band), USA (Lake Street Dive), and Berlin (The Good Night Circus). Welcoming thousands of visitors to join the infamous Ballydehob New Orleans Jazz Funeral Parade, as well as hosting an international swing dance program.

Last year BJF, which has been running since 2007, had to go online and like all of Ireland, the streets went quiet. “It’s been the strangest, toughest year in anyone’s living memory and we’re still not out of it yet, but the show must go on. We had to ask ourselves what can we do?” Joseph O’Leary, Ballydehob Jazz Festival Director.

On May 1st, 2nd and 3rd, at 8pm each night, Ballydehob “The Little Village with the Festive Heart” will Jazz it up in a virtual kind of way:

A series of concert performances recorded right in the heart of the village in the newly revamped Community Hall will be streamed online via the Ballydehob YouTube Channel. Performances from ReDiviDeR including Matthew Jacobson who been called "one of the most dynamic forces in Irish jazz, on and off the stage" by The Irish Times. Cuar, an Irish Chamber Music ensemble led by Neil O’Lochlainn, The Cormac McCarthy Sextet, and festival favourites Niwel Tsumbu and Eamonn Cagney (with very special and much loved guest singer Camilla Griehsel).

And to top it all off, a Headline Concert like the festival have never staged before… A performance of Loch Trasna (Roaring Water Suite) an original piece of music commissioned by the BJF and written by Paul Dunlea, Cork trombonist and composer. A new suite in 4 movements inspired by the extraordinary efforts and courage of local men and women of Cork during the War of Independence. Performing with Paul will be 4 of Ireland's leading improvising jazz musicians - Chris Engel - Sax, Chris Guilfoyle - Guitar, Dan Bodwell – Bass, and Matthew Jacobson - Drums.

In The Village
And it’s not all online! Phew. Ballydehob Jazz Festival has partnered with Working Artist Studios, the local art centre, to create family creativity packs filled with all the materials to make your own JAZZ decorations (including a stained glass design) which will be used to decorate the Village Windows throughout the weekend.
(Contact [email protected] to pick up your pack - Donation welcome).

Continuing on this year’s theme of Roaring Water Bay... as well as arts participation in the community, a New Village Wall Mural has been commissioned by BJF and created by Cork Artist Anthony Ruby. It will be unveiled on a village wall over the weekend (FREE).

A Photograph Exhibition showcasing previous years Jazz Festivals, captured by local photographers Jason Lee and RT Breathnach will be displayed across the village over the weekend, accessible to all. (FREE).

Ticket Information: All music concerts will available for ticket holders to view via the Ballydehob Jazz Festival You Tube Channel, premiering from 8pm each night (Friday Saturday, Sunday 1-3rd May)

Tickets ON SALE, now at

Price is a Donation of your choice ( Suggested Donation €15 per night / €30 for weekend ( includes 3 nights, 5 concerts).

Stay posted to the website & BJF social pages – the May Bank Holiday Weekend is just the beginning for this year. More events will be rolled out as and if public health restrictions will allow.

The Ballydehob Jazz Festival is made possible by the support of Cork Co Co and Cork County Arts, Pure Cork, The Arts Council of Ireland, Local Businesses & and vibrant community that cannot be kept down.

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