City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival

Van Morrison headlines a Bank Holiday weekend filled with new acts, popular favourites and special events across the Maiden City

Festival Details


Thursday, 03 May 2018 to Monday, 07 May 2018

The countdown is on to Derry’s favourite Bank Holiday May weekend celebration with the announcement of the 18th City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, running May 3 - 7.

This year’s line-up sees dozens of new acts confirmed and the welcome return of many favourite musicians and performers to the city for what promises to be another hugely successful festival.

Earlier in the year, tickets sold out within days for two performances by headline act Van Morrison’s performance at the Millennium Forum but fans are being reassured this year’s festival has lots of top acts for them to enjoy and bring the city alive with music and entertainment.

Among the new acts confirmed for this year’s event is Buck Taylor, renowned for his spectacular voice and likeness to the King of Soul the late James Brown; the hot jumpin’ rhythm and blues band The Revolutionaires; swing band Jumpin’ Up, who are travelling all the way from Italy to be part of the festival and one of the UK’s most authentic New Orleans style brass band The Heavy Beat Brass Band.

Other new attractions include the Jessica Radcliffe Quartet; Barrence Whitfield from Boston’s Rumble Club; an eight-piece ska/reggae band from London called The Dualers; Irish jazz and folk singer, Mary Coughlan; the Swing Cats, Darren Beckett Trio and much much more.

Regular festival go-ers will be delighted to hear that many of their jazz favourites such as (The Red Stripe Band, The Ska Beat, Jiveoholics, Cat Scratch Fever Featuring Western Valley Hot Club, Paddy Sherlock and Les Swinging Lovers, The Jive Aces and Harry Connolly Band)  will be making a welcome return to the festival, bringing with them their unique style of musical performance and personality.

In addition to live performances at key locations across the city, festival organisers are delighted to announce a number of new elements to the festival including a new jazzhub at the Great Hall Magee, a bespoke Jazz Show, a North West Show Band Exhibition and a Dance Hall Days celebration event.

For full details of the jazz festival line-up and to download a copy of the programme visit