Rising Birmingham music star set for European concert hall tour

A Birmingham jazz musician and composer has been chosen by Town Hall & Symphony Hall to represent the city in a prestigious European music series.

Saxophonist and flautist Mike Fletcher will have the opportunity to perform to new audiences in the major concert halls of Europe from April 2014 as part of the ECHO Rising Stars initiative co-ordinated by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO).

The Birmingham Conservatoire graduate has already performed in clubs and at festivals across the UK and Europe, has toured with the European Jazz Orchestra and collaborated with US musicians Andrew D’Angelo and Dan Weiss to date. He joins a growing number of artists and ensembles working with Jazzlines – Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s dynamic programme of live jazz performances and education projects across Birmingham – to develop their careers via artistic commissions, collaborations and performance opportunities.

“As a jazz performer, I find it very inspiring to present my music in new venues with new audiences because the reception is always different. This really keeps you on your toes as an improviser so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to play to fresh ears in some of the best venues in Europe.”– Mike Fletcher

The announcement of Mike’s nomination was made prior to a performance by the Pablo Held Trio, ECHO Rising Stars 2013/14 as nominated by the Kölner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Konzerthaus Dortmund, at Symphony Hall Café Bar on Friday 25 October 2013 as part of the Jazzlines Free Gigs series.

“We’re thrilled for Mike that he will be part of a prestigious touring network of Europe’s great concert halls. This is a valuable opportunity for Town Hall & Symphony Hall to profile the extraordinary jazz talent of Birmingham on ever diverse international stages, underpinned by the on-going work of our Jazzlines team.”– Richard Hawley, Director of Programming and Projects

Watch performances in Symphony Hall by Mike Fletcher’s Different Trane Ensemble, developed from a Jazzlines commission and influenced from the John Coltrane album ‘Africa/Brass’ and the minimalist music of Steve Reich, here andhere.


Notes to editor:



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, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to music from jazz, folk, world, roots and classical, to rock and pop. 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.

Funded by Birmingham City Council
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

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).

Jazzlines is Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s dynamic strand of concert programming and inspirational education work from jazz producers Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam Sloan, connecting people to jazz music. Launched in April 2012, Jazzlines is supported by a three-year funding grant from Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme. The programme encompasses live jazz performances at a wide variety of venues around the city, including Town Hall & Symphony Hall, and an innovative participation and learning programme.

Jazzlines is supported by the PRS for Music Foundation

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Issue date

Friday 25 October 2013