Gateshead jazz festival looks north

Next year's Gateshead jazz festival focuses on the North with an appearance by Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and a performance of Ian Carr's Northumbrian Sketches, as well featuring the more southerly sounds of Soweto Kinch, Biréli Lagrène and The Brand New Heavies

Bireli LagreneHeadline acts for the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2013 have been announced. The festival takes place over three days from 5 to 7 April 2013 at the Sage Gateshead, near Newcastle, and is the largest festival held under one roof in the UK.

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra open the festival on Friday, followed by a phalanx of established and upcoming stars including Lighthouse, Phronesis, Jools Holland vocalist Ruby Turner, Soweto Kinch, French guitarist Biréli Lagrène (pictured), and The Brand New Heavies.

Taking "the North" as its key theme, the festival explores music from this part of the world with two jazz suites on Saturday inspired by the north-east of England, as well as two afternoons of "Jazz from the North" featuring players from the north of England, from Scotland and Finland.

An intriguing performance is expected from German jazz singer Jens Thomas with Verneri Pohjola, who present a tribute to AC/DC styled as late-night chamber jazz.

The twinning of jazz and poetry is also a theme explored by the festival, with selections from Larkin and Yeats to be performed in a jazz setting.

Tickets go on sale on Friday 7 December and can be booked online, by calling 0191 443 4661, or by visiting the Sage Gateshead ticket office in person.

Sally Evans-Darby

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