Futurist folk group The Imagined Village, Judeo-Spanish songstress Yasmin Levy, leading UK jazz star Courtney Pine OBE and legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela performing with the CBSO are amongst the highlights at Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham in winter and spring 2010 – underlining the halls? firm commitment to present a wide ranging and accessible programme, showcasing the very best in jazz, folk and world music.

This eclectic and varied season gets underway on 21 January at Town Hall with futurist folk group The Imagined Village and their collective multi-cultural take on English identity and music, followed by perennial US folk legend Tom Paxton on 25 January at Town Hall, still performing both starkly beautiful and light-hearted music well into a sixth decade.

Town Hall welcomes the Jan Garbarek Group on 29 January; Rainer Bruninghaus on keyboards, Yuri Daniel on bass and special guest and Indian master percussionist Trilok Gurtu join the defining voice of European jazz, Jan Garbarek, in this Birmingham concert, his first for six years.

Transatlantic Sessions, the stage centrepiece of the Celtic Connections festival and acclaimed BBC4 TV series, offer an incredible line-up of eighteen singers and musicians, including Eddi Reader, Cara Dillon, Tim O?Brien and Danny Thompson, for a memorable evening of Irish, Scottish and Americana inspired music at Symphony Hall on Friday 5 February.

Grammy award winning folk singer and social activist Judy Collins, who catapulted to success with 1967 album Wildflowers will perform classic songs drawn from over 40 years in music on 7 February at Town Hall, while future world music superstar Judeo-Spanish songstress Yasmin Levy visits the venue on 10 February with her Sentir tour. A captivating vocalist, Levy sings in the moving romantic tradition of Ladino, a 15th century language of Sephardic culture blended with Andalusian flamenco.

Town Hall Associate Artists the BBC Big Band led by conductor Jiggs Whigham and featuring guest vocalist Ian Shaw will evoke the era of easy listening with a show dedicated to the timeless songs of Burt Bacharach and Henry Mancini on Friday 12 February at the Grade I listed concert hall, while Fleet Foxes label-mates and Texan lo-fi explorers Midlake perform material from trad-folk inspired third album The Courage of Others at Town Hall on 16 February.

Town Hall will resound to the work of minimalist US composer Steve Reich on Saturday 20 February as acclaimed percussionist Colin Currie leads seven musicians performing the dramatic Ghanaian-influenced Drumming, a tapestry of pounding bongo drums, marimba, glockenspiels and female vocals closing the Town Hall Drumming Day, which also includes an earlier family concert and a pre-concert talk.

A UK tour by US country and pop singer songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman takes in a performance at Town Hall on 27 February, bringing the sound of Texas and Nashville direct to Birmingham, and following on 3 March, leading UK jazz star Courtney Pine returns to Town Hall on 3 March to perform Transition in Tradition, his critically acclaimed and widely influenced homage to the first great saxophone star Sidney Bechet, accompanied by pianist Zoe Rahman and electric violinist Omar Puente amongst others.

Fairport Convention, proud recipients of BBC Radio 2?s ?Most Influential Folk Album of All Time? as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award, visit Town Hall on 6 March for the third time since the concert venue reopened in 2007.

Celebrating the music of one of the world?s most influential musicians, Duke Ellington, at Town Hall on 12 March, the BBC Big Band, led by the irrepressible Jiggs Whigham are joined by Birmingham star vocalist Jaki Graham for Cotton Club ?Duke? classics as well as reprisals of The Nutcracker and Peer Gynt suites.

Worldwide musical heroes The Dubliners will perform at Town Hall on 17 March for an emotional and moving St Patrick?s Day concert. Soon to enter their 5th decade on the road, the Irish folk group – who boasted Jimi Hendrix and Roy Orbison amongst their high profile fans – return for their first show at Town Hall since the 1990s.

An all-star line-up of British folkers will appear in Feast of Fiddles at Town Hall on 5 April as part of their 17th spring tour counting Phil Beer, Garry Blakeley, Ian Cutler, Tom Leary, Chris Leslie, Peter Knight and Brian McNeill amongst their numbers for an evening of solo performances, stirring ensembles and musical entertainment.

The Mother India weekend, a journey through the musical heritage of Mother India in the company of a range of Indian musical masters, will take place at both Town Hall and Symphony Hall from 9 to 11 April. The weekend will feature a rare UK recital from santoor maestro and living legend Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, a collaboration between sarod players Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash and cellist Matthew Barley as well as a re-visioning of cinematic classic Mother India by British-Asian artist DJ Tigerstyle and a handful of freestage events including the launch of Asian chill series Mid-day Mantra, a new free monthly Saturday lunchtime series.

At Symphony Hall on 19 April, singer-songwriter Melody Gardot will perform her inimitable smoky voiced jazz and blues, following the critically acclaimed 2009 release of My One and Only Thrill, the follow-up to 2008 debut album Worrisome Heart, which was completed after recovery from a near fatal accident and led to comparisons with contemporaries such as Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux.

The BBC Big Band complete their third performance of the winter and spring programme with the A Tribute to Louis and Ella, featuring Australian trumpet virtuoso James Morrison and BBC Jazz Award winning vocalist Anita Wardell performing classic tracks by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald at Town Hall on 23 April.

Legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela will appear at Symphony Hall on 7 May for a unique collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Town Hall Gospel Choir and City of Birmingham Young Voices for whom he has written a new work, as well as performing Jason Yarde?s Trumpet Concerto.

Further jazz, folk and world music highlights at Town Hall and Symphony Hall in 2010 include the third annual English Originals – a weekend celebrating the diversity of English music from traditional folk to contemporary singer-songwriters – at both venues from 14-16 May. There?s soulful and gospel-infused folk-blues from Eric Bibb at Town Hall on 27 May followed by Ukulelescope on Saturday 5 June, a collaborative project between the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and the British Film Institute and part of the Town Hall ?Vintage Silents? weekend celebrating music and movies from the silver screen era.


The Imagined Village
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Thursday 21 January

Tom Paxton
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Monday 25 January

Jan Garbarek Group
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Friday 29 January
£18.50 / £22.50 / £25.00

Transatlantic Sessions
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Friday 5 February

Judy Collins plus support from Kenny White
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Sunday 7 February

Yasmin Levy – Sentir Tour
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Wednesday 10 February

BBC Big Band: What The World Needs Now?
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Friday 12 February
£12.50 / £16.50 / £19.50

Midlake, plus support Sarah Jaffe
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Tuesday 16 February

Steve Reich?s Drumming
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Saturday 20 February
£5.00 / £6.50 / £10.00 / £14.50 / £17.50

Beth Nielsen Chapman, with support from Marcus Hummon
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Saturday 27 February

Courtney Pine: Transition in Tradition, with support from Omar Puente
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Wednesday 3 March

Fairport Convention
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Saturday 6 March

BBC Big Band: Duke Ellington?s Sounds of Harlem
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Friday 12 March
£12.50 / £16.50 / £19.50

The Dubliners
Town Hall, Birmingham
8.00pm, Wednesday 17 March

Feast of Fiddles
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Monday 5 April

MOTHERINDIA: Arun Ghosh Sextet
Symphony Hall Level 3 Bar
5.30pm – 7.00pm, Friday 9 April

Mid-day Mantra
Symphony Hall Level 3 Bar
1.00pm – 2.30pm, Saturday 10 April

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

MOTHERINDIA: Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Master of Santoor
Town Hall, Birmingham
7pm, Friday 9 April
£12.50 / £16.00 / £22.00

MOTHERINDIA: Amman & Ayaan Ali Bangash with Matthew Barley
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Saturday 10 April

MOTHERINDIA: 21st Century Remix
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Sunday 11 April

Melody Gardot
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Monday 19 April

BBC Big Band: A tribute to Louis & Ella
Town Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Friday 23 April
£12.50 / £16.50 / £19.50

Maskela and the CBSO
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
7.30pm, Friday 7 May
£5.00 / £12.50 / £18.50 / £23.50 / £27.50 / £33.50 / £37.50

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 and community department reaches a further 10,000 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).


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Fiona Fraser
Press & PR Manager
T 0121 644 5008 (Direct)

Lyle Bignon
Assistant Press & PR Manager
T 0121 644 6028 (Direct)

Issue date: Monday 4 January 2010