Strictly Press release: Durham Brass Festival 2005 presents: Double delight for top North East brass ensemble Saturday 18 June is a momentous day for Durham Brass Initiative’s ensemble super-group Northern Brass. A concert at Elvet Methodist Church in Durham with acclaimed Norwegian international jazz singer Karin Krog as part of Durham Brass Festival’s Celebrations and Surprises series has dual relevance, because the evening also marks the launch of their fabulous new double CD entitled “Mixing It” and “Kicking The Traces”. Celebrations and Surprises is supported by Durham City Council and it is a part of the 2005 Alive Festival of Music – a year long celebration of music across the North East. The programme introduces visiting musicians from outside the UK to work in Durham City. Celebrations and Surprises highlights the work of musicians and composers from different cultures aiming to bring new audiences, new experiences and new creative collaborations to the Durham Brass Festival. The three exciting concerts to form the diverse selection of music will be performed by: Karin Krog and Northern Brass (18 June), The Abram Wilson Sextet (6 July) and Omara Portuondo – the Cuban diva of Buena Vista Social Club-fame, she will perform with her 13-piece orchestra as part of her Flor D’Amor tour (14 July). For the first in the series of three concerts, the Durham Brass Festival has commissioned new arrangements by John Warren, Jazz supremo John Surman (UK) and pianist Vigliek Storass (Norway) – written especially for the voice of Karin Krog and to work with the amazing depth of Northern Brass. Northern Brass is the unique hybrid of top class brass band players and acclaimed contemporary jazz musicians created by Durham Brass Festival back in 2001. Since its inception, Northern Brass has developed its own distinctive style and repertoire under the direction of Canadian composer John Warren. Northern Brass is an exciting combination of a jazz quintet and a choir of brass band instruments. The music the ensemble plays is an attempt to combine the distinct sound and style of both jazz and brass; to create something new and interesting without compromising either's integrity. “The music I have written for the group has expanded stylistically through the use of musical elements from different cultures,” said composer John Warren. John explains that the audience on Saturday evening will experience an exhilarating blend of great jazz singing, swinging improvisations in a setting of colourful orchestrations. The Arts in the North East have longstanding ties with Scandinavia. Durham City Arts wanted a creative collaboration with Norway to provide an international feel for the festival. Karin Krog is one of Norway's foremost artists and the mixture of her superb ranging voice blended with the rich varied music of Northern Brass will make for an amazing musical experience. Karin Krog talks of her thoughts and expectations about Saturday night’s concert. She says: “Although we have a well-established tradition of military and marching bands in Norway we do not have the special history of brass band music that you have in the UK, so I’m looking forward to experiencing and being part of that very special sound.” She continued: “It is a great honour to be invited to the Durham Brass Festival – all good music deserves to be celebrated and enjoyed in the best possible way. I have heard many great things about the warmth and hospitality of the people of Durham and I’m sure the festival will be a great success.” Northern Brass: “Mixing It” and “Kicking The Traces”. Saturday night’s performance will be an especially proud moment for Adrian Tilbrook of Eaglescliffe-based Jazzaction, as his label produced the new Northern Brass double CD - “Mixing It” and “Kicking The Traces”, and he also plays drums for the ensemble. Adrian said: “Jazzaction is delighted to be releasing the ‘Northern Brass’ double CD on its regional record label. It is our most ambitious recording project to date.” The first suite concentrates on establishing the sound of the group by combining jazz and brass band idioms. "Kicking the Traces" introduces Salsa, Eastern European and free improvisation. The saxophonist Tim Garland wrote a programmatic piece that uses pre-recorded voices recounting Native Peoples legends interwoven with the ensemble. People can expect superb jazz improvisation from all members of the quintet, particularly from Steve Waterman and Mark Nightingale. Combined with distinctive original compositions orchestrated for a unique ensemble sound with superb brass playing. Adrian comments about Durham Brass Initiative, the arts consortium whose collaboration makes the Northern Brass project possible. He says: “The Durham Brass Initiative is very important to the region as not only does it bring together the very best of traditional and contemporary brass ensembles to perform new and challenging music, it also has the vision to let experimentation take place within different musical genres.” Celebrations and Surprises Event Details: KARIN KROG with NORTHERN BRASS at Elvet Methodist Church, New Elvet (Durham): Karin Krog is Norway's leading jazz singer, a unique vocalist with a beautiful, distinctive voice and an international reputation. Krog plays with the festival’s own creative ensemble, Northern Brass: seven of the region’s top brass band instrumentalists plus two internationally acclaimed jazz musicians, Mark Nightingale on trombone and Steve Waterman on trumpet & flugelhorn. The concert commences at 19:30 and tickets are priced £7 - full / concessions - £5 / students - £3, tickets details are available by contacting (0191) 332 4041. For further information about Durham Brass Festival 2005 please visit www.brassfestival.co.uk or call (0191) 301 8245. To find out more about the new Northern Brass double CD please contact Jazzaction on (01642) 805016 or visit www.jazzaction.co.uk. ENDS Media Contact: Garry Smith Strictly Press 0191 2892809 Notes to Editor: 1). Durham City Arts is the lead member of Durham Brass Initiative - the consortium comprises of: Durham City Arts, Jazzaction, County Durham Cultural Services, Northern Regional Brass Band Trust, Durham City Council, Durham University Music School, Derwentside District Council, District of Easington Council, Chester le Street District Council and Sedgefield Borough Council.