PREVIEW: BRASS Festival
The big arts and music festivals keep coming (the North East does seem particularly well catered for in this regard) with this year’s BRASS: Durham International Festival.
As the programme proudly points out, this year there are a slightly bewildering 83 events, spread across 17 days and featuring 59 bands (and a whole host of other stuff as well). That’s a whole lot of brass and more than we can do justice to here, but we have scoured the line-up to pick out some of the highlights (a tricky job when the whole bill is so strong). It’s also worth noting that not only has the festival commissioned more new works this year, it’s also spread further out into the county with its Community Tour, with around a dozen brass bands taking in 36 far flung venues in just over a fortnight.
From the home of jazz, The Stooges Brass Band appear at the Gala Theatre in Durham (Friday 13th) blending a traditional New Orleans sounds with more urban flavours. We’ve mentioned Keep Your Hat On! before, an Arto Lindsay-fronted project in conjunction with !Vamos! that sees a floating procession down the River Wear featuring dancers, musicians and more (Saturday 7th 11am-1.30pm). At the heart of the festival, of course, is the Durham Miner’s Gala (Saturday 14th) and you can follow the colliery bands through the streets of Durham from 9am. Our final recommendation comes in the form of electro-acoustic artist and musician Scanner who presents Witness, a kind of musical ‘Chinese whispers’ where an original piece of work he first performed in June passes through a chain of musicians until a final performance a month later as part of Streets Of Brass (Saturday 21st). But there really is so much more. Find out more online.
- Gigging In Durham: Where To Go