Preview: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

The 2018 Norfolk and Norwich Festival promises a wealth of music and performance, with jazz from Binker and Moses, Barb Jungr and David McAlmont

Norfolk & Norwich Festival has announced the full programme for its 2018 festival, which runs 11-27 May. There are, as always, some intriguing jazz performances in a programme that spans performance, theatre, music, visual arts, literature, circus, outdoor and family events.

Four concerts stand out as far as jazz is concerned. At Norwich Playhouse on Friday 11 May vocalist David McAlmont and his band - including pianist Alex Webb and drummer Sophie Alloway - will present Billie Holiday At Carnegie Hall. This is McAlmont’s interpretation of Holiday’s 1956 concert at the New York venue, which will include some of her best known songs.

The late night programme in the Adnams Spiegeltent (starting at 10.00pm each evening) features Barb Jungr (pictured right), Binker & Moses and pianist Ashley Henry. 

On 22 May Barb Jungr will sing the songs of Bob Dylan. The MOBO and Jazz FM award-winning sax/drums duo of Binker & Moses (pictured below left) will bring their music to the nightclub-cum-circus tent in Chapelfield Gardens on 24 May. Ashley Henry & the Re: Ensemble is the third of these acts to appear in the Spiegeltent, on 25 May.

The popular Ragroof Tea Dances, suitable for beginner and expert dancers, return to the Spiegeltent: the afternoon dance on Saturday 19 May is titled All That Jazz.

World premieres include Mercury Music Prize winner and pioneer of Asian Underground music Talvin Singh (with beatboxer Jason Singh) at Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Ely and Peterborough Cathedral Choirs combining for the premiere of BBC Young Composer Of The Year Alex Woolf’s new piece and Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening bringing the oldest Northumbrian folk songs to life again. There’s also an exhibition of Damien Hirst’s paintings and sculpture at Houghton Hall, from 25 March to 15 July.

Music features strongly across the festival, with the contemporary music strand being co-produced by Serious and including alt-rocker Amanda Palmer, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a solo performance from Ben Folds, West African's Les Amazones d’Afrique and South Indian classical violinist Jyotsna Seikanth with the Bollywood Brass Band. The festival will close on 27 May with the Britten Sinfonia’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphonies 4 and 5.

Daniel Brine, festival director said: “The festival is a wonderful time to celebrate our city and county, to bring communities together to experience great art and performance, and to welcome artists and visitors from across the UK and around the world. Our programme is broad and rich and we’re proud to be presenting world premieres alongside celebrated productions not previously seen in Norfolk”.

Tickets for all events are now on sale. For more information and ticket bookings please go to the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website.

Bruce Lindsay

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