The Sage Gateshead this Spring
A Festival of Music & Culture at Sage Gateshead this Spring
Gateshead International Jazz Festival, BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival and Folkworks Pass It On Festival take place on the south bank of the Tyne this Spring alongside Sage Gateshead’s usual programme of eclectic and high quality artists.
The thirteenth Gateshead International Jazz Festival takes place Friday 31 March – Sunday 2 April. This year’s event spans not only three days but multiple generations and cultures as traditional, world and contemporary jazz are brought together. Radio 2’s Clare Teal headlines Friday night with Guy Barker conducting her 17 piece Hollywood Orchestra, while Saturday’s headline show in Sage One is a double bill of two of the most exciting jazz acts around as GoGo Penguin and Squarepusher’s band Shobaleader One take jazz to a brave new world of electronica and groove.
The weekend is capped off by the festival’s third headline concert, Jazz Africa/Jazz Cuba, which charts a jazz journey from South and West Africa to the latin jazz of Cuba with Shabaka Hutchings, Richard Bona and Alfredo Rodriguez. With many other gigs from the likes of Neil Cowley, Miles Mosely, Laura Jurd, and The Ronnie Scotts’ All Stars plus workshops, family shows and free performances this weekend is one not to be missed.
Preceding this established festival is a brand new one; on the 3 and 4 March Sage Gateshead hosts its first ever Folkworks: Pass It On Festival. The folk festival is a celebration of North East heritage through singing, music, dance and storytelling. Alongside a range of free activities from heritage walks to rapper dance workshops, Friday and Saturday will see folk legend and song collector Shirley Collins on tour for the first time in 35 years. She is joined by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emily Portman, the incredible vocals of The Wilson Family, Instrumentalist of the Year Rachel Newton,Alasdair Roberts, Anglo-American folk duo Cath and Phil Tyler and Bottle Bank Band throughout the weekend.
For a change of pace in March, leading thinkers descend on Gateshead as they slow down to examine The Speed of Life with BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival. The festival will welcome former Formula One racing driver Damon Hill OBE, Harriet Harman MP, former health minister Edwina Currie, poet Simon Armitage, historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes, author Sathnam Sanghera, poet Simon Armitage, songwriter Richard Hawley, humanitarian campaigner Terry Waite and physicist Jim Al-Khalili.
Bringing a dance flavour to the What’s On programme is Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, returning after four sell-out Sage One shows in 2015. The show is as epic as ever with new staging, cutting edge technology, acrobats and a cast of 40 outstanding performers. Following the success of Strictly Come Dancing, both Brendan Cole and Alijaz and Janette bring their shows All Night Long and Remembering Fred, an homage to Fred Astaire, to Sage One.
The world-class concert hall continues to welcome some of the biggest names in music through March and April as Bonobo, Mercury nominated Michael Kiwanuka, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Wet Wet Wet’s Marti Pellow, 10CC, Billy Ocean, Echo and the Bunnymen front man Ian McCulloch, international Celtic sensation Loreena McKennitt and The Real Thing visit alongside many more local and international folk, jazz and world music artists.
The classical season continues in earnest with Royal Northern Sinfonia taking you from classic film scores with A Night at the Oscars to a rare performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt via a Romantic night in Vienna and the back catalogue of Queen in full orchestral glory. Music Director Lars Vogt continues RNS’s season-wide exploration of Beethoven piano concertos in Beethoven Double while fans of their RNS Presents series won’t want to miss BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s visit in March. From free tickets for Gateshead residents to £5 tickets for under 30s, as well as great value package deals and discounts for the unemployed, there are a number of ways to get to know you orchestra.
Sage Gateshead’s Courses, Classes and Workshops continue this Spring with a new term so take the plunge, get involved and play, sing, or join a group. Catering for all ages, these classes allow participants to start from scratch or hone skills on a range of instruments, with opportunities for performance.