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The award-winning Playhouse is based in Artillery Street and was established in 1992 City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival 2013

Playhouse gears up for City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival

23 April

With just weeks to go until the opening notes of the City of Derry Jazz Festival, the city’s arts hub, The Playhouse, is planning a jazz extravaganza to remember, with some premier acts taking to the stage over the course of the weekend.

The intimate surroundings of The Playhouse Theatre are sure to attract jazz lovers. The venue has been an avid supporter of the event since it began 12 years ago, in much different surroundings. Now totally refurbished, this architectural gem nestled within the city walls retains its homely atmosphere, while offering state of the art facilities ideal for hosting live and acoustic sessions that provide an up close and personal experience for music lovers.

As preparations for the event get into full swing, Playhouse Director Niall McCaughan said he couldn’t wait for what has become a real highlight in the arts calendar. “We are delighted to be involved in what has evolved into such a major event for the city, and one that has made Derry the jazz capital of Ireland,” he enthused.

“It’s great to see the best of both local and international talent gathering here each year, particularly during our City of Culture celebrations. I really hope that this will create a greater cultural legacy for the future, in a city that is coming down with talent. And of course by showcasing this talent to the world we not only establish our cultural identity, we contribute to the overall economic regeneration of the city.”

This year’s top line-up includes names such as David Lyttle with Jason Rebello, John Leighton, and Louis Stewart – all big hitters on the jazz circuit, and real favourites with local audiences thanks to the electrifying performances of previous festivals.

On the opening night of the weekend’s events, Thursday 2nd May, The Dark Energy Trio will take to the stage featuring double bass supremo Alan Niblock, who will be joined on stage by saxophonist Paul Dunmall and Mark Sanders.

David Lyttle is once again returning to perform at the Playhouse on Friday 3rd May, and this time the urban jazz maestro will be bringing with him iconic pianist Jason Rebello, known for his work with Wayne Shorter and his long association with Sting. Bassist Damien Evans will complete the trio who will be showcasing the hard-swinging contemporary jazz that has made Lyttle a household name in Irish Jazz for the past decade.

The Paul McIntyre Trio, featuring Myles Drennan, Dave Flemming and special guest Ritchie Buckley, will take to the Playhouse stage on the afternoon of Saturday 4th May, whilst up and coming jazz pianist John Leighton, who has been making quite a name for himself on the Irish jazz scene, will perform later that evening.

Completing the Playhouse’s outstanding jazz line up will be none other than our own local jazz icon Gay McIntyre, who will be special guest to Louis Stewart on the evening of Sunday 5th May. They will be joined by Paul McIntyre and Dave Flemming for what promises to be an incredible close to the festival.

For more information on these events and to purchase tickets, you can contact the Playhouse Box Office on (028) 7126 8027. And for information on the full jazz festival programme go to

Celtronic events planned for Jazz Festival

Meanwhile, Ireland’s leading electronic music festival, have two very special events planned for City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival.

On Friday 3rd May, Ben Klock, one of the most significant characters in techno’s recent history, will be the special guest at St Columbs Hall, Orchard Street. A resident at the world's best club, Berghain, since its opening in 2004, he has been able to leave his mark on the club’s unique sound, in turn the special space influenced Klock’s approach as a DJ and producer as well. Playing techno sets full of hypnotic, deep and heavy grooves, releasing records on Ostgut Ton and last but not least the aesthetics of his own label, have earned him an excellent international reputation over the last few years. Ben Klock’s name is synonymous with the vitalization of an essential definition of techno. Support from Audio Asylum DJs and Caolan Harkin. Doors: 9pm – late. Adm: £10/12.

The second event will take place on Sunday 5th May at The Glassworks, Great James Street. The event will feature the first Irish live performance from Ame, the DJ/Production duo of Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann. Bonding over a love of Chicago house and Detroit techno, the duo joined forces in 2003 to produce seminal deep house platters for Sonar Kollektiv. Intent on not repeating themselves, Ame splintered their established sound and found a more nimble, compositional approach that yielded their scene-conquering single, “Rej.” As part of Innervisions, the collective/label they run with Dixon, Ame continue to offer glimpses of the future of electronic music through their productions and remixes. Not given to following trends, they draw on the whole of dance music’s history in their work. Support from Reverb DJs and Deep Fried Funk DJs. Doors: 9pm – late. Adm: £8/10.

Tickets for all Celtronic events are on sale now at For more info check and

Places To Visit

The Playhouse, Londonderry/Derry

Award winning Community Art Centre featuring year round programming of local, national and international Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts and Education and Outreach. Admission charges will apply to performances held at the venue.

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