When: 13th – 22nd July 2018
Where: Across County Durham
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
County Durham’s loudest festival is back this month, with bands and musicians heading to the region for a ten-day celebration of all things brass.
Brass 2018 will take place from Friday 13th to Sunday 22nd July with a special focus on female performers, starting with Women and Brass on the festival’s opening night.
Led by 74-year-old drummer Crissy Lee – a member of the pioneering all-girl Ivy Benson Band popular during the Second World War – the concert will feature a big band of leading female jazz musicians, including Swedish internet sensation Gunhild Carling.
The 12th annual festival will boast a true international flavour, with Australian trumpeter James Morrison, New Orleans’ all-female jazz band Shake ‘Em Up and street bands from France, Serbia and Spain.
The ever popular streets of brass will return to Durham City, while parks across the county will host this year’s Big Brass Bash events, where revellers can enjoy a party atmosphere with the ever-popular street bands.
The festival will conclude with a large free concert in Wharton Park, where the Reg Vardy Band will be joined by a big choir to perform Carl Orff’s instantly recognisable Carmina Burana (better known as the X Factor judges’ music).
New events taking place this year will include a competition for brass musicians, to create a composition using a live looping phone app; and a new commission inspired by Quentin Blake’s BFG exhibition, which will be on display at the Bowes Museum.
A Street Ceilidh led by a Scottish street band promises to have people up on their feet and dancing, while the Scottish Swing Orchestra will join with a local chorus for swing versions of Hollywood musical tunes.
West End star Liza Pulman will also join with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, the UK’s number one championship band, in a unique collaboration celebrating the songs of Barbara Streisand.
Durham’s Brass festival sets out to change perceptions about brass music and develop new audiences through demonstrating the breadth and creativity of brass in music. The Festival has a strong focus on new commissions and collaborative work, and encompasses brass-inspired performances from a range of musical genres including jazz, blues, rock, pop, indie, traditional and classical.
More info: www.brassfestival.co.uk