The festival, now in its 15th year will offer music lovers a fantastic programme of live music between 28th April and 2nd May and is one of the region’s most anticipated and talked about social events of the year.
Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Jazz Festival features live music acts at over 70 venues and featuring over 200 musical acts over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Among the popular acts returning to the festival this year are Red Stripe Band, The Jive Aces, Ricky Cool & the In Crowd, Greggi G & His Crazy Gang, Cat Scratch Fever featuring Western Valley Hot Club, Bluez Katz, Harry Connolly Band, Jaydee Brass Band, Jiveoholics, Wild, Velocity Brown & The Hot Rods, Kings of Rhythm, Les Swinging Lovers, Oo-Bop-Sh’Bam and many more!
This year’s festival headliner is vibraphonist/vocalist Roy Ayers, who is among the best-known, most-loved and respected jazz/R&B artists on the music-scene today. A living legend, whose colourful career has spanned six decades with no signs of slowing up.
Ayers, known as the Godfather of Neo-soul, continues to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers. Few artists have made an impact like Roy Ayers. The vibraphonist, composer and bandleader has written some of the most important soul, jazz and funk music of all time, and continues to influence musicians from across the musical spectrum.
He is most well-known for his signature compositions "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" , "Searchin" and “Running Away” A founding father of jazz-funk, neo-soul and, acid-jazz, Ayers is one of the most sampled artists around: The hip-hop world, particularly, owes him a huge debt. Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J Blige and 2Pac are just a handful of the countless acts that have used a Roy Ayers break. "Always sampled but never duplicated,”.
Pharrell Williams cites Roy Ayers as one of his key musical heroes A Roy Ayers gig is as powerful six decades into his career. A perpetual exchange of energy and elation between artist and audience, with both parties giving as much as they take.