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Monday, February 25, 2013

Northern Spirits – Jazz Festival celebrates North East Landscape Saturday 6 April 2013

The music of two of the UK’s most distinctively original jazz composers – Tim Garland and native Tynesider Ian Carr – will be featured at Gateshead International Jazz Festival, inspired by the landscapes of the North East of England.
The Northern Spirits concert will include the world premiere performance of ‘Songs to the North Sky’ composed by Tim Garland. In addition to this new suite will be the first performance in the North East of ‘Northumbrian Sketches’ (both to be conducted by Clark Rundell) which was composed by the late musician Ian Carr. Featuring Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of The Sage Gateshead, both performances will offer the combined forces of jazz musicians and classical, appealing to a wide range of music lovers.
Composer Tim Garland was inspired by the North East to create the approachable, melodic and cinematic piece ‘Songs to The North Sky’. Movements within the piece include ‘Tyne Song’, ‘Shapes Over Northumberland’, ‘Storm Over Kielder’ and ‘Little Bay Blue’ (dedicated to the beach near Tim’s home in Whitley Bay).
Tim Garland said:  "The suite was inspired by the big skylines of the North East and my time travelling to and from there, it’s the most cinematic and autobiographical work I've written with a particular emphasis on melodies fitting for these big skyscapes".
The orchestrated work of ‘Northumbrian Sketches’ by trumpeter / composer Ian Carr was commissioned for the Bracknell Jazz Festival in 1986. The piece is in four movements and was a tribute to the Northumbrian author, Sid Chaplin, a North Eastern writer for novels, screenplays and poems often set in County Durham’s pit villages in the 1940s and ‘50s. The piece uses the landscape which Chaplin had known and loved and combines classical string orchestration with vibrant jazz improvisation.
John Cumming, from Serious said of the piece: “I was privileged to work with Ian Carr on many occasions over the years, including co-commissioning ‘Northumbrian Sketches’, which received its premiere at both jazz and classical music festivals at South Hill Park Bracknell in the 1980s.  I remember Ian describing the challenge of writing for strings with great excitement, and when George Foster and Serious re-discovered the piece for Ian's memorable memorial concert in 2010, it reminded me just how accomplished and absorbing this music remains.  It will be real pleasure to hear it once more and I'm sure Ian's creative spirit will watch over and inspire this first North-Eastern performance.”
The concert also includes a forty minute set by the award winning trio Lighthouse, which includes Tim Garland along with pianist Gwilym Simcock and percussionist Asaf Sirkis. Lighthouse themselves were also inspired by a North East landmark - St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay - and have now played all over the world.
Ros Rigby said: “This is a unique event celebrating two ambitious compositions for jazz ensemble and orchestra - one from the last century and one written in the last year- both inspired by the North Eastern landscape and culture. We are delighted to make it one of the highlights of the 2013 Gateshead International Jazz Festival.”
Northern Spirits is at The Sage Gateshead on Saturday 6 April 2013, as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival which takes place on the 5 – 7 April 2013. Tickets are £19.50 and can be booked either by calling 0191 443 4661, online at www.thesagegateshead.org or in person from The Sage Gateshead’s Ticket Office. A jazz festival pass is available.

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