The waiting is over and the jazz train has once again pulled into Londonderry for the 12th City of Derry Jazz Festival which begins today with a host of gigs on both sides of the River Foyle.
Mayor Kevin Campbell has urged everyone to jump on the jazz bandwagon and enjoy the entertainment.
He said: “If there’s one thing people in Derry love it’s music and this weekend is the perfect excuse to get out there and take a musical tour of the city.
“I would like everyone to get out there and support the festival, and do so in a responsible way. Let us be ambassadors for our city and be proud of all that we have to offer.”
The fun begins on this evening with the mayor’s charity event in aid of Foyle Search and Rescue, featuring Derry Soulseekers, The Red Stripe Band and of course the Jive Aces, setting the tone for the rest of what promises to be an amazing festival weekend.
Over 80 venues are included in this year’s Jazz Trail and over 200 events will take place over the course of the four-day Bank Holiday Weekend.
Among the highlights this year are of course the sensational Overtones, making their first visit to the city amidst much critical acclaim. And for the first time the city’s newest concert arena, The Venue at Ebrington, will be hosting a Grand Vintage Ball on Saturday evening with music by the Puppini Sisters for fashionistas with soul.
Local talent will as always be out in force with performances by some of the city’s finest musicians, including local jazz icon Gay McIntyre, who celebrated his 80th birthday at the weekend, and over 60 years in the business. He is joined by son Paul McIntyre, as well as the Derry Soulseekers, The Foyle Showband, Ursula McHugh, John Leighton and a whole host of local bands.
For festival gossip check out the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cityofderryjazzfestival