Mayor delighted to officially open Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival
02 May 2018
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh has said he is delighted to officially open this year’s Jazz & Big Band Festival – and is looking forward to welcoming more than 60,000 revellers to the city over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The City of Derry Jazz Festival will open in fine style as Mayor McHugh hosts an evening of premiere jazz entertainment in the Guildhall tomorrow tonight (Thursday 3rd May).
The bill is topped by local Jazz legend Gay McIntyre who will be performing with the Paul McIntyre Trio, heading up a cast of the finest local jazz talent.
As well as offering the perfect evening’s entertainment, the free event is all in aid of a good cause with any donations going towards the Mayor’s chosen charity AWARE.
It kicks off a packed programme of music events taking place over the Jazz Festival weekend with headline act Van Morrison and over 60,000 music lovers expected to descend on the city for the biggest jazz celebration in the country.
Mayor McHugh said: “I am delighted to officially open this year’s Jazz & Big Band Festival – which is such a huge showcase for the city.
“Indeed, there is an amazing programme of events this year – celebrating our fantastic local talent and featuring national and internationally acclaimed artists such as Van Morrison.
“I am also delighted that we’re in for some good weather over the Bank Holiday weekend – which only adds to the visitor experience and will complement our stunning cityscape backdrop.
“Indeed, I have no doubts that this year’s Jazz Festival will be a huge success – attracting thousands of visitors to the city and putting Derry confidently on the map.
“The Jazz opening night is always really special as it sets the scene for what is undoubtedly one of the best weekends in the local calendar. It also sets the standard for the rest of the festival with the very best local performers setting the bar high for the cast of international talent who will follow over the coming days.
“The programme this year is particularly impressive, with plenty of new acts for regular visitors to enjoy, and of course a whole host of return acts who have become firm favourites over the years of the festival.
“The Celebration of Local Jazz night is free to enjoy, but if anyone wishes to contribute to my chosen charity for the year there will be the opportunity to provide a small donation. Volunteers from AWARE will be there, and any funds raised will help fund the essential work they do within the local community supporting families living with depression.”
A whole host of new talent has been confirmed for this year’s Jazz Festival programme, including the hot jumpin’ rhythm and blues band The Revolutionaires, Dinosaur, Kaz Hawkins, and one of the UK’s most authentic New Orleans style brass band The Heavy Beat Brass Band.
Other new attractions include the Jessica Radcliffe Quartet; Barrence Whitfield from Boston’s Rumble Club; an eight-piece ska/reggae band from London called The Dualers; Irish jazz and folk singer, Mary Coughlan; the Swing Cats, Darren Beckett Trio and much, much more.
Regular festival goers will be delighted to hear that many of their jazz favourites such as The Red Stripe Band, The Ska Beat, Jiveoholics, Cat Scratch Fever Featuring Western Valley Hot Club, Paddy Sherlock and Les Swinging Lovers, 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.
The City of Derry Jazz festival is organised and funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Diageo and Tourism Northern Ireland.
The Mayor’s Celebration of Local Jazz will take place at 6pm in the Guildhall tomorrow night (Thursday 3rd May). For full details of the Jazz Festival line-up and to download a copy of the programme visit www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DerryJazzFestival and Twitter @DerryJazzFest for regular updates.