NEXT week will see thousands descending on Derry to sample the music, craic and all that jazz.
The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival will this year feature a packed line-up of events as part of the Free Guinness Jazz Trail.
Over 60 venues will host hundreds of free performances featuring acts from across the world during the massive celebration of music from Thursday, May 1st to Monday 5th.
Fans of jazz, swing, blues, soul and rockabilly are expected to be out in force over the five-day festival.
Due to the support of event sponsors Diageo, which owns the Guinness brand, over 90% of all the live music across the city’s pubs, clubs, hotels and cafes is free.
Elaine Johnston from Diageo Northern Ireland, said the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival marked the beginning of a great summer season for local business.
“We’re delighted to once again be associated with what is such a positive event in the social calendar, and a showcase for the fun and exciting city that Derry has become, which was so apparent during its term as UK City of Culture in 2013,” she said.
“Last year broke the record with 38,000 people turning out to enjoy the event, and experience the fantastic hospitality which is always on offer in venues throughout the city.
“The bars will be buzzing with local talent and international acts and we hope that even more music fans from all over Ireland and beyond will support the festival this year.”
She added: “I would urge everyone to pick up a Free Guinness Jazz Trail brochure and join the ultimate talent trail this Bank Holiday Weekend.”
Among the acts performing this year are Carmen Ghia and the Hotrods, TV favourites the Jive Aces, and the high energy Ska Beats, as well as plenty of home grown talent.
As well as the Free Guinness Jazz Trail the festival features a number of ticketed events, this year headed up by internationally renowned jazz star Kyle Eastwood (son of actor Clint Eastwood), 90’s pop and rock legend Curtis Stigers, folk sensation Kate Rusby, and Anthony Strong.
The Millenium Forum will host The Jersey Boys “The Frankie Valli story” over the weekend while festival favorites the Jive Aces, Carmen Ghia and the Hotrods, Greggi G and his crazy gang will all be returning.
For more information on the full Jazz Festival line-up go to www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com and for information on all the summer’s activities go to www.whatsonderrylondonderry.com.