DETAILS have been unveiled for the return of Durham’s popular Brass Festival – celebrating everything from soul to jazz music and traditional and classical.
Organised by Durham County Council, the festival runs from Friday July 7 to Sunday July 16 and also hosts the BBC Big Band’s tribute to jazz trumpet legend, Dizzy Gillespie.
North-East stars of the West End Matt Corner (Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys) and Kate Graham (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Billy Elliot) join the Scottish Swing Orchestra and the Brass Broadway Chorus.
Venetian Surround Sound brings together Durham Cathedral Choir with early music virtuosos His Majesty’s Sagbutts & Cornetts to perform a tailor-made concert programme designed to the acoustics and layout of Durham Cathedral.
A programme of Gabrielli, Lassus and Praetorius will evoke the magical sounds of St Mark’s Venice in the 17th Century.
Brass celebrates the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Dizzy Gillespie. The legendary BBC Big Band pays homage to his contribution to jazz, alongside that of other great brass players and band leaders from Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey to Maynard Fergusson and Quincy Jones.
Two great North-East traditions, brass Bands and Choral Societies come together on Saturday 15 July in a spectacular new version of William Walton’s thrilling Belshazzar’s Feast. The concert will feature the Reg Vardy Band and a special Festival Chorus in a unique celebration of brass and voices.
The Cory Band continues to dominate the world of traditional brass having become the first band in history to win the European, British National, British Open and Brass in Concert titles in a single year. They bring the best traditional brass band music which took them all the way to the top of the contest tree.
There will be performances in schools throughout the festival week, with instruments put directly into the hands of students through the Big Brass Bus tour.
The first ever Big Band Summer School for young intermedicate and advanced players will be held from Friday July 14 to Sunday July 16. It will be led by American jazz trombonist Jiggs Whigham and members of the BBC Big Band.
Durham’s Brass festival director Paul Gudgin said, “We’re delighted to announce the return of Brass for 2017.
“The festival has become known not only for offering great music and incredible entertainment, but also as a commissioner of new and exciting works and this year is no exception.
“We’re incredibly excited by this year’s new works and the return of some old friends, all of which continue the tradition of brass music in County Durham, but ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy.”
Steve Howell, head of culture and sport, said: “Unbelievably we are into our eleventh year of Brass in Durham, always bringing the very best of a broad range of brass music from around the world to our wonderful city.
“Once again this year we have an absolutely outstanding line-up of international and local musicians.
"And once again Brass will show off our stunning County, with performances everywhere from Gala Theatre and Durham Cathedral in Durham City to a variety of local parks around the county.”
Brass Festival are now on sale for a selection of events, available at www.brassfestival.co.uk