BB King blues at 13th Derry Guitar Festival

B.B. King performing at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill back in 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images)
B.B. King performing at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill back in 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images)

A three-day course dedicated to blues legend B.B. King will be among the key components of this the 13th City of Derry Guitar Festival, the organisers have confirmed.

The festival will take place from August 20 to 23 in the North West Regional College.

It will include the three-day electrical guitar course entirely dedicated to the music of B. B. King.

Festival director Sean Woods said: “Mr King sadly passed away last 14 May and the Festival thought it a fitting tribute to celebrate the talent of this amazing musician with three days of intense guitar therapy dedicated to his music.”

During the course, experienced local blues and rock guitarist Ted Lynch will take all participants through the fundamentals of the blues structure, and demonstrate how to improvise over a cord progression.

Two of B.B. King’s tracks will be covered and all participants will have the opportunity to perform on stage at the Student Gala with a full band on August 23.

The course will run all day for each of the three days.

The Festival also offers a three-day classical guitar course with Carlos Bonell and Wiktoria Szubelak, and a Beginners Ukulele Course.

This year will also see the introduction of the ‘Guitar Overdose’ package, featuring four workshops spanning the genres of acoustic, flamenco, contemporary and slide blues guitar.

Audiences will also be treated to a series of unique guitar concerts from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 August in the Foyle Theatre at the North West Regional College.

Applications to join the courses are now being taken from guitarists of all standards.

Download an application form on the website, or email: to request one.

Course fees range from £130 non-residential to £265 residential for a full weekend of classes. Concert tickets cost £12, £10 concession.

For bookings please call 028 71311288 or send an email.

The City of Derry Guitar Festival is funded by The Arts Council NI, the North West Regional College and the D’Addario Foundation.

The Opening Concert will take place on Thursday, August 20 at 8pm with solo performances by Carlos Bonell (Classical Guitar) and Alberto Grollo (Acoustic Guitar).

The following night at 8pm will see Wiktoria Szubelak (Classical Guitar, Poland) and Martin Harley (Slide blues guitar, UK) perform at a Gala Concert.

Saturday 22 August will bring the World Stage to the College with Solo Performances by Declan Zapala (Classical/Acoustic, UK) and Amir-John Haddad “El Amir” (Flamenco Guitar, Germany/Spain).

The final night on Sunday 23 August at 7pm will feature a Student Gala, with solo and ensemble performances by the students, featuring the music of B.B. King. Admission to this event is free.