Jazz Festival celebrating twentieth anniversary with Guildhall events
Derry City and Strabane District Council have revealed plans for the 20th City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival, which will take place from April 30th to May 2nd this year.
It is a special landmark for the festival, which began in 2002 and would normally see upwards of 60,000 people in attendance enjoying music and events across more than 70 different venues.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year will see a blended programme, featuring a mix of virtual concerts with some on-street entertainment.
One special segment of the programme will see an array of local artists who have all played in previous Jazz Festivals showcasing their music online from the Guildhall, with three gigs per day over three stages during the three days of the festival.
Other features include virtual performances from students at Ulster University’s Magee campus and from North West Regional College, and there will also be bursaries up for grabs for five up and coming young jazz artists.
Looking back on Jazz Festivals gone by will feature heavily in the programme, with a video covering the journey over years gone by, while there will also be a documentary style film reflecting on the past 19 editions of the festival and featuring interviews with acts who know and love the festival.
There will also be an outdoor jazz visual arts trail in the city centre for members of the public to enjoy safely and within COVID-19 restrictions.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, said he is looking forward to the exciting programme for the Jazz Festival.
“The City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival has become one of our staple events and there’s always a fantastic atmosphere that really lifts the whole city and district.
“Last year we were in the early stages of COVID-19 and had to move the whole festival online, and while we had hoped that we would be celebrating this significant 20th edition in the typical fashion with bustling streets, I’m delighted to launch what I think is a really exciting and fitting programme for this very special occasion.
“We continue to put COVID-19 restrictions and the health of all members of the public at the centre of our planning and our events, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation in the lead up to the festival.
“Once again, we have a big focus on virtual events, and I’m pleased to see our young people and students will play their part in this year’s programme.
“It’s also great that we’ll be able to reflect on previous festivals, on how the Jazz Festival has grown and on all the acts and the people who have made this annual event what we know and love it to be today.
“The performances coming from the heart of the city – the Guildhall – will be really special, and the planned jazz trail throughout the city centre will bring great music and art to our streets.
“There’s lots to look forward to, so I’d advise everyone to check out the programme and get involved.”
For more, visit https://cityofderryjazzfestival.com/