Culture: Bury Festival fever starts to kick in

Suffolk Philharmonic's Alexander Ullman
Suffolk Philharmonic's Alexander Ullman
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The excitement is building as Bury Festival 2018 gets set for its official launch next month. Here Culture gets a sneak peak at a few of the artists taking part.

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah, chanteuse Ute Lemper and the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra with Alexander Ullman have joined national treasure Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra as artists announced to be taking part in this year’s Bury Festival.

Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper

Now in its 33rd year, the festival has become one of the region’s best-loved music and arts festivals and more big names are due to be announced for the 2018 programme.

Festival artistic director Nick Wells said: “As always, the Bury Festival programme has been a joy to put together and covers a broad range of styles from classical to jazz, folk, contemporary and world music.

“We are all delighted with the full line-up for this year’s festival and I can’t wait to announce it in February. But, in the meantime, announcing Jools Holland, Benjamin Zephaniah, Ute Lemper and the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra will give a flavour of things to come.”

Jools Holland and his band will perform at one of three open air concerts planned for Nowton Park. Featuring Gilson Lavis with special guest Marc Almond and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall, tickets for this open air concert on May 25 are already selling fast and can be bought by calling 01284 758000, online at buryfestival.co.uk or in person at The Apex box office.

Benjamin Z

Benjamin Z

One of Britain’s most remarkable poets, Benjamin Zephaniah, is back for his first tour in eight years and will appear at The Apex on May 23.

Zephaniah befriended Nelson Mandela, fought in the 1980s race riots and recorded radical and relevant reggae music with Bob Marley’s former band. Unable to read and write at school he’s back touring to coincide with his remarkable autobiography, The Life And Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah.

In a compelling and inspiring show, Zephaniah will explain how he fought injustice and discrimination to lead an amazing life, while sharing a selection of favourite stories and poems.

World renowned chanteuse Ute Lemper returns to the UK stage, performing her celebrated show Last Tango in Berlin – The Best of Ute at The Apex, on the May 24. The journey starts in Berlin with Ute’s root repertoire of Brecht and Weill and the Berlin Cabaret songs. It continues into the poetic universe of the French chansons by Brel, Piaf, Ferre and further to the Argentinian world of Tango by Astor Piazzolla.

Bury Festival 2018

Bury Festival 2018

Ute walks through the backstreets of Paris, Berlin, New York and Buenos Aires and lets ancient ghosts with new faces tell the stories of the lost, of love, survival, passion, dreams, societies, the past and the future. Ute also performs her own songs to connect the yesterday with the today through her own stories about these places and about life.

The ever popular festival favourites Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra will again join forces with Alexander Ullman, winner of the 2017 Liszt International Piano Competition, to treat audiences at The Apex on May 20.

The programme will inlclude Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla Overture, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5.

Key dates for the 2018 Festival - May 18-27

Jools Holland

Jools Holland

W/c February 12

Festival launch (exact date tbc)

February 19

Tickets on sale to Festival friends

February 26

Tickets on general sale