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Mayor: ‘Jazz Fest 2017 to be a weekend to remember’

27 April 2017

As the 16th City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival officially opens today, Thursday 27th April, the Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock has said she expects this to be a weekend to remember.

As thousands of visitors and residents prepare to take to the streets, bars and local venues for a long bank holiday weekend of razzmatazz, the Mayor said she is well and truly prepared for an exciting weekend of music, workshops, dancing and of course, the arrival of jazz hands throughout the city, as celebrations begin tonight with her ‘Celebration of Local Jazz’ at the Guildhall and continue right through the bank holiday weekend until Monday 1st May.

The Mayor said, “Everything is prepped and we are ready for some swing, jazz and boogie woogie. Anyone who has been to the festival on previous years will tell you we know how to party and we know good jazz. The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival is not to be missed!

“This year’s programme has everything! Headliner Imelda May will be performing for two nights at the Millennium Forum, there will be a jazz hub allowing audiences to relax in specific venues and enjoy an authentic jazz experience with a speakeasy club transporting you back to the 1940’s. As the spotlight is on jazz all weekend, I am particularly looking forward to welcoming our visitors and international acts such as Meilana Gillard, Hugh Buckley, Robert Mitchel and Emilia Martensson to the city as they perform in various venues.

“As this is a festival for everyone, not only have Council, the sponsors and our local venues provided a wealth of late night and daytime entertainment but there has also been active engagement with our young people and community groups in jazz interactive workshops leading up the festival, it really does take over the city and district.

“With so much on the programme I find it difficult to select highlights so I would encourage everyone to check out the programme and see what appeals to them. You can pick up a copy of this at the tourist office, local participating venues or you can view it online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com.

“Something I would recommend to those new and returning to the festival, who want to experience a big band encounter, is the Second Line Parade on Saturday 29th April. The DLD Second Line Band will join the Jaydee Brass Band for a jazz parade along Castle Street and I can guarantee this will be a real spectacle of entertainment. You can also enjoy Jazz Al Fresco in Guildhall Square on Saturday 29th with live orchestras, big bands and jazz ensembles from 12.15pm and live performances for all to enjoy in the Craft Village on both the Saturday and Sunday. All these events are free and will be a great day out for families, with these events set within the city centre it is a perfect opportunity to shop, dine and be entertained without having to walk too far to the nearest venue.”

Andrea Campbell, Festival and Events Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council added, “With hotel capacity near full for this 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. We’re all looking forward to now kicking off another great weekend in the city!”

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 city 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

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