AS excitement builds for the return of Durham brass Festival, the city's Gala theatre is gearing up to welcome a host of world-renowned artists to the stage.

The festival, which is one of the summer highlights of Durham County Council’s annual events programme, is set to be "bigger and better than ever" when it returns from Sunday, July 10 to Sunday, July 17.

Supporting the county’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025 and demonstrating the importance of a rich and vibrant cultural scene to economic growth, Brass will feature a number of community workshops and events alongside exciting live performances.

The Northern Echo: YolanDa Brown YolanDa Brown

Read more: Line-up confirmed for Durham Brass Festival 2022

Among the performers taking centre stage at Durham County Council venue Gala Durham are a double MOBO Award winner, Mercury Prize nominee and a world-famous brass band.

The first to perform at the city-centre venue on Sunday  July 10 are Field Music & NASUWT Riverside Band, with Binding Time – Songs & Stories from the Durham Coalfields. Field Music is made up of Sunderland duo Peter and David Brewis, who have received endless praise for their film scores, collaborations and cover albums, as well as a run of acclaimed albums of their own songs.

The new commission for Brass, which is in partnership with the Durham Miners’ Association and funded by the Arts Council, sees the duo perform their new suite of songs inspired by the growth and decline of coal mining in the region, accompanied by a seven-piece brass section from the NASUWT Riverside Band.

The Northern Echo: Black Dyke BandBlack Dyke Band

This year’s festival also aims to provide a platform to acts which are taking brass in a new direction. With a sound-clash of Western African funk, disco and electric alongside the wonderful vocals of Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine is promising audiences a night to remember on Thursday July 14.

Those who prefer exhilarating party jams and unique interpretations of indie classics can book tickets to see Old Dirty Brasstards on Friday July 15.

The tweed-clad 10-piece brass powerhouse has wowed audiences at top venues and major festivals across the UK. Saturday July 16 offers twice the fun for audiences of all ages. YolanDa’s Band Jam, presented by double MOBO award winning musician and broadcaster YolanDa Brown, will encourage children to discover the joys of music through dancing, singing and playing at 2pm.

The Northern Echo: Field Music Field Music

Having worked with The Temptations, Diana Krall and Billy Ocean, YolanDa has garnered praise for her fusion of reggae, jazz and soul, and she will return to the stage at 7.30pm.

And, bringing Gala Durham’s Brass performances to a close on Sunday July 17 is Black Dyke Band. Founded in Yorkshire in 1855, the award-winning band has featured on 350 recordings and played around the world, from the Royal Albert Hall to the Sydney Opera House.

Other headline performances will take place inside the spectacular setting of Durham Cathedral as the UNESCO World Heritage Site hosts Richard Hawley performing with NASUWT Riverside Band and LYR together with The Easington Colliery Band.

The Northern Echo: Old Dirty BrasstardsOld Dirty Brasstards

The festival will also see free concerts taking place in schools and communities across the county, a full programme of lively street bands and a host of community workshops.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are delighted that our eclectic, vibrant and colourful celebration of Brass|is back. As part of this year’s incredible programme of world-renowned artists, we have a fantastic line-up at Gala Durham and we cannot wait to welcome audiences of all ages.

“These acts are a perfect example of the diverse offering at BRASS and highlight the rich history of music as well as championing more contemporary artists. Our shortlisting for UK City of Culture 2025 highlights our commitment to culture in County Durham and we are certain this year’s festival, with its exciting mix of national and international artists, will create so many memorable moments for communities.”

All tickets and information on the Brass Festival can be found at

The Northern Echo: Ibibio Sound MachineIbibio Sound Machine


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