Today the line up for the annual alcoholicfest which masquerades as a "jazz" festival announced its line up, many of which it says are "including many who fall outside the “jazz” remit". No way! There is a "jazz" remit in the Guiness festival? Incredulous when you consider the steady denigration of the Guiness Festival into a drunken folk and soft rock fest.
Here we go:
YolanDa Brown - jazz
Pharaoh Sanders - jazz
Imelda May - not jazz
Fish Go Deep - not jazz
These Charming Men - not jazz
The Stone Roses Experience - very definitely not jazz
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - jazz
The Fun Loving Criminals - not jazz
Jack DeJohnette - jazz
The Coronas - very definitely not jazz
Don Baker - blues (sort of jazz)
Sun Ra Arkestra - jazz (without a doubt - class act too)
Director - VERY definitely not jazz
The Alain Bédard Auguste Quartet - jazz
Gilard Atzmon Jazz Quartet - obviously jazz
Francois Bourassa Quartet - jazz
So there we go - 16 acts, of whom only 6 are jazz acts. So that is 43% of the MAIN acts - don't even start me on the fringe, which is probably at best, maybe 10% jazz. In fact I had serious difficulty in finding more than the very occasional HEADLINE act on the website for the Cypress Avenue acts.
The question remains for me the integrity and authenticity of this festival. Most people I know of come into the city to get as drunk as they possibly can, maybe visit one or two fringe acts (as above, very few of which are in any way related to jazz) and disappear off, without having actually heard a single note of jazz. Why is this funded and tolerated?
Lets imagine the Choral Festival was to start to add lots of non choral events to its listings - would it still get funding and promotion? Probably not.
Its time for the Guiness festival to come clean and promote and market itself as the drinking festival for which it really is, and stop taking the piss out of lovers of jazz music who continue to be bemused by the large absence of jazz from most of the performances, and huge emphasis on excess boozing which is the real raison-d'etre of this festival.