From April 28 – May 2 prepare for a rollercoaster ride of rhythm, blues, jazz, soul and swing, courtesy of some of the finest musicians from across the world.
This year sees a total live music revival after the pandemic, and music fans will be thrilled to welcome faces old and new to the city for a comeback to remember.
The Jazz Festival also has a distinctly home grown feel with an array of talent from across the North West gracing the programme, all keen to get back out there and reconnect with local audiences.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Graham Warke, said he couldn’t wait to see the first performers take to the stage.
“The buzz about the City is fantastic already as people arrive to catch the first performances of the festival. It all kicks off on Thursday evening with some of our local Jazz Legends at my charity event in the Guildhall, which this year fittingly pays tribute to our one and only Godfather of Jazz, Gay McIntyre.
"He will be greatly missed among the line-up this year. Some of our finest jazz talents will come together for a celebration of Gay, who became synonymous with the festival over the many years he led the honours list of top jazz players to take to the Jazz Festival stage.
“Everyone is welcome to enjoy this fabulous free evening, and all donations in aid of Foyle Down Syndrome Trust are welcome. With so much going on I would really recommend picking up a Jazz Trail programme to make sure you don’t miss anything over the weekend.”
This year’s programme brings together musicians of all ages, with a fantastic selection of youth focussed events including workshops, masterclasses and outdoor performance taking place throughout the festival.
Don’t miss the National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s fantastic celebration of the Life and Music of Amy Winehouse.
On Saturday hit the town with the 8th Annual DLD Second Line Jazz Parade who will be swinging through the City Centre and taking the beats on to the streets. Irish singing sensation Imelda May will be topping the programme with a much anticipated performance in the Millennium Forum on Monday May 2.
If you prefer your music al fresco, then the Guildhall Square will be buzzing with young jazz talent on the Gay McIntyre stage throughout Saturday and Sunday, and the Craft Village will jumping with jive, jazz and swing performances over the weekend.
All in all, it’s shaping up to be a busy weekend, as event coordinator with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Andrea Campbell, explained. “The excitement is really setting in now as the final preparations are underway.
"I think this year feels even more special as it’s the first full return of our live festival format and we’ve missed welcoming the bands who make Derry their annual pilgrimage year after year.
"I know from speaking to many of the artists that they just can’t wait to get back as the City of Derry Jazz Festival is their favourite event on the music circuit. There’s something for everyone in the programme this year, it’s going to be an amazing weekend. We’re just so delighted to be back.”
You can pick up print copies of the City of Derry Jazz Festival Trail at entertainment venues throughout the City and at Council buildings. Find out more about the full programme for this year's much anticipated Jazz Festival return at cityofderryjazzfestival.com