It’s time to warm up those Jazz hands once again as the line up for this year’s City of Derry Jazz Festival was unveiled today, featuring a whole host of vibrant new acts headed up by 80s sensation Marc Almond.
The programme was officially launched in fine style at Prehen House, one of over 70 venues throwing open their doors from May 2 to 6 or the 18th outing of the North West’s biggest music festival.
New acts joining the bill this year include some of the best known artists on the Jazz circuit, including Sid Peacock and the Surge Orchestra, Mr. Wilson’s Second Liners, Cian Boylan, Kitty LaRoar, Basork featuring Duo Varna, Bruno Tamiozzo and Motown Gold.
They are among the cast of over 200 top performers who will be entertaining upwards of 70,000 music lovers over the course of the festival.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, said: “We have just enjoyed a brilliant St. Patrick’s weekend and this is the next highlight in the city’s expanding entertainment calendar. I want to acknowledge the immense amount of work that has gone into enhancing the programme, and sourcing a wealth of new talent for festival goers to enjoy.
“This year we also have an added youth dimension as part of our Youth 19 programme, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s the perfect opportunity to give our up and coming new performers a platform to showcase their talents.
"I’m also delighted to see the local business community supporting the festival, with a growing number of restaurants and cafes joining the bars and hotels in transforming into music venues over the course of the weekend. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic few days of entertainment for music lovers of all ages.”
Regular festival goers will be delighted to hear that many of their jazz favourites including Jumping Up, Mission Impossible, Jiveoholics, Cat Scratch Fever Featuring Western Valley Hot Club, Gay McIntyre, The Jive Aces and Harry Connolly Band, will all be making a welcome return to the festival, bringing with them their unique style of musical performance and personality.
Topping it all off is of course the much anticipated appearance by Marc Almond, who is currently on tour following the launch of his latest album ‘A Lovely Life To Live’, a collaboration with renowned Jazz musician Jules Holland.
Marc will be taking to the stage at the Millennium Forum on Friday, May 3, reliving some of the magic that made him one of the most iconic artists of the 80’s as frontman with Soft Cell.
Festival Co-ordinator with Council, Andrea Campbell said: “We’re delighted to reveal the Jazz Festival programme today. I think this year we have an exceptional line up of new talent which will really appeal to a wide spectrum of visitors as well as festival regulars.
"The countdown is now officially on to what has become the official start of summer here in Derry, and a bumper weekend of business and entertainment for the city.”
This year’s Jazz Programme will have a strong youth focus with a special youth fringe festival opening up the event to younger audiences as part of the Youth 19 programme. An array of young musicians will be joining the regular line up for a series of indoor and outdoor performances over the weekend.
Council’s Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator, Claire Lynch said: “We are thrilled to be able to get involved with the Jazz Festival this year. A growing number of schools participate in the event, and this will provide further opportunities for younger people to perform and join in the wider festival programme.
“The Youth 19 programme celebrates all aspects of Youth Culture and this is another creative avenue for them to explore. I look forward to announcing all the details of the fringe programme, which is now being shaped by our youth team, in the coming weeks.”
The City of Derry Jazz Festival is this year supported by the Youth 19 programme - delivered with support from the Peace IV programme, the Big Lottery Fund, and the North West Regional Development Fund - Diageo, and Tourism NI.
You can download the full programme now at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com