Get Set For All That Jazz In The North West This Month

The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival makes a welcome return to the North-West this spring bank holiday weekend, bringing four days of fabulous live music and entertainment.

Now in its 15th year, the packed programme contains over 200 gigs across 70 venues and is expected to attract in excess of 40,000 visitors to the city over the four-day weekend from April 28.

©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 22nd March 2016. Victoria Geelan and Gay McIntyre performing at the official launch.

Victoria Geelan and Gay McIntyre performing at the launch.

Headlining the event, presented by Derry City and Strabane District Council, is Jazz legend and Godfather of Neo-soul Roy Ayers, who is supported by a line-up packed full of talent from across the country and beyond, and the schedule promises to satisfy jazz enthusiasts, music lovers and families.

Regular favourites Velocity Brown and the Hot Rods, Les Swinging Lovers and the Jaydee Brass Band, are joined by local legends The Paul McIntyre Trio, Gay McIntyre, George Hasson, John and Fiona Trotter, and many more.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Eilsha McCallion is looking forward to a fantastic weekend of entertainment for all the family. “There is no doubt that the Jazz Festival weekend is possibly the highlight of the year for us in terms of visitor experiences. The place just comes alive with music and the buzz about the streets is incredible.

“I think that what makes it so appealing is that there are events for all ages, so while we always attract a dedicated Jazz audience, there’s plenty of entertainment on offer for families and music lovers of all kinds. I’m looking forward to what promises to be a busy weekend for visitors and a booming time for local businesses.”

For full details on the weekend’s event visit www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com.

In The Spotlight: Headline Act

Roy Ayers

Roy Ayers

Headlining the festival is jazz musician Roy Ayers whose career has spanned four decades. Known as the Godfather of Neo-soul, the number one vibraphone player and vocalist continues to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers.

The iconic figure is in great demand as one of the most respected jazz and R&B artists on the scene today.

You can see Roy at St. Columb’s Hall on Sunday May 1. Admission is £20, and tickets are on sale from Millennium Forum Box Office 028 7126 4455.


The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion launching the Jazz and Big Band Festival with Orla Mullan, BBC Radio Ulster presenter Walter Love and Andrea Campbell, Events Officer, Derry City and Strabane District Council

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion launching the Jazz and Big Band Festival with Orla Mullan, BBC Radio Ulster presenter Walter Love and Andrea Campbell, Events Officer, Derry City and Strabane District Council

10 Great Events To See During The Festival

This Spring Bank Holiday sees the City of Derry come alive with over 200 events across 70 venues, with something for everyone. Bennigans Bar and The Playhouse play host to range of events, and daily tickets are available – full details in the programme.

Here a ten events from the Jazz and Big Band Festival which are not to be missed.

Festival Opening Event
Guildhall, Thursday 28th April 6pm-8pm Free Event

The festival kicks off in style with a birthday celebration for Derry Jazz Legend Gay McIntyre with The Paul McIntyre Trio. A perfect opportunity to enjoy local jazz artists including Johnny Quigley, George Hasson, Joe Quigley, Jim Whiteside and Jackie Molloy.

Mayors Charity Event
Da Vincis Hotel, Thursday 28th April 8:30pm. Tickets £7

A great evening of entertainment on the opening night of the festival, with all proceeds being donated to the Mayor’s Charity for 2016, Alzheimer’s Society, featuring Manouche Swing and The Jive Aces

Les Swinging Lovers
City Hotel, Friday 29th April 11pm

Catch Paddy Sherlock working his charm on the audience in what promises to be a fabulously entertaining gig.

Ardnashee School & College Jazz Fest
Saturday 30th April, various

Students from Ardnashee School & College entertain guests with an afternoon of jazz, pop and rock. For more information contact 028 7136 7029

BBC Radio Ulster Jazz Showcase
The Guildhall, Saturday 30th April 8pm

To apply for tickets visit bbc.co.uk/tickets
International Jazz Day sees John Toal introduce the Ulster Orchestra and guests as the City of Derry Jazz Festival hosts an array of talent, including jazz percussionist Ed Dunlop, Dana Masters and Linley Hamilton.

Official launch of the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival. The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion launching the programme with Orla Mullan, and Andrea Campbell, Events Officer, Derry City and Strabane District Council. ©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 22nd March 2016. Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photography

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion launching the programme with Orla Mullan, and Andrea Campbell, Events Officer, Derry City and Strabane District Council

Charlie Wood Trio
Bennigans Bar, Saturday 30th April 8pm

City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival welcomes back award winning Memphis-born singer/songwriter Charlie Wood. Not to be missed.

Victoria Geelan : Nina Simone
The Playhouse, Sunday 1st May 8pm Tickets £8

A regular at the festival since 2011, Derry native Victoria Geelan sings Nina Simone at this year’s event. With a reputation for powerful vocals and emotive performances, this event promises to be a highlight of the programme.

Jazz Masterclasses
The Studio, Millennium Forum Various times. Tickets £10 or £20 for weekend pass

For the first time, the City of Derry Jazz Festical presents three masterclasses by respected jazz musicians John Goldsby, Dennis Rollins and Shane Forbes.

How To Book

The festival opens with a free event showcasing some of the fabulous talent on the programme at the Guildhall.

The full programme is available online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com, which contains times, dates and ticket prices.

For all the latest news and event updates check out DerryJazzFestival on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter@derryjazzfest.

For details on any remaining accommodation deals over the Jazz Festival contact www.visitderry.com