10 events not to miss at this year’s Brass Festival

A previous Brass Festival
A previous Brass Festival

Durham’s Brass Festival returns with a bang this weekend - and to celebrate we’ve rounded up ten of the top events.

For ten days the city will be taken over by a host of sounds, from traditional brass to Northern Soul and the BBC Big Band’s tribute to jazz trumpet legend, Dizzy Gillespie.

Highlights include:

•BRASS on Broadway, Gala Theatre, Sunday July 9 at 7pm

North East stars of the West End Matt Corner (Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys) and Kate Graham (Billy Elliot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Mamma Mia) join the Scottish Swing Orchestra, the self-proclaimed danciest swing band in the land, and the BRASS Broadway Chorus to showcase swing versions of great Broadway songs from Anything Goes, Hairspray, Chicago, West Side Story and many more.

•Cutting Edge BRASS: The Family Band, TESTT Space, North Road, Tuesday July 11 at 7.30pm

In Cutting Edge Brass the 1960’s avant-garde and free jazz inspired Family Band brings its music combining jazz, brass and blues into simple, repeated riffs to the stage.

•Dizzy & Co – Dizzy Gillespie and the great big band leaders, Gala Theatre, Thursday, July 13 at 7.30pm

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Dizzy Gillespie. The legendary BBC Band will pay homage to his contribution to jazz, alongside that of the other great brass playing bandleaders, from Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey to Maynard Fergusson and Quincy Jones.

•Big BRASS Jam, TESTT Space, Friday July 14 & Saturday July 15 at 8pm

Join members of the formidable rhythm section of the BBC Big Band for two brass inspired evenings of great jazz. Experienced brass players are welcome to book a performing slot by email brassfestival@durham.gov.uk

•Venetian Surround Sound, Durham Cathedral, Friday July 14 at 7.30pm

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. Experience early surround sound in a programme of Gabrielli, Lassus and Praetorius evoking the magical sounds of St Mark’s Venice in the 17th Century.

•Northern Soul BRASSed-up, Gala Theatre, Friday July 14 at 7pm - DJ set and 7.30pm - live show

Popular Yorkshire-based band Keep the Faith joins forces with North of England Champion Band NASUWT Riverside Band to celebrate Northern Soul – the movement that emerged in the North in the late 1960s from the British mod scene and which continues to sweep dancefloors across the UK to this day.

•Brassed Off – Play Along, Gala Theatre, Saturday July 15 at 3pm

For those who enjoyed the award-winning iconic British film Brassed Off there’s an opportunity to see and hear it as never before. In this special screening of the film, brass players can bring their own instruments to the theatre to rehearse and play along with the BAFTA nominated music in the company of professional brass players and characters Andy Barrow (Ewan McGregor) and Gloria Mullens (Tara Fitzgerald) on screen.

•Belshazzar’s Feast, Durham Cathedral, Saturday July 15 at 7.30pm

Two great North East traditions, Brass Bands and Choral Society, come together on Saturday 15 July in a newly arranged performance of William Walton’s t Belshazzar’s Feast. The concert will feature the award-winning Reg Vardy Band and a special Festival Chorus, drawn from leading local choirs, in a unique celebration of brass and voices.

•Streets of BRASS, Durham City Centre, Saturday, July 15- July 16 at 11am - 5pm

A perennial favourite, with international street bands transforming Durham’s World Heritage centre into the ‘Home of Street BRASS’ for two days of fun. The line up includes Oompah Brass, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners and newcomers Back Chat Brass.

•Champion Brass – The Cory Band supported by the Banks Group, Gala Theatre, Sunday July 16 at 3pm.

The Cory Band continue to dominate the world of traditional brass. They have become the first band in history to win the European, British National, British Open and Brass in Concert titles in a single year. They will be presenting the very best in traditional brass band music and playing some of the repertoire that took them to the ‘Grand Slam’ of contest titles.

For all ticket details visit http://www.brassfestival.co.uk/