International Jazz Day and the Two Irish Festivals Celebrating the Genre

Today (April 30) marks International Jazz Day, a date founded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role in uniting people from all corners of the globe.

In keeping with this, Travel Ireland Magazine are shining a spotlight on two upcoming festivals set to celebrate the genre of music. Read about them below.

City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival

First on the calendar is Northern Ireland’s biggest jazz festival which returns this May Bank Holiday weekend. Taking place from May 2 – 6, this will be its 18th year.

Derry’s celebration of jazz and big bands will feature artists from around the world and will welcome more than 70,000 revellers over the bank holiday weekend.  Among the popular acts performing at the festival this year are Kitty LaRoar, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, Jumpin Up!, Jive Aces, Kaz Hawkinsheadliner and former Soft Cell member Marc Almond and many more.

Also featured will be the festival’s special Jazz Hubs at The Playhouse, Bennigans, and Great Hall at Magee. The goal of these are to help attendees relax, unwind and enjoy the authentic jazz experience.

Visitors can also attend the festival’s masterclasses with respected jazz musicians including acclaimed drummer Darren Beckett. For more information, see here.

Bray International Jazz Festival

Meanwhile, this year marks the Bray International Jazz Festival’s 20th year anniversary. Also taking place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, it will be running from May 3 – 5.

Multi-Grammy Award winning jazz guitarist John Scofield, 14-times Grammy nominated American pianist Fred Hersch, German cellist Anja Lechner and French jazz pianist Francois Couturier are this year’s headline performers at the Mermaid Arts Centre.

Also featuring are European jazz singer of the year Lucia Cadotsch’s Speak Low, British jazz singer Norma Winstone, Mats Gustaffson’s Swedish trio Fire!, French four-piece No Tongues, and a host of others.

Buying more than one ticket to a show on any night results in the festival’s online booking system providing discounts. The event also urges attendees to hang onto their tickets. Doing so, enables visitors to receive a 50 per cent discount to the festival’s Late Lounge concerts in The Martello Hotel.

For more information, visit the festival’s site here.

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