Durham’s Annual Brass Music Festival

Returning for its 11th year, Durham’s popular Brass Festival celebrates the best of brass across 10 days in one of the North East’s most stunning cities, Friday 7 - Sunday 16 July 2017. Organised by Durham County Council, this year’s festival is the first under the leadership of new Artistic Director Paul Gudgin and will showcase the broadest possible range of brass music, from 17th Century Venice to the best in traditional brass. The festival will also brass up some Northern Soul, bring the cutting edge music of the Family Band to Durham and screen the first ever play along screening of Brassed Off. 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. Covering classic songs from the likes of The Specials, Billy Ocean, Frankie Valli, Edwin Starr and Stevie Wonder; Keep the Faith creates its own authentic arrangements of these original songs and provides a live experience that is second to none. Joined by local BRASS favourites NASUWT Riverside Band for some special brassed up arrangements, this gig brings together two of the North East’s great musical traditions; get set to dance! 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. In Cutting Edge Brass the 1960’s avant-garde and free jazz inspired Family Band brings its powerful and dynamic music combining jazz, brass and blues into simple, repeated riffs which allows them the freedom to feel rather than think. Tickets are already on sale for a number of events, including Brass on Broadway which sees stars of the West End Matt Corner (Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys) and Kate Graham (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Billy Elliot) who hail from the North East, perform swing versions of songs from Broadway. Other highlights include Venetian Surround Sound, where the audience will experience early surround sound in Durham Cathedral with the Cathedral Choir and His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, while the 100th anniversary of Dizzy Gillespie will also be celebrated with American jazz trombonist Jiggs Whigham and the BBC Big Band. The ever popular Streets of Brass returns, bringing international brass favourites such as Mr Wilson’s Second Liners to the streets of Durham while brass and voices join together for a newly arranged version of William Walton’s thrilling Belshazzar’s Feast. For more information and tickets visit: www.brassfestival.co.uk