A MUSICAL set by nine talented amigos marked the official launch of a brass festival.

The family friendly Durham Brass Festival, which aims to showcase the very best of contemporary brass from across the world, is taking place in venues across the county until Sunday, July 21.

Festival regulars Artistas Del Gremio got the crowd going at the launch event in Durham Market Place yesterday, with an energetic performance featuring everything from classical pieces to pop favourites.

Music lovers can see more from Artistas Del Gremio, as well as other festival favourites, including Oompah Brass, Back Chat Brass and Louisiana Funky Butts and many more, in the programme of ticketed concerts and free alfresco parties in streets, parks and schools across the county.

Councillor Joy Allen, cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “Brass really does have something for all tastes, from salsa, swing and big band, to choral masterpieces and rock and roll, the line-up of this year’s festival is both eclectic and really exciting.

“Over the next ten days we’re delighted to welcome some of Europe’s best brass musicians to perform across County Durham.

“Today has been a fantastic start to the festival, with families and crowds really getting involved and I can’t wait to see and hear more.

“What makes Durham brass so special is that it brings the party to the people. It spreads the joy of music in communities across the county and engages with people who may not attend concerts in traditional venues."

The festival includes performances in Newton Aycliffe town park, on Sunday, July 14, from 3pm to 6pm, Glenholme Park, in Crook, on Tuesday, July 16, from 6pm to 9pm and Bishop Auckland Market Place, on Thursday, July 18, from 6pm.

To see the full festival programme and book places for ticketed brass events, visit brassfestival.co.uk or seach @BrassInternationalFestival on Facebook for music updates.