Friday 19 Nov (8pm)

Swedish jazz musician extraordinaire, Nils Landgren, is joined by the BBC Big Band andconductor/arranger Jorg Achim Keller for a very special concert – and his only UK date –at Town Hall Birmingham on Friday 19 November. The man with a mission brings the bigband version of his Funk For Life project to Birmingham in support of Médecins SansFrontières (MSF) Sweden, with whom he has been working to bring inspiration andmeaning to refugees in the MSF camp of Kibera in Nairobi.

?If the general conditions are terrible – thousands and thousands of people having to flee their homes and leave everything behind in the search for refuge in the camps of MSF – there is one more aspect, and that is the total lack of something meaningful to do in the camps,? says Nils Landgren, ?I came to the conclusion that maybe music could make a difference.? Taking a film crew with him, and with the help and support of several international companies, Landgren and his Funk Unit band members travelled to Nairobi and the urban slum Kibera, where almost 1 million people live in an area of 2.8 square kilometres. There they performed concerts, gave gifts of instruments to the children and put the finishing touches to their album Funk For Life (released in January 2010), in support of the project. Birmingham is the only UK date on the extensive associated world tour, which takes in the USA and Canada, China and Korea as well as Europe.

Switching easily between jazz and rock, soul and hip hop, and big band styles, the singer trombonist has, by his own reckoning, been involved in over 500 albums including those of such international stars as Herbie Hancock and Abba. His own previous albums have included Funky ABBA, Licence to Funk and Fonk da World.

?Funk for Life is a true Funk Unit album,? says Landgren, ?with hard hitting riffs, drummers laying down great grooves, spitting horns and chanting vocals. All the ingredients that have made Funk Unit a name in the world of music, only this time it?s with a cause: to help young people find a way out of their misery. Music knows no boundaries and has no borders. Music is universal.?

Funk for Life: Nils Landgren meets the BBC Big Band is at Town Hall Birmingham on Friday 19 November. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or

Note to Editors

1 Euro from every Funk for Life CD sold will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières Sweden to support the Kibera project

Friday 19 November, 8pm, Town Hall
Nils Landgren (trombone/vocals)
BBC Big Band
Jorg Keller (conductor)
Tickets: £12.50-£19.50 (+ transaction fee, see below)

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

Link to concert page:

External weblinks:
Funk For Life (video clips, images from Kibera, further information):
BBC Radio 2 Big Band Special website

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 a thriving Education & 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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*(£2 fee per transaction on all bookings except those made in person at the box office)
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Fiona Fraser/Lyle Bignon
Press & PR Manager/Assistant Press & PR Manager
T 0121 644 5008/0121 644 6028 (Direct)

Issued 11 October 2010