Surge in Spring

Sat 8 Apr | From 1pm | Tickets £7.50 on the door; £6 in advance | Day Tickets £25 on the door; £20 in advance | Theatre | All ages

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A day long celebration of West Midland musical cultural heritage and improvisation curated by composer and SURGE Orchestra leader Sid Peacock. Surge in Spring marks the beginning of the Grow Your Own Festival partnership between SURGE, Birmingham City University and mac. The festival will become an annual event and feature new curators and collaborators from across all art forms, genres and cultures. Join us for free music events throughout the day in the Hexagon Theatre, Arena Bar and Terrace Gallery and four main events in the Theatre.

Ticketed performances...

    Free events...

    1.45pm - Arena Bar

    CharCole Collective
    Led by Xhosa Cole; paying homage to Birmingham's cultural history so heavily rooted in the industrial revolution. Influences from jazz, folk melodies, Afro-Caribbean and South Asian rhythms through to present day urban genres.

    Holyhead School Band
    Lots of groove and funky tunes from this young band that has performed from Symphony Hall to Vienna and with acts like Grand Union Orchestra and South African vocal group The Soil.

    1.45pm - Hexagon Theatre

    Seiku Sussuo & Dan Wilkins
    Seikou Susso is a master of the Kora hailing from a long line of musical historian's from West Africa. With his long time student Daniel Wilkins, Seikou will display the rich heritage of this sublime instrument.

    Jonathan Mayer & Mohinder Singh
    Jonathan is currently one of the most versatile sitarists in the world, having studied both Indian & western music. Mendi Mohinder Singh is a classically trained Indian Tabla player, composer and musical visionary.

    3.30pm - Arena Bar

    Jazzlines Ensemble
    Providing young musicians from Birmingham and the surrounding areas with the opportunity to develop their ensemble playing skills and learn more about jazz and improvisation through regular workshops and masterclass sessions. The sessions are open to young musicians of all abilities, from beginners to advanced and are free to young musicians aged between 11 and 19 from Birmingham and the surrounding areas. They have played at the OxJamBrum Takeover Festival, as part of the Jazzlines Free Gigs, at mac Birmingham, Music For Youth Festival and at Mostly Jazz.

    3.30pm - Hexagon Theatre

    The Froe
    Helen Lancaster and Ruth Angell join with friends Emma Capp and Charlie Heys to create a unique blend of intricate sounds from fiddles, viola, cello, guitar, harmonium and vocals, playing original self-penned music.

    This newly formed quartet plays it’s debut concert of music composed by trumpeter and SURGE member Aaron Diaz. With Esther Swift on Harp, Jack McNeill on Clarinets (and Jim Molyneux on Accordion and Percussion.

    5.15pm - Arena Bar

    Dan Spirrett Trio

    Dan is a saxophonist and composer in his fourth year at Birmingham Conservatoire he is an active member of the evolving jazz scene in and around the city. He runs a range of groups under his own name, from trio to nonet.

    An experimental piano trio who draw on a variety of different styles. Influenced by free jazz, rock and avant garde music, they present this through a mixture of original compositions and arrangements of their favourite tunes.

    5.15pm - Hexagon Theatre

    Suzie Purkiss & Ben Peers
    Suzie, voice and electronics, began her vocal training at Birmingham Conservatoire where she won a scholarship and many prizes. Ben gives improvised and semi-improvised performances of ambient electro-acoustic music.

    Joe Wright & Andy Woodhead
    Andrew and Joe collaborate in a rare duo performance exploring a breadth of low-fi electronic and instrumental textures.Andrew - Pocket Piano & Electronics and Joe Wright - Saxophone & Feedback System.

    7.15pm - Arena Bar

    Afro-Mio and Jam Session
    Afro-Mio are a harmonious blend of rich vocals, borne on a wave of rhythmic conga and melodious African guitar and kora. Ben Pathy is one of the founder members of Afro-Mio, which means “My Africa”. He is a singer, author and composer from Angola, specialising in traditional African music, Rumba, Soukous, Kizomba and Salsa. Over the last 3 years Afro Mio have performed extensively across the Midlands at venues such as mac, Symphony Hall, Four Squares Festival in Birmingham City Centre, Journeys Festival in Leicester and many more.

    All day

    Room Art and More
    Melissa Morris and Marcin Sz bring their exciting Room Art initiative to the mac for the day. Two rooms in their modest private home have been dedicated to the Arts. They want to facilitate enjoyment of Arts in a personal way, to enable people to see fine art in a setting in which it might ultimately find its home, to hear live music in an intimate environment, and to engage Arts with the community in a friendly and approachable way. CDs and other merchandise as well as the art on show will be on sale.