The biggest and best Jazz Festival is returning to Derry from 3rd – 7th May 2018. The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival will be back for its 17th year, featuring artists from all over the world and attracting over 60,000 revellers over the bank holiday weekend.
This year’s headliner is Sir Van Morrison, who will perform in the Millennium Forum on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May. The multi award winning singer, composer and performer will be showcasing songs from his most recent studio albums Roll with the Punches and Versatile - as well as dipping into some of his greatest and best known hits from undoubtedly one of the most revered back catalogues in music history.
Some popular acts returning to the Festival will include the Red Stripe Band, The Roaring Forties, the Ska Beat, Velocity Brown and The Hot Rods, and Jaydee Brass band.
New acts joining us in 2018 will include Mercury nominated Dinosaur – a vibrant new ensemble praised for their blend of styles, taking sounds from folk, rock, minimalism and contemporary art music. Dinosaur will be performing in the Playhouse on Sunday 6th May 2018 at 8pm, admission £6.
Taking the UK by storm, Heavy Beat Brass Band will also make their Jazz Festival debut across various city centre venues, producing sounds including modern jazz, Reggae, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Funk & Soul with the sounds of a roaring New Orleans Brass band. As well as The Revolutionaires! – a sizzlin’ hot 1950’s Rhythm and Blues combo, Sicilian band Jumpin Up! and duo Kaz Hawkins and Sam York.
An exciting addition to this year’s Jazz Festival is the Darren Beckett Masterclass. Open to all musicians, the world renowned drummer who has toured with Brandon Flowers and Madeline Peyroux, will impart his experience and knowledge on how to play dynamically and musically in a jazz setting. Whilst tenor saxophonist and composer Meilana Gillard will host a workshop, covering tone production, style, melodic language and different ways to practice using a popular jazz standard as a template.
Also featured will be a special Education Programme in the run-up to the Festival, as well as our Jazz Hubs at The Playhouse, Bennigans, and Great Hall at Magee - allowing audiences to relax and appreciate the authentic Jazz experience, with artists such as David Lyttle feat. Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dinosaur, Kaz Hawkins and the Jaime Nanci Barron Quintet .
Visitors can also take a trip down memory lane at the Showbands Exhibition in the Guildhall, or pick up a range of steps at our jazz dance classes!
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