A host of award-winning artists lined up for Durham’s Brass Festival when it returns this summer.
They include a two-time MOBO Award winner, Mercury Music Prize and Brit Award nominee, a band fronted by the current British Poet Laureate and arguably the most famous brass band in the world.
Tickets for a range of exciting performances at Durham’s BRASS festival, which runs from Sunday July 10 to Sunday July 17, will go on sale Friday March 18 at 10 a.m. with Richard Hawley, YolanDa Brown, LYR and The Black Dyke Band among the composition.
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The festival, which is one of the summer highlights of Durham County Council’s annual events programme, will also feature a host of community workshops, free concerts in communities, schools and care homes across the county, as well as a full schedule of lively street bands.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival has been postponed to 2021 but is set to return bigger and better than ever this year, with some of the UK’s top artists booked to perform at iconic venues.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet Member for the Economy and Partnerships, said: ‘BRASS is a key part of our festival and events program so we were massively disappointed that we had to postpone it last year . We look forward to welcoming fantastically talented performers and enthusiastic audiences back to the highly anticipated event this summer.
“Our festival lineup has it all, celebrating brass music in its many forms, from traditional big band music to inspiring artists who take brass in a new direction.
“In addition to boosting the economy and increasing the county’s reputation as a cultural destination, BRASS aims to bring communities together to create unforgettable experiences for people of all ages.
“It’s a perfect example of the diverse artistic offering and commitment to cultural regeneration that makes County Durham such a strong contender to be the UK’s City of Culture 2025.”
Prestigious performers and unique interpretations Durham Cathedral On Friday July 15, in the first of two performances at the iconic Durham Cathedral, LYR and The Easington Colliery Band will present Firm As A Rock We Stand: A Commemoration and Celebration of County Durham’s’ Category D’ Villages.
The group, made up of author and current British poet laureate Simon Armitage, musician Richard Walters and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Pearson, will perform for the first time live and in full this incredible EP specially commissioned by the BRASS Festival in partnership with the Durham Miners’ Association and the Redhills charity.
Redhills Managing Director Nick Malyan said: “We are delighted that the culture and heritage of Durham’s mining communities, in all their depth and richness, is at the heart of this year’s Brass Festival.
“An important chapter in our history will be told in the words of the poet laureate, accompanied by the music of a brass band in the setting of Durham Cathedral. It will certainly be a powerful experience that will raise awareness of the history of the D category.”
In a unique and memorable concert, Richard Hawley will play a main title on Saturday evening on Saturday July 16.
Hawley, who found success as a member of British band The Longpigs and later as guitarist for Pulp, earned a Mercury Music Prize nomination for his breakthrough solo album Cole’s Corner.
He went on to record seven more critically acclaimed albums and worked with Arctic Monkeys, Texas, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow and Paul Weller.
He said: “I’m really excited; I think this will be one of the most memorable gigs I’ve ever played.
Hawley will be backed by one of County Durham’s most popular bands, the NASUWT Riverside Brass Band. The group, which was founded in 1877, rehearses at Pelton Fell, Chester-le-Street, and is a veteran of gigs and competitions.
Gala Durham Gala Durham will throw an evening to remember on Thursday July 14, when Ibibio Sound Machine will present its unique sonic clash of West African funk, disco and electro, and the wonderful voice of Nigerian singer Eno Williams.
On Friday, July 15, the mighty tweed-clad Old Dirty Brasstards will wow audiences with a contemporary brass makeover of uplifting party jams, indie favorites and rock and roll classics. The 10 eccentric musicians will present their unique interpretations at the Durham Gala.
Family favorite and two-time MOBO Award winner YolanDa Brown is giving fans of all ages two special performances at the Durham Gala on Saturday July 16.
Little music lovers and their adults can enjoy all the fun of YolanDa’s Band Jam, in a live version of the saxophonist’s famous CBeebies TV show.
In her second show of the day, YolanDa and her band will deliver a delicious fusion of reggae, jazz and soul.
Often hailed as the world’s most famous brass band, the multi-award winning Black Dyke Band will perform for the very first time at the Durham BRASS Festival on Sunday July 17 at the Durham Gala.
North East Talent A range of local talent will also be showcased at the festival, starting with the duo from Sunderland Field Music on Sunday July 10 at the Durham Gala.
Brothers Peter and David Brewis have earned a reputation for an ambitious and intellectual approach to music-making, with eight full-length albums, Mercury Award nominations, and numerous commissions and side projects to their credit.
Their show, Binding Time – Songs & Stories from the Durham Coalfields, was commissioned by BRASS as part of a new partnership with the Durham Miners’ Association and Redhills Charity, funded by Arts Council England.
Fellow Mackem, Ben Lunn, will reflect on his North East heritage, the impact of disability on the world around him and his working class upbringing when he appears at Ushaw College on Wednesday July 13.
A conductor, musicologist, teacher and composer, Ben is one of three exciting artists chosen to create works for the festival’s Bold as BRASS, an inclusive and accessible program that champions the talent of artists with disabilities, inspired by the music of brass.
Also back and coinciding with the BRASS festival is the ever-popular Durham City Run on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th July. The festival will see hundreds of competitors racing through the city center accompanied by live music from BRASS street bands.
For tickets and more information visit www.brassfestival.co.uk Notes to editors: The attached images show Richard Hawley, YolanDa Brown and The Black Dyke Band.
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