Northern Ireland has a thriving Jazz scene and you can hear many jazz musicians and singers in the country’s bars throughout the week.
Sunday afternoons are especially popular, when you can enjoy a leisurely lunch or drink in one of the country’s bars, soundtracked by a jazz musician.
Our best known jazz export is Ottilie Patterson, a singer who was famous during the 1950s and 60s for her performances with the Chris Barber Jazz Band.
In contemporary jazz, Belfast’s Mark McKnight is one of the world’s best young guitarists and came 3rd at the Montreux International Jazz Guitarist Competition in 2008. His album ‘Overnight’ was released in 2009, and he is working on a follow-up.
David Lyttle is an acclaimed jazz drummer and composer who began his musical career in Irish traditional music playing in his family’s band. At 16, he discovered jazz, and has gone on to build an international reputation as one of the best young jazz musicians in the country.
Other names of note on the NI jazz scene are Paul McIntyre, Johnny Anderson and Linley Hamilton. Hamilton presents a dedicated contemporary jazz show on BBC Radio Ulster, which also broadcasts a long running classic jazz show presented by Walter Love.
There are a number of jazz orchestras and big bands in the country, and the City of Derry Jazz festival celebrates the very best in jazz every year at the end of April.
Derry also has excellent Jazz nights across the year, check out the venues section and have a look at the finest Jazz cafes Northern Ireland has to offer.