The Jazz train is back in town!

The Soul Rebels play The Nerve Centre at 9pm, tonight, Thursday 2nd May. (0305CD07)
The Soul Rebels play The Nerve Centre at 9pm, tonight, Thursday 2nd May. (0305CD07)

In just a few hours time the opening notes will sound to usher in the 12th City of Derry Jazz Festival, The Journal’s Catherine Doran takes a look at the go to gigs...

HIGHLIGHTS on the FREE Jazz Trail

THURSDAY 2nd MAY: Frankie and Ian, 6pm, Richmond Centre; Rebecca Harkin Trio, 8pm, Masons Bar; Harry Connolly Band, 9.30pm, City Hotel; Cat Scratch Fever, 10pm, The Bentley; Jazztalk, 10pm, Grand Central Bar; Thumpin’ Jellyfish, 11pm, Masons Bar.

FRIDAY 3rd MAY: Phyllis Curran, 12noon, Custom House Restaurant; Jive Aces with special guest Rebecca Grant, 1pm, Foyleside Shopping Centre; Cafe Jazz Project, 2pm, Cafe Del Mondo; John and Fiona Trotter, 3pm, Tower Hotel; Lee Hedley Band, 5pm, Da Vinci’s Hotel; Les Swingin’ Lovers, 5.30pm, The Strand Bar; Wylding, 7.30pm, Mason’s bar; Bluez Katz, 8pm, Sandino’s; The Haciendas, 9pm, Da Vinci’s Hotel; Julien Colerossi Quartet, 10pm, Bennigans Bar; The Roaring Forties, 10pm, Dungloe Bar; Wide Mouthed Frogs, 10pm, Iona House; Kings of Rhythm, 10pm, Phoenix Bar; The Ska Beats, 10pm, The River Inn; Making Monsters, 11pm, Bound for Boston; Jiveoholics, 11pm, Da Vinci’s Hotel

SATURDAY 4th MAY: Gay McIntyre & Joe Quigley, 12.30pm, Tower Hotel; Martin John, 1pm, Da Vinci’s Hotel; The jazz Lads, 2pm, City Hotel; Jim McDermott with June Grant and Friends, 3pm, Badgers Bar; Mike Wilgar Band, 4pm, Sandinos; WELB Jazz band, 5pm, City Hotel; Murder Balladeers, 7pm, Cafe Del Mondo; Transition Swing, 7.30pm, Millennium Forum Piazza; Oo-bop-Sh’bam, 9pm, City Hotel; Gary Curran, 10pm, Abercorn Bar; The Vibe, 10pm, The Magnet Bar; Wide Mouth Frogs, 10pm, Laurence’s Bar; The Roaring Forties, 10pm, Tinneys Bar; Carmen Ghia and the Hot Rods, 10.30pm, Cafe Del Mondo, The Jive Aces, 11pm, The City Hotel.

SUNDAY 5th MAY: Palais Swing Band, 1pm, Da Vinci’s Hotel; Superstition, 1pm, Guildhall Suare Stage; Ruth James, 2.30pm, Richmond Centre; Ursula and Co. 3pm, Everglades Hotel; Victoria Geelan, 4pm, Sandinos; Mr E Trio, 5pm, Grand Central Bar; Blues Katz, 6pm, The Bentley; Greggi G and his Crazy Gang, 9pm, Downeys bar; Ronnie Greer Band, 10pm, Carraig Bar; Turn It Loose, 10pm, Don Bar; WILD, 10pm, The Argyle Arms; Dougie Breslin, 10pm, Tracey’s bar.

MONDAY 6th MAY: BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up, 2pm, Tower Hotel; R. Paul, 2pm, Foylesdei Shopping Centre; End of Festival jam Session, all musicians welcome, 9.30pm, Masons Bar.

TICKETED events worth checking out include:

Thursday 2nd May, The Soul Rebels, 9pm, The Nerve Centre, Tickets, £12.50, available from the Nerve Centre, (028) 71260562.

Thursday 2nd May, Dark Energy Trio, 8pm, The Playhouse, Tickets, £5, available from the Playhouse, (028) 71268027.

Friday 3rd May and Saturday 4th May, The Overtones, 8pm, The Millennium Forum, Tickets, £14.50, £19.50, £24.50, available from the Millennium Forum, (028) 71264455.

Friday 3rd May, Brass Impact Big Band with guest Andrew Monk, 8.30pm, The Waterside Theatre, Tickets, £5, available from the Waterside Theatre, (028) 71314000.

Friday 3rd May, Ard Ri, The Murder balladeers and Paddy Nash & the Happy Enchiladas, 9pm, The Glassworks, Tickets, £5.

Saturday 4th May and Sunday 5th May, Paul McIntyre Trio and guest, 2pm, The Playhouse, Tickets, £5, available from the Playhouse, (028) 71268027.

Saturday 4th May, Grand Vintage Ball featuring the Puppini Sisters, 8pm, The Vewnue, Ebrington, Tickets, £19.50, available from the Millennium Forum, (028) 71264455.

Sunday 5th May, Club Cabaret, 8pm, The Playhouse, Tickets, £5, available from the Playhouse, (028) 71268027.

A full jazz programme is available at To find out all the latest festival gossip over the weekend check out our Facebook page,