Belfast Telegraph

Blowing blues and all that jazz

By Philip Hammond

Various venues, Londonderry, Thursday, April 28 to Monday, May 2

When City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival organisers Johnny Murray and Gerry McColgan were asked by the city council to check out the feasibility of a new festival, they could hardly have imagined that a decade later it would be one of Ireland’s most popular cultural events.

One of the great festival favourites is returning for this special 10th celebration running from April 29 — May 1. Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra typify the talent, energy and sheer fun that have made this festival one of the truly great musical celebrations.

But there’s lots more!

Scottish outfit Brass Jaw headline the Playhouse on April 29, while Linley Hamilton on narration, vocals and trumpet, plus acclaimed band, takes you through the rollercoaster life of the incomparable King of Cool in the amazing Chet Baker Story on April 30 at the Playhouse.

And Keith Harkin, vocalist with the million-selling Celtic Thunder, brings his energetic band the Durty Dropouts to Sandinos (April 28), Café Del Mondo (April 29) and Tinny’s Bar (May 1) .

A night of international music with World Music NI’s presentation at the Global Village in the Historic Craft Village includes Zimbabwean Rassie Ai, London’s Greggi G & The Crazy Gang and the Mindbenders. Stephen Triffitt performs Sinatra ‘Live at the Sands’, along with a big band of top musicians and special guest Kim Dickinson at the Millennium Forum on April 30.

In Milestones, Irish jazz legend Gay McIntyre (April 29) and Paris-based singer, songwriter and trombonist Paddy Sherlock (April 30) share insights with Radio Ulster’s Marie-Louise Muir at the Verbal Arts Centre.

The festival closes with James Huish and his 10-man Michael Buble Tribute Band at the Waterside Theatre on May 1.

Find out more about the programme at

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