Hundreds of musicians and thousands of visitors are expected to converge on Derry over the coming days as the City of Derry Jazz Festival gets under way.
Derry’s main annual music event will run over five days from this Thursday, right through the Bank Holiday weekend and into Monday.
The 14th annual event will back-to-back live music being performed across the city’s pubs, clubs theatres, shopping centres, cafes, restaurants and outdoor spaces.
This Thursday is also UNESCO World International Jazz Day and a series of Jazz events are taking place throughout the day to mark the occasion.
Music lovers in the city are encouraged to come along to the Guildhall for a series of free jazz performances on Thursday from 6pm to 8pm.
Twelve local Jazz acts will be performing in a free showcase, including Paul McIntyre with his Trio, Gay McIntyre, George Hasson, John Trotter and Fiona Trotter, Jim McDermott, Jim Whiteside, Joe Quigley and Sharon Quigley, Johnny Quigley, Jackie Molloy as well as Jaydee Brass Band.
Karan Leonard, Festival and Events Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council said the event was a great way to open the festival and showcase local talent as well as bring live music into the city centre for everyone to enjoy.
“This year’s festival programme is fantastic with something for everyone to enjoy,” she said. “We are delighted that international jazz day falls on the same day as our festival kicks off so we can showcase local jazz talent and encourage people to come along to enjoy lots of music.”
She added: “Other venues such as the Playhouse, Magee University, the Maldron Hotel and Da Vinci’s are joining in the celebrations by hosting music events.”
The Celebration of Derry Jazz is the opening event of the festival which has over 250 gigs across five days, featuring headline act Jamie Cullum performing at the Millennium Forum on Monday.
Renowned local band Kashmir Krows are among the youngest Derry musicians to be gracing the various stages over the Jazz Festival.
The band has received high praise from 2013 musician in residence, Neil Cowley, and also from our current musician in residence, David Lyttle.
This young band came to the attention of local audiences last year at the 2014 Jazz Festival where, as a result of winning the Music City talent competition organised by John Ross, they played support act in the Spiegeltent to American Jazz artist, Kyle Eastwood.
A spokesperson for the band said: “The boys instrumental Jazz/ Rock fusion style, really appeals to anyone looking for something a little bit unique with great improvisational skills throughout their programme.”
All final year students at Foyle College, the boys are taking time out this weekend from study to play at The Anchor Bar on Friday from 7pm, Sandinos on Saturday at 5pm and the Craft Village on Sunday evening.
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Meanwhile Jazz maestro Brian Priestly - a veteran of the London Jazz scene - said he is eagerly looking forward to visiting Derry for the first time when the Priestly Quintet perform at the Waterside Theatre on Friday at 8pm.
For more info on the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival visit www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com.
*10PM O’DIOCHAN’S- Cat Scratch Fever.
*10PM THE BENTLEY- The Ska Beats.
*9PM EVERGLADES HOTEL-Cafe Jazz Project.
*11PM CITY HOTEL- Les Swingin’ Lovers from Paris.
*8PM THE PLAYHOUSE- David Lyttle. £6.
*8.30pm DA VINCI’S- A tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons with ‘The Other Guys’, supported by Mirenda Rosenberg. £10.
*8PM SANDINOS- Carmen Ghia and the Hotrods at The Rumble Club. £8.
*8PM MILLENNIUM FORUM- Dana Masters & the Linely Hamilton Band
*2PM, 6PM & 9PM BENNIGANS- Cat Scratch Fever (2pm) followed by Palais Swing Band (6pm) and John Leighton Band (9pm).
*2PM THE PLAYHOUSE- Julian Bohn Trio. £2.