• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

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International bands to ensure festival is top BRASS

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 14.42.34Brilliant bands from across the globe are set to ensure a sensational summer music festival is truly top BRASS.

Acts from across three continents are Durham bound this July as the county’s annual celebration of musical culture and traditions returns to celebrate its 10th anniversary. 

Early highlights of this year’s BRASS Festival programme include New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band, The Fairey Brass Band, the Durham Hymns, a “battle of the bands” between New York Brass Band and Oompah Brass, and a county-wide Party in the Park tour.

Cllr Neil Foster, the cabinet member for economic regeneration, arts and culture at Durham County Council, which runs the event, said: “Once again BRASS includes the very best of a broad range of brass music from around the world.

“Building on the success of previous years, we have an absolutely cracking line-up of international and local musicians.

“And once again BRASS will show off our stunning city and county, with performances everywhere from Gala Theatre and the Cathedral to street corners and the magnificent, newly refurbished Wharton Park.

“I hope people will come from near and far to join together in enjoying the BRASS buzz.”

This year’s festival includes free outdoor extravaganzas, brass-tastic collaborations and even its own fringe events programme – with all the latest updates available by signing up to the BRASS newsletter at www.brassfestival.co.uk. 

The council’s festivals and events manager, Kate James, said: “The festival is a celebration of the eclectic and often surprising breadth of brass music from around the world – and everyone is invited.


“From France to Portugal, Germany to India, and closer to home, BRASS brings together the very best brass bands for four jam-packed days of celebration.”

Among the main acts on the festival’s calendar, New Orleans based Hot 8 Brass Band will bring their “roof-raising, jazz-infused, funk and hip hop fuelled marching band music” to Durham’s Gala Theatre on Friday 15 July.

One of the great Louisiana brass acts, Hot 8 have faced an unimaginable series of trials, from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, to the separate deaths of five of their band members, and the horror of their trumpeter losing his legs in a car crash.  

They honour their fallen friends and help towards the future of their community by putting their energies into positive projects at home and touring as much as possible.  

The band have performed with a wide range of artists, from Lauryn Hill to Mos Def, and their incredible story was featured in Spike Lee’s two New Orleans documentaries When The Levee Broke and The Creek Don’t Rise. They played themselves in The Wire creator David Simon’s hit series Treme, and in 2013, were nominated for a Grammy award for their album The Life and Times Of…

As a warm-up for the festival, each evening from Tuesday 12 July, New York Brass Band and Oompah Brass will go head-to-head in week long party-in-the-park tour across County Durham, culminating in a grand finale at Wharton Park on Saturday 16 July.

There they will be joined by local pit-pop sensation Dennis, and the fabulous Hope and Social, who will be reprising their collaboration with New York Brass Band which wowed audiences in 2015.

BRASS Festival 2016 also sees the premiere of the Durham Hymns, at Durham Cathedral. 

 Featuring new writing from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and music from composers Orland Gough, Jessica Curry and Johnny Bates, the special World War One commemorative project will see over 100 performers from the Centenary Choir & Brass Band and Voice of Hope community choir perform on Saturday 16 July. 

The full programme for BRASS 2016 will be announced at the beginning of June.

By admin