The Jazz train is back in town!

�/Lorcan Doherty Photography 17th April  2013. ''City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival Guinness Jazz Trail launch.
�/Lorcan Doherty Photography 17th April 2013. ''City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival Guinness Jazz Trail launch.
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In just a few days time the opening notes will sound to usher in the 12th City of Derry Jazz Festival, and pubs and clubs all over Derry will be throwing open their doors to the thousands of revellers making their way along the Jazz trail over the weekend.

From jazz to jump, and soul to swing there isn’t a box unticked when it comes to music, and speaking ahead of the festival, which kicks off on Thursday May 2, the Mayor of the City urged everyone to jump on the jazz bandwagon and enjoy the entertainment. “If there’s one thing people in Derry love, it’s music,” he said. “And this weekend is the perfect excuse to get out there and take a musical tour of the city.

“We will be welcoming thousands of visitors to our streets to enjoy all Derry has to offer when it comes to entertainment, and it’s a great opportunity to remind the world why we are the current City of Culture. I would like everyone to get out there and support the festival, and do so in a responsible and exemplary way. Let us be ambassadors for our city and be proud of all that we have to offer.”

Over 80 venues are included in this year’s Jazz Trail which is sponsored by Guinness, and over 200 events will take place over the course of the four day Bank Holiday Weekend.

The fun begins on Thursday evening with the Mayor’s Charity event in aid of Foyle Search and Rescue, featuring Derry Soulseekers, The Red Stripe Band and of course the Jive Aces, setting the tone for the rest of what promises to be an amazing festival weekend.

Among the highlights this year are of course the sensational Overtones, making their first visit to the city amidst much critical acclaim. And for the first time the city’s newest concert arena, The Venue at Ebrington, will be hosting a Grand Vintage Ball on Saturday evening with music by the Puppini Sisters, for fashionistas with soul.

But also look out for The Dark Energy Trio, David Lyttle & Jason Rebello, Brass Impact Big Band, Dana Masters Band, Ben Klock (Celtronic), Beverley Craven, Neil Cowley Trio, Pink Martini, The Stars from the Commitments plus so much more!

Local talent will as always be out in force with performances by some of the city’s finest musicians, including local jazz icon Gay McIntyre, who celebrated his 80th birthday at the weekend, and over 60 years in the business. He is joined by son Paul McIntyre, as well as the Derry Soulseekers, The Foyle Showband, Ursula McHugh, John Leighton and a whole host of local bands.

Over 90% of the performances are free thanks to sponsors Guinness, and a full jazz programme is available at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com To find out all the latest festival gossip over the weekend check out www.facebook.com/cityofderryjazzfestival

The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival is arranged for you by Derry City Council in association with the UK City of Culture 2013 team, with funding from Diageo and support from NITB and Airporter.