Outdoor Jazz Fest music trail cancelled as festival goes wholly virtual

This year’s planned Inside Out outdoor music trail will no longer take place as part of the City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival weekend, it has been confirmed.

By Brendan McDaid
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:19 pm

Event organisers had been planning pop up sessions across the city centre tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday but this will now not take place.

The organisers stated on the Jazz Festivcal website: “We have always placed the health and safety of the public as a main priority and have taken the decision alongside other partners not to proceed with the outdoor trail as a precaution to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19.

“While we are disappointed that this cannot take place, there are many fantastic virtual performances planned as part of the festival programme.​”

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The Dutch Jaydee Brass Band lead a New Orleans style 2nd Line Procession, along Waterloo Street during the 2015 City of Derry Jazz Festival. Photo: George Sweeney / Derry Journal.

It was announced today that the Jive Aces are among the acts returning for the festival, which will take the format of a series of live gigs that can be viewed online.

A special segment of the programme will see an array of local artists who have all played in previous Jazz Festivals showcasing their music online from the Guildhall, with three gigs per day over three stages from 12 noon – 1.30pm; 5pm – 6.30pm and 9pm – 10.30pm.

Eve Blair, Mark Patterson and Micky Doherty will host different slots and the performances will be available to enjoy live on the Jazz Festival website and Facebook page.

Among those performing for the live-stream from the Guildhall are: Dougie Breslin, Anne Tracey Trio, Joseph Leighton Trio, Jim McDermott & Friends, Superstition, Sensation, Palais Swing Band, Ursula McHugh & Dee Doherty, Andrew Monk, Matt Curran Trio, Barrie, Jaywalkers, Anna Nolan Quartet, Mindbenders, King Rat, Stevie & the Gs, Stephen McKeever and Leanne & Dan.

Other features include virtual performances from students at Ulster University’s Magee campus and from NWRC. Looking back on Jazz Festivals gone by will feature heavily in the programme, with a video covering that, while there will also be a documentary style film.

Meanwhile five talented young musicians from Derry and Strabane have been awarded a £1,000 bursary each as part of the Festival.

The bursaries were open to any musicians of a jazz inspired discipline and the recipients are Joseph Leighton, Callum Feeney, Kitija Ernstone, Diarmuid O’Kane and Mark McLaughlin.

Speaking ahead of the festival, Mayor Brian Tierney said: “The Jazz Festival is always such a fantastic occasion for our city and district and this year will be no different on what is a landmark edition for this event.

“Like last year the programme will be a virtual one, but that won’t stop everyone across our district and beyond enjoying the incredible talent of our local acts.

“There is so much to look forward to and so many festival favourites that I know everyone will be excited to see.

“After what has been one of the toughest years that many of us have faced, having such a positive event to look forward to and enjoy is a great boost. This event will celebrate so many of our amazing local musicians so make sure you tune in.”