Surge in Spring II Festival full line up announced

One day festival celebrating improvisation, collaboration and new music from around the globe.

Fifteen performances in one day including two world premieres will feature in the second instalment of Surge In Spring, a one-day UK festival celebrating improvisation, collaboration and new music from across the globe.

Hip hop MC Juice Aleem, jazz drummer Mark Sanders and jazz saxophonist Rachel Musson, clarinettist Mohamed Najem, poet and author Liz Berry along with over 50 other artists and musicians drawn from three continents will perform as part of the event at Midlands Art Centre , Birmingham on Saturday 21st April 2018.

Part of the United Nations-endorsed World Creativity and Innovation Week and celebrating the fifteenth birthday of Surge Orchestra, Surge In Spring II offers a broad programme that mirrors the musical make-up of its host city with collaborations that span jazz, electronica, hip-hop, classical, spoken word, reggae, and folk.

2018 festival audiences will have the opportunity to hear a myriad of international musical influences at play during the day, including Arabic clarinet and ney (wind), Zimbabwean mbira (percussion), Indian tabla (percussion), Congolese vocals, English harmonium (wind), Chinese Erhu (strings) and Dizi (wind), Guinea-Bissau gumbe (percussion).

Produced by artistic director of Surge Orchestra and composer Sid Peacock, in partnership with the Birmingham City University festival industry initiative Grow Your Own led by Professor Nick Gebhardt, Surge in Spring is funded by Arts Council England, PRS For Music Foundation, Birmingham City University and mac Birmingham, and supported by CHIME, Celebrating Sanctuary, Flatpack Film Festival, Jazzlines, TDE Promotions and Room Art.

Speaking ahead of the event, artistic director Sid Peacock said, “Surge in Spring’s return to Birmingham in April is driven by a desire to weave music, art, poetry and video from a myriad of communities, genres and eras, and to deliver a powerful listening experience for all audience members.”

“We’re thrilled to once again present a strong programme of performances from respected and established creators as well as supporting over fifty emerging musicians and artists. We look forward to welcoming fans of all music to the festival, and to continuing our commitment to pushing Birmingham’s reputation as a centre for world-class cultural excellence.”

Surge Orchestra was founded by Sid Peacock in Birmingham 2003 with a commission from celebrated and respected musician, poet and storyteller Paul Murphy to mark St Patrick’s Day on 17th March that year.

Following rehearsals in the South Birmingham house owned by UB40 member Earl Falconer – also home to regular Bacchanalian ‘blues parties’ in the early 2000s which brought musicians, artists and creatives of many disciplines together – Surge Orchestra went on to receive a BASCA composer’s nomination (2012), broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 (2014) and perform with award-winning jazz musician Django Bates (2015).

Now in their fifteenth year, the ensemble includes a host of world-class musicians each respected in their own fields, including Steve Tromans, Simon King, Jason Huxtable and Ruth Angell, and continues to compose, produce and record in a wide variety of styles.

Sid Peacock is the son of a Belfast shipyard worker. He spent his early years playing in rock’n’roll and garage bands and living in London squats in the late 1980s. After teaching himself music theory from library books he pursued a formal music education to PhD level and has worked throughout the world on music projects ranging from producing Chinese pop to composing avant-garde music for Surge Orchestra. He has resided in Birmingham since 2003 and has embraced and engaged with the many diverse musical communities have made this great city their home. Surge in Spring is a reflection of these many relationships.

Tickets for Surge In Spring II at mac Birmingham on Saturday 21 April 2018 are on sale now via the mac website.

Front pic – Marcin Sz