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All that Jazz announced for 2016 City of Derry Jazz Festival

23 March 2016

Spring is in the air and that can only mean one thing – the launch of the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival – with four days of the very best live music set to transform your May Bank Holiday Weekend, April 28-May 2.

Details of the programme were revealed today by Derry City and Strabane District Council and topping the bill for the entertainment extravaganza is one of the most renowned names in the Jazz music scene, Roy Ayers.

Known as the Godfather of Neo-soul, Ayers’ inimitable style spans the genres as well as the generations as an iconic figure in jazz, soul and R&B. And his music has been sampled by some of the biggest contemporary stars including 50 Cent, Tupac, Ice Cube and Mary J Blige.

Vibrophonist and vocalist Ayers will be heading up an impressive array of talent, with over 200 performers taking to stages in over 80 venues across Derry and Strabane for the biggest event of its kind in the North. Over 40,000 people descend on the city annually for the local music event of the year.

The sumptuous surrounds of the Bishops’ Gate Hotel set the scene for what promises to be a first class programme, as BBC favourite Walter Love introduced guests to a taster of talent with the sounds of Gay McIntyre, Victoria Geelin and the Andrews Sisters.

Launching the programme Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said she was looking forward to a fantastic weekend. “There is no doubt that the Jazz Festival weekend is possibly the highlight of the year for us in terms of visitor experiences. The place just comes alive with music and the buzz about the streets is incredible.

“I think that what makes it so appealing is that there are events for all ages, so while we always attract a dedicated Jazz audience, there’s plenty of entertainment on offer for families and music lovers of all kinds.

“The programme this year is as always packed full of talent from home and abroad, and I’m looking forward to what promises to be a busy weekend for visitors and a booming time for local businesses.”

Among the local legends lending their skills to the line-up will be the Paul McIntyre Trio, Father of Jazz Gay McIntyre, George Hasson, and John and Fiona Trotter to name but a few. Regular favourites among the top class international musicians who attend each year, including Velocity Brown and the Hot Rods, Les Swingin Lovers and the Jaydee Brass Band, will also be making a welcome return. And Bennigans Bar once again hosts an impressive assortment of jazz talent hand-picked by top class local pianist John Leighton.

Jazz programmes will be available from today at council facilities and entertainment venues across the district, and online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com. For all the latest news and event updates check out DerryJazzFestival on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @derryjazzfest

For details on any remaining accommodation deals over the Jazz Festival contact www.visitderry.com