26 May 2022

Ollendorff excited for Derry Jazz Festival debut

Ollendorff excited for Derry Jazz Festival debut

Tom Ollendorff: "A festival like this which celebrates Jazz is incredible."

Jazz guitarist Tom Ollendorff has enjoyed many amazing experiences travelling to different countries and performing alongside renowned musicians.

However, he is especially looking forward to soaking up the unique and special atmosphere of the 2022 City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival as he gets ready to play the event for the first time.

Based in London, Tom was awarded the Yamaha Scholarship for Outstanding Jazz Musicianship in 2015 and ever since he has been fast building a reputation as an outstanding improviser and imaginative composer. Tom is also a visiting tutor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

His first album, “A Song For You”, which was released last year, is an elegantly accomplished mix of gracefully grooving songlike themes, warmly conversational improvising, baroque-like unaccompanied etudes, and headlong fast-bop swing.

As part of the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, the Tom Ollendorff Trio will take to the stage at the Playhouse Theatre on Sunday, May 1, with the trio completed by Conor Chaplin on bass and Marc Michel on drums.

Having gained high praise from the likes of the Guardian and the BBC, and with Tom even being described as 'one of the world's finest guitarists' by one critic, this is a show not to be missed for Jazz lovers.

After releasing that first record last May and as the easing of COVID-19 restrictions have slowly allowed the return of more gigs and travel, Tom has been back doing what he loves best – and he can't wait to make his Jazz Festival debut next weekend.

He said: “I really can't wait. It's a fantastic opportunity and really this is what it's all about and why we love being musicians.

“Ever since releasing my first record last year I've had the chance to play some amazing places and I'm really looking forward to being part of this festival.

“I've seen some images of the Playhouse Theatre as well and it's such a beautiful venue which just makes it even more exciting.”

Tom also explained how much he is looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere of NI's biggest and best Jazz Festival.

He added: “A festival like this which celebrates Jazz is incredible and, although we will be making a flying visit for one day only, I'm excited about seeing some of the other acts and events that are happening and seeing the buzz on the streets.

“I know some of the other musicians who are taking part and there's such a talented line-up with so much on offer.

“After the last few years, it's great to be reminded of how many people love this music and want to learn more about it. This is what I've dedicated my life to so it's great to be part of something that celebrates that.

“Previously I have toured as a sideman quite a lot but to do it myself is something that I am really enjoying so much.

“I've been fortunate since putting out my first record to have had such a brilliant reaction and to have had opportunities to bring it to different locations and venues and I can't wait for the chance to play it for the audience at the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival.”

The Tom Ollendorff Trio will perform at the Playhouse Theatre on Sunday, May 1, at 8pm. Tickets are priced at £8 and are available from:

The 2022 City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival will take place from Thursday, April 28 to Monday, May 2. To view the full programme, visit: or download the What's On Derry Strabane app.

For more information on the Tom Ollendorff Trio, visit:

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