Derry will be absolutely brimming with talent this weekend as hundreds of performers arrive for a massive celebration at the 13th City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival.
Bars, hotels, cafes and even street corners will be echoing to the sounds of jazz, swing, soul, blues, and even folk, with hundreds of free performances taking place throughout the weekend as part of the Guinness Free Jazz Trail.
Here’s our guide to some of the highlights at this year’s event.
Obviously there are the bigger names in the Spigeltent, Curtis Stigers and Kyle Eastwood, as well as Kate Rusby in the Millennium Forum.
For something a bit alternative there’s the Playhouse Speakeasy Bar which runs for three nights, people can get dressed up in the glam costumes of the era and there’s all sorts of prohibition style performances and surprises planned – the bar switches from a casino to a church service etc - there’s even a secret password to get in. This takes place Friday 2- Sunday 4 May from 10pm.
On Saturday afternoon the DLD Second Line Jazz performance will be bringing jazz to the streets with a New Orleans style Jazz parade – something to bring the kids to see. It will be in the city centre from 1pm.
This year for the first time the festival will feature something completely different – trad-Jazz – with two bands taking to the stage in an Culturlann, Kan and Buille. The centre will be hosting an evening of jazz-infused folk and traditional music on Saturday May 3 from 9pm.
For serious Jazz fans on Saturday at 3pm the Playhouse will be featuring the likes of the Paul McIntyre Trio, with special guest Gay McIntyre, the father of Derry Jazz, Dave Fleming and Myles Drennan. And on Saturday evening the David Lyttle Trio will be playing the Playhouse with teenage guitar star Andreas Varady, who he has been mentoring since he was 12.
Don’t miss the sensational local band The Mindbenders who will play the Rocking Chair on Friday night at 11pm, The Strand Bar on Saturday night at 10 p.m. and Sunday at the Strand Bar at 3 p.m..
Meanwhile Bennigan’s will be hosting Derry’s year round jazz club on Sunday evening featuring Meilana Gillard, from 6pm – 7.30pm and John Leighton will be playing with Cleveland Watkiss from 9pm til late.
For more energetic jazz fans then the Rumble Club at Sandinos on Sunday night from 8pm will feature Carmen Ghia and the Hotrods, with rockabilly DJ Gerry Robinson afterwards.
The Festival Finale featuring The Puppini Sisters supported by The Jive Aces & Jaydee Brass Band will take place on Sunday night at 8 p.m. in Da Vincis. It’s time to don your best threads, put your dancing shoes. Tickets: £12.50 available from Da Vinci’s Hotel: (028) 7127 9111
For information on all the acts performing as part of this year’s Jazz festival and for ticket information please log on to www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com