TOP brass will be performing across south Durham this summer when its towns and villages host some of the main events of a countywide music festival.

Brass-Durham International Festival will feature a series of brass based music, theatrical, art, education and community events across County Durham during June and July.

One of the opening events of this, the seventh annual festival, will be Brass Fusion at Spennymoor Town Hall on Friday, July 5.

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The evening promises a New Orleans party feel and will see Spennymoor Youth Band join American street counterpart New York Brass Band on stage for a special collaboration.

On the same night St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook, will host Funky Collective Northern Monkey Brass Band.

The next night, Saturday July 6, conductor Alistair Dawes will lead international soloists in Opera Magic at The Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle.

Beat boxing trio Bold As will be at Howden-le-Wear Community Centre, near Crook, on Wednesday, July 10; extravagant French performers Funky Style Brass will be at Toft Hill Community Centre, near Bishop Auckland, on Friday, July 12; and French band Le Gros Tube will perform during Staindrop village carnival on Saturday, July 13.

Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon will hold Brass on the Track with Bear Park and Esh Colliery Band on Sunday, July 14.

Always Drinking Marching Band from Spain will be at Greenfield Community and Arts Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, on Wednesday, July 17 then at Middleton-in-Teesdale Village Hall on Friday, July 19.

Bishop Auckland Methodist Church will host a concert by high energy ensemble Hannabiell and Midnight Blue on Thursday, July 18.

Spennymoor will again play host to the festival on Friday, July 19 with a free outdoor family event in the town centre featuring French street theatre band Zic Zazou, professional break dancers, stilt walkers and local traditional brass bands.

It has been funded through the neighbourhood budgets of Durham County Councillors Neil Foster and Barbara Graham, who put in £12,000 between them. And Spennymoor Area Action Partnership has given £5,000 for community and school events across the AAP area.

For full details of brass events and tickets visit the website