Drum roll for City of Derry as the festival season begins
FIRST off of this year's jazz festivals is the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, which runs from Thursday, April 28 to Monday, May 2.
Drummer David Lyttle has put together a very interesting group featuring American musicians Jean Toussaint (tenor sax), Jason Palmer (trumpet), Michael Janisch (bass) and Leo Genovese (piano). Another attraction is Linley Hamilton (trumpet) in the Chet Baker Story.
The Derry Jazz Quartet will team up with the English trumpeter Bruce Adams and Cork reedman Len McCarthy, while Mark McKnight (guitar) will lead his own quartet.
The DIT Big Band from Dublin, with vocalists Sinead Conway and Kevin Morrow, will play under the direction of Michael Nielsen. Hardy annuals of the Derry festival will include Mirenda Rosenberg (vocals), the Gay McIntyre group and Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.
The Bray Jazz Festival begins on Friday April 29 with a double bill in the Mermaid Arts Centre. The Boylan Buckley Evans Trio will be followed by Christine Tobin (vocals) and Liam Noble (piano) with their popular Carole King programme, Tapestry Unravelled.
Saturday begins with a lunchtime show by guitarist Andreas Varady, a Slovakian teenager who lives in Limerick. That night the headliner is Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), an American based in Berlin, who leads a quartet with Aaron Parks (piano), Eric Revis (bass) and Justin Faulkner (drums). If you can only get to one concert, this one is probably your best bet.
On Sunday May 1, a Brazilian duo, Hamilton de Holanda (bandolim) and Andre Mehmari (piano), will top the bill in the Mermaid, with Tarab as the opening group. Other venues around Bray will present a range of jazz and blues each night from 9.30pm.