Jazz festival is launched

Mayor of Derry Councillor Brenda Stevenson pictured at the programme launch for the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, which took place in the City Hotel yesterday.Lorcan Doherty Photography
Mayor of Derry Councillor Brenda Stevenson pictured at the programme launch for the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, which took place in the City Hotel yesterday.Lorcan Doherty Photography

There was music in the air at the City Hotel as some of the stars of the City of Derry Jazz Festival gave a small taste of what’s to come over the May Bank Holiday weekend as the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival gets into full swing.

Festival favourites Mirenda Rosenberg, Gay McIntyre, Paul McIntyre and the John Leighton Trio perfectly set the scene for the launch of this year’s much anticipated programme. The festival marks the official start of summer in Derry as thousands of music fans descend on the city to sing, swing and enjoy the very best local hospitality, with over 250 events taking place in over 60 venues. Organised by Derry City Council and supported by Diageo, the festival will take place from April 30 until May 4, and draws over 35,000 visitors to the city annually.

This year Derry will welcome modern jazz sensation Jamie Cullum – the highlight event in five days of Jazz, Jump, Jive, Swing, and Blues delivered on note by some of the best artists in the business.

The concert, which takes place on Monday, May 4th, will have a special local element as Jamie has invited none other than the St Mary’s School Choir to support him live on stage. The artist has a special connection with the school after he dropped in on the choir last year for a jamming session as part of the BBC Radio 4 Piano Pilgrimage series.

Launching the programme yesterday Mayor of Derry Councillor Brenda Stevenson said the festival provided the perfect excuse to visit the city. “The festival draws music fans from far and wide each year and it’s the perfect event to showcase the wealth of local musical talent and our city’s fantastic hospitality.

“I would encourage people to book now as accommodation always fills up fast and start planning a musical celebration to remember.”

The Festival opens appropriately on International Jazz Day and what better way to celebrate than with a selection of first rate performances from the cream of local jazz talent. Between 6pm – 8pm on April 30 a series of indoor and outdoor sets will take place at the Guildhall featuring the Paul McIntyre Trio, Gay McIntyre, George Hasson, John and Fiona Trotter, and lots more.

For information on the events featured in this year’s Jazz Programme go to www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com or visit the City of Derry Jazz Festival Facebook page