City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival returns this May!

The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival will be back for its 17th year this May, featuring artists from across the world and attracting over 60,000 revellers over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend.

This year’s headliner will be 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.

On top of that, 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 the Festival 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 at the Playhouse on Sunday 6th May 2018, with admission for just £6.

Elsewhere, 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. There will also be performances from The Revolutionaires!, a sizzlin' hot 1950’s Rhythm and Blues combo; Sicilian band Jumpin Up!; and Kaz Hawkins and Sam York.

An exciting addition to this year’s Jazz Festival will be 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.

Also featured will be a special Education Programme in the run-up to the Festival, as well as Jazz Hubs at The Playhouse, Bennigans, and Great Hall at Magee - allowing audiences to relax and enjoy an authentic jazz immersion. Visitors can also enjoy our Jazz Master Classes with respected Jazz musicians, or even take a trip down memory lane at the Showbands Exhibition in the Guildhall.

Book your stay now! For more information visit

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