This October Bank Holiday weekend - October 28 to 30 - sees the launch of Ireland’s first, long-awaited, festival of Gypsy Jazz.
Building on the popular tradition of Gypsy festivals in Europe, such as the Django Reinhardt Festival at Samois and the International Gypsy Guitar Festival, Cloughtoberfest in Cloughjordan is the brainchild of local businesswoman Lily de Sylva, and Pa Finucane of the recently opened Django’s Hostel. Both are lifelong fans of the Gypsy Jazz genre, and, according to Lily there’s no finer music to make people forget the recession.
“This style of music grew out of the Great Depression and the war years,” she said. “when people really needed to cut loose and have some fun. It’s very light-hearted and informal, feel-good music. We’ve kept ticket prices as low as possible and there’s lots of free stuff, so you can afford to enjoy yourself.”
Over three days, Gyspy Jazz fans can attend four concerts in the intimate and beautiful atmosphere of St Keiran’s Church, Cloughjordan, including Irish masters Andreas Varady, the Hot Club of Dublin and Locoswing and world-renowned players Robin Nolan, Lollo Meier and Tcha Limberger. These artists will also be offering a full day of music masterclasses, with workshops in all aspects of gypsy guitar technique both traditional and modern.
The festival will also feature some fine Irish micro-brews as part of Bord Bia’s Irish Cheese and Craft Beer Weekend. There will be cookery demonstrations and free tasting sessions, including a special festival brew from Moneygall Brewing. Craft beers will also be on offer at the Gourmet Gallery restaurant, Country Choice food stand and all four bars, where musicians will be welcome
All tickets and accommodation can be booked online at www.cloughtoberfest.com or from the festival office at 087-6128577.