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Abram Wilson becomes first Jazzlines Associate Artist

New Orleans-born trumpeter joins major new programme of wide-ranging performance and innovative education work from Town Hall & Symphony Hall

Jazzlines is an Arts Council funded programme produced by Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam

New programme highlights include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and Wayne Shorter Quartet UK exclusive

Over 200 Ladywood school children perform new piece by Abram Wilson

The New Orleans-born trumpeter, educator and composer, Abram Wilson has been announced as an Associate Artist of Jazzlines, Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s dynamic new strand of jazz concert programming and inspirational education work. Abram Wilson is one of today’s leading musicians on the UK and European jazz scenes receiving widespread critical acclaim as a solo artist, band leader and composer. In his first major project as Jazzlines Associate Artist, Abram Wilson has led over 200 local school children in a series of rehearsals where they have learnt a specially commissioned piece composed by him. This exciting project will culminate in a public performance at Symphony Hall on 28 May 2012 as part of the annual Ladywood Showcase.

The Jazzlines programme, which was launched in April, is produced by Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam, building on their hugely successful work as the creative forces behind Birmingham Jazz. It is supported by a three-year funding grant from Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme. Tony Dudley-Evans, Jazzlines Artistic Adviser said, “Birmingham’s jazz scene has a worldwide reputation, both for the variety of programmes and the quality of presentation and Jazzlines will continue this by nurturing young players, commissioning new work and running national tours. Our intention is also to present some more high profile jazz groups within both Town Hall and Symphony Hall.”

Jazzlines encompasses concert performances in a wide variety of venues across the city – from Town Hall and Symphony Hall, to the CBSO Centre, mac Birmingham, The Jam House and The Hare & Hounds – and features some of the best emerging talent to the greatest names in jazz music today. Forthcoming performances include Andy Sheppard’s Trio Libero (11 May) at CBSO Centre, top UK/Scandinavian piano trio Phronesis (15 May) at mac Birmingham and a full line-up at Symphony Hall’s popular, free, weekly Rush Hour Blues. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis give a Symphony Hall concert timed to celebrate the stay in Birmingham by the US Olympic track and field team and, perhaps most exciting of all, the Wayne Shorter Quartet is booked to appear at Town Hall on 1 November 2012 in an exclusive UK date, supported by the Abram Wilson Quartet as part of Abram’s new role as Jazzlines Associate Artist.

Central to Jazzlines is an innovative participation and learning programme, connecting young people to jazz music, for which Abram Wilson has been invited to become Associate Artist. He has already played a major role in developing a range of jazz education programmes with Town Hall & Symphony Hall over a number of years and will continue to work with the education team and perform regularly as part of the Jazzlines programme.

Abram Wilson said, “I am thrilled at the opportunity of becoming an Associate Artist of Town Hall and Symphony Hall, working in association with Jazzlines. It’s a relationship I believe has been nurtured over the years and our vision has always remained the same: to bring jazz music to as many young people as possible and to uplift the community through jazz music.”

Andrew Jowett, Director, Town Hall & Symphony Hall said, “We are delighted to become one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations from April and to set up this exciting new programme of concert and education work under the creative guidance of Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam. Learning and participation is integral to the programme, and we are delighted also to have the inspirational input of Abram Wilson to connect young people to jazz.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Jazzlines website www.thsh.co.uk/jazzlines. Blog www.jazzlines.co.uk

Abram Wilson. Multi-award winning New Orleans trumpeter, vocalist and composer, Abram Wilson is one of the leading jazz musicians in the UK today. His three albums released to date have won him a clutch of awards including those from the International Songwriting Competition and BBC Jazz Awards. Abram Wilson has managed to create a style of melodic compositions that swing and groove. A charismatic figure on stage and off, his musicality displays warmth, passion, virtuosity and soul.
“Truly astonishing” The Guardian
“Vibrant, confident and just damn exciting” The Independent
www.abramwilson.com

Ladywood Showcase (Symphony Hall, Monday 28 May) aims to offer Ladywood school children motivation and purpose in their musical education. Working with Abram Wilson, hundreds of children will come together on Symphony Hall’s stage to perform a newly commissioned work written by Abram specially for this annual concert, produced in partnership with Birmingham Music Service. Ladywood Showcase is sponsored by Service Birmingham and supported by the Eric W Vincent Trust Fund. Event details

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and almost 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving Education and Community programme.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).

Symphony Hall’s 21st Anniversary Festival runs from January-July 2012 www.thsh.co.uk/sh21

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Issued 2 May 2012