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Local artists to open 2017 Jazz Fest as swing and boogie take over the Guildhall

05 April 2017

The 16th City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival will officially open with a celebration of local talent who will be ushering in the annual five day celebration of jazz at the city’s Guildhall on Thursday 27th April.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock will host the event which will star the well-known champion of jazz, Gay McIntyre and a mix of established and rising stars from the local jazz scene, in support of her chosen charities.

“Once again we can enjoy five days of live music and entertainment throughout our city and district over the May bank holiday weekend”, said Mayor McClintock. “My opening event, ‘A celebration of local jazz’ is exactly that - a celebration of our local artists and entertainers in one of our finest buildings, the Guildhall.

“The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival has supported many artists featured in the jazz festival programme year on year and our rising stars new to the local jazz scene. While this event is free, I would appeal to those attending to make a donation on the evening, however small or large that may be, to my chosen charities. My chosen charities this year are, Tearfund, a charity that seeks to end world poverty and Action Cancer who help to save lives and support local people through cancer awareness, prevention, detection and support. Both charities I have worked with throughout the year to help raise funds and awareness. However small a gesture you can make at the event will be greatly appreciated by these charities and I’d like to thank our performers for supporting this cause also.

“There will be opportunities during the five day programme, which is again sponsored by Guinness, to also enjoy performances by world class stars such as Imelda May and Hot Chocolate. These star guests, alongside hundreds of musical performances planned for the city and district; a ‘Guinness Jazz Trail’ and a chance to take part in community workshops and education programmes as Jazz comes to the community, will make this a festival for everyone”

Andrea Campbell, Festival and Events Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council added, “Officially opening this year’s festival in style is Derry Jazz legend Gay McIntyre alongside the Paul McIntyre Trio. They will be joined by the very best Derry Jazz Artists including; Johnny Quigley, George Hasson, Joe Quigley, John and Fiona Trotter, Jim Whiteside, Jim McDermott and Jackie Molloy.

“As the excitement is now building with only weeks to go until we celebrate the biggest and best bank holiday weekend in the North West, there is a lot of demand for ticketed events and I’d recommend anyone looking for entry to any of these events, get their tickets as soon as possible. The Mayor’s ‘Jazz Opening Event – a Celebration of Local Jazz’ is free and will take place at the Guildhall on Thursday 27th April from 6.00pm. This will be a popular event and I’d advise anyone attending to be there early as spaces will be limited.

“With hotel capacity near full for the weekend, it is certain to be once again a weekend not to be missed. We have a natural blend of classic and contemporary jazz, rhythm and blues, swing and boogie-woogie style music from performers, with big names like Imelda May, Hot Chocolate, The Dream Band, Hugh Buckley, Liane Carroll, John Leighton and Linley Hamilton among those confirmed.”

The full City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival programme is available online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com. Events will take place in various locations through Derry and Strabane from Thursday 27th April until Monday 1st May. For all the latest news and event updates check out City of Derry Jazz Festival on Facebook, or follow the Twitter page @derryjazzfest. This event is organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Guinness and Tourism Northern Ireland Events Fund. 

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