Surge In Spring Festival
mac, Birmingham
Saturday 8 April 2017
All day
Book at macbirmingham.co.uk or on 0121 446 3232
Surge Orchestra leader and composer Sid Peacock is curating a day-long celebration of the West Midlands’ musical and cultural heritage. The day will take in gospel music, free improvisation and Indo-Jazz as well as the inimitable sounds of the Surge Orchestra.
Surge In Spring is the first event in the Grow Your Own festival partnership between Surge, Birmingham City University and mac, and is planned to become an annual event.
Ticketed performances in the mac’s Theatre will be supplemented by free events in the Hexagon bar and Terrace Gallery.
Musicians from Surge will collaborate with the Ray Prince Gospel Band and in a free improvisation session featuring John O’Gallagher with guests Paul Dunmall and Corey Mwamba. There will be a rare concert by John Mayer’s Indo-Jazz Fusions before the full Surge Orchestra rounds off the day off with sometimes chaotic, sometimes tranquil, but always life-giving music.
Sid Peacock’s compositions, as interpreted by his large-scale Surge Orchestra, embrace jazz, folk, rock and contemporary music, all delivered with humour and wit. The band features some of the finest players in the UK. Surge was formed in 2003 with a commission from Paul Murphy to mark the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Birmingham. Since then it has released two CDs, Live in Birmingham 04 and La Fete,  and performed in Belfast, Cheltenham and London jazz festivals as well as regularly in Birmingham.
A new performance by Indo-Jazz Fusions is a particular coup for the festival, and it will be directed by Steve Tromans, with John’s son, Jonathan Mayer, in the band. Calcutta-born John Mayer (1930-2004) developed a mix of Indian music and jazz in the 1960s in collaboration with Jamaican-born saxophonist Joe Harriott, and revived the band in the 1990s. John taught at Birmingham Conservatoire and his music made an impact which extended far beyond Birmingham.
Sid Peacock and Ray Prince have worked together for many years on education and community projects. Expect uplifting vibes and beautiful melodies to mark the start of the day’s events. The Free Improvisation session highlights a form of music that has strong roots in Birmingham and has powerfully influenced Surge. Drummer Mark Sanders, pianist Steve Tromans and guitarist Simon King from SURGE will join saxophonists John O’Gallagher and Paul Dunmall, and vibraphonist Corey Mwamba.
“wildly creative music of avant-garde bite yet emotional weight.” – The Independent
Surge In Spring programme
Saturday 8 April 2017
1pm – Ray Prince Gospel Band & SURGE
2.45pm – Free Improvisation with John O’Gallagher and SURGE
4.30pm – John Mayer’s Indo-Jazz Fusions
6pm – SURGE ORCHESTRA
Theatre events are all £7.50 on the door (£6 in advance); Day tickets £25 on the door (£20 in advance). Book at macbirmingham.co.uk or on 0121 446 3232.
Surge In Spring is supported by Birmingham City University and the mac, as well as Arts Council England.

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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