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GREAT JAZZ RE-LIVED AT TOWN HALL & SYMPHONY HALL

Issued: 4 February 2009

TWOEVENINGS OF NOSTALGIAWITHTHEBBCBIGBAND – Fri 20 February & Fri 3 April, Town Hall
TWOTRADJAZZLEGENDSACKERBILK & CHRISBARBER – Thu 26 March, Symphony Hall
JAZZCAMERAEXHIBITION BY JOHNWATSON – 3-31 March, Symphony Hall

Some superb evenings of jazz nostalgia and legendary artists are in store at Town Hall and Symphony Hall this spring.

BBC Big Band
The BBC Big Band relives two great eras of jazz this spring as part of its second season as a Town Hall Associate Artist.

On Friday 20 February at Town Hall, the BBC Big Band recalls the golden age of radio when big bands and dance bands ruled the airwaves. In Radio Days, Britain?s finest Big Band recreates the era of the ?30s and ?40s with the music of Ted Heath, Ambrose, Henry Hall, BBC Northern Dance Orchestra and more. BBC Radio 2?s Big Band Special’s, Clare Teal, presents and lends her fine vocal talents. The band performed Radio Days to great effect last year when it was invited to open the restored Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecombe, the occasion being the subject of BBC 2?s The Culture Show.

Nostalgia of a different kind comes with A Tribute to Frank & Ella on Friday 3 April at Town Hall when the BBC Big Band is joined by acclaimed vocalists Anita Wardell and Todd Gordon to relive some of the great songs immortalised by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Some listeners may even recall Ella Fitzgerald?s own concert at Town Hall Birmingham in 1955 with Oscar Peterson. A host of swing classics includes Pennies from Heaven, Something?s Gotta Give and Come Fly With Me.

Both concerts are at Town Hall Birmingham and tickets, priced from £12.50, are available from the Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or www.thsh.co.uk.

Two Trad Jazz Legends Together
Trad Jazz Legends – Mr Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band and Chris Barber Big Band – come together at Symphony Hall on Thursday 26 March. Chris Barber celebrates his sixtieth year as a bandleader this season having notched up over 10,000 concerts, while Acker Bilk gained worldwide fame with his international hit singles Strangers on the Shore in 1962 and Aria in 1976. They have been popular and regular visitors to Birmingham ever since.

Tickets priced from £19.50 are available from the Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or www.thsh.co.uk

Jazz Camera – exhibition of photographs
For forty years, John Watson has been covering the West Midlands music scene as a writer and photographer. Jazz Camera is a special exhibition of his photographic portraits of jazz legends including pianist Oscar Peterson, singer Dame Cleo Laine, trumpeter Chet Baker and composer-arranger Gil Evans. Also included are images of younger players and rising stars such as pianist Zoe Rahman and Birmingham saxophonist Soweto Kinch. Most of the images were shot by John Watson at Town Hall, Symphony Hall and other Birmingham and Midlands venues.

The exhibition runs from 3-31 March on Symphony Hall?s Level 4 foyer and is open from 10am-6pm each day and during evening performances. Admission is free.

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Note to Editors
BBC Big Band?s Town Hall concerts are recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 2?s Big Band Special.
BBC Big Band is a Town Hall Associate Artist. All concerts are at Town Hall, Birmingham

Links to event pages:
http://www.thsh.co.uk/view/bbc-big-band—-radio-days-with-clare-teal (this link also includes a related file called Radio Days, written by Sheila Tracy)
http://www.thsh.co.uk/view/bbc-big-band—frank—-ella—-a-tribute
http://www.thsh.co.uk/view/two-trad-jazz-legends-together
http://www.thsh.co.uk/view/jazz-camera-exhibition

External weblinks:
BBC Radio 2 Big Band Special website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/bigband
John Watson?s Jazz Camera website: www.jazzcamera.co.uk

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. 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 a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.

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).