Top jazz festival blows into town

THE Omagh Jazz and Big Band Festival returns for its fifth consecutive year this weekend.
Live performances kick off  tonight (Friday), with Manu Marechaux and Bob Quick joining forces for ‘Cheese, Wine and Jazz’, a perennial favourite, at Omagh Library at 7.30pm, followed by the Ronnie Greer Organ Trio at Next Door @ Bogan’s at 10.30pm.
Ronnie Greer is one of the justifiable legends of the Northern Ireland music scene and one of its favourite performers, having shared the stage with international stars such as Dr John and Lowell Fulsom.
A superb blues and jazz guitarist, Ronnie never fails to wring the last drop of emotion.
On this occasion he is performing with his organ trio, featuring the renowned Scott Flanigan on organ and Peter McKinney on bass.
Earlier tomorrow evening, the Jack Rose at Main Street will host a Boneyard Records presentation of Funk ’n’ Soul, Rhythm ’n’ Blues at 6pm.
Meanwhile, Saturday afternoon is busy!
At noon, the Strule Arts Centre Café is once again the venue for one of its frequent jazz events with BBC Radio Ulster’s Linley Hamilton, a trumpet virtuoso who is steeped in jazz standards.
After his Big Band appearance last year, Linley is returning to Omagh in a quartet setting to demonstrate just how accomplished he is off the radio as well as on.
At 3pm, Boneyard Records store is host to the Ray Moore Trio, featuring Shay Turbett and Liam Moore, while that other fine jazz pianist Gerry Bradley makes a solo appearance at Serendipity coffee shop at 4pm.
Throughout the afternoon there are events in both Main Street and Omagh Library.
Saturday’s events are brought to a close with the ten-piece Palais Swing Band returning to the scene of last year’s triumphant appearance at Omagh Golf Club, starting at 9pm.
Then, on Sunday, Rue will host a laidback jazz brunch, starting at 11.30am, with the Gerarda McCann Quintet.
The weekend’s final event starts at 2.30pm in McCann’s Bar with the Blue Mamie, her band and guests.

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