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NCEM Supports First National Early Music Tour

30 January 2009

The NCEM is working with The Orlando Consort on an innovative early/world music fusion tour entitled Mantra: Conversations across the Indian Ocean. The Orlando Consort will be joined by talented world music musicians - Kuljit Bhamra tabla, Indian harmonium, Jonathan Mayer sitar, sarod and Shahid Khan voice in an exploration of Portuguese and Indian music from the early 1500s. The tour will be premiered in York on 7 May and will then visit 11 venues across the country.

The NCEM is also working in partnership with BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholars on the first National NCEM Composers Awards. These Awards are open to young people under the age of 25. There will be a special finalists concert on Thursday 14 May at the NCEM where the winner will be chosen who will have their piece performed by The Tallis Scholars in York Minster on Friday 10 July as part of the opening concert of the 2009 York Early Music Festival.

The world music season opens with Mor Karbasi (5 March, 7.30pm) singing traditional songs dating from or inspired by the Jewish culture of 15th-century Spain to new Ladino-influenced compositions. Daby Touré (13 March, 7.30pm) visits with his new Afro-centric pop sound; The Téa Hodžic Trio (20 March, 7.30pm) explore songs from the former Yugoslavia and its bordering countries; Evan Christopher's Django à la Créole (2 June, 7.30pm) celebrates the music of the legendary Django Reinhardt and the Huong Thanh Vietnamese Trio (5 June 7.30pm) weld traditional Vietnamese music to European jazz.

The jazz programme continues to flourish. The May Jazz Weekend (8-10 May) includes: the Simon Spillett Quartet (8 May,7.30pm). Simon was Rising Star winner of the BBC Jazz Awards 2007. The Burden of Paradise features the legendary sax man Snake Davis who teams up with Helen Watson (9 May, 7.30pm); virtuoso pianist, bandleader, composer, arranger and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster, Julian Joseph takes the Sunday afternoon slot (10 May, 4pm) and Re:Impressions 10 May, 8pm), featuring members of the University of York Jazz Orchestra who conclude the jazz weekend. Extra jazz concerts this season feature Dennis Rollins' Velocity Trio (28 March, 7.30pm) with his new acoustic, straight-ahead jazz outfit, which starts its UK tour at the NCEM and Tim Garland's Lighthouse Project (18 June, 7.30pm) with a mix of chamber-jazz interplay and featuring Israeli percussionist Asaf Sirkis and multi award-winning Gwilym Simcock.

Many of the world and jazz concerts are on the more4less offer, allowing NCEM audiences to choose four concerts for the price of just three! To take advantage of this offer, all four concerts must be booked at the same time and bookings can be made on-line, by phone or in person.

The folk line-up promoted in association with The Black Swan Folk Club features: Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson & Chris Parkinson (10 March, 7.30pm); Spiers & Boden (30 March 7.30pm), twice winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo, whether on their irrepressible own or with big-band phenomenon Bellowhead; John Renbourn & Robin Williamson (15 April 7.30pm) known for their successful groups Pentangle and The Incredible String Band; a return visit from Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham (28 April, 7.30pm) and John Tams & Barry Coope (13 May, 7.30pm).

Early Music lovers should look out for the Baroque Day (2 May) the University of York's annual event, promoted in association with the National Centre for Early Music which this year marks the 350th anniversary of the death of Henry Purcell and The York Waits (25 June, 7.30pm) with The King's Pavan which marks the 500th anniversary of the coronation of England's most controversial and musical monarch, Henry VIII.

The Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival (21 - 23 May) includes: Red Priest (Toll Gavel Methodist Church, Beverley, 21 May ); Fretwork (Beverley Minster, 22 May); lutenist Jacob Heringman (The Quire, Beverley Minster, 23 May) and The Bach Players (Beverley Minster, May 23).

The York Early Music Festival (10 - 18 July) entitled 'Lifelines' is inspired by the centenary celebrations of Purcell, Handel and Haydn, and turns to the universal theme of life and death for its 2009 programme with guest artists including: The Tallis Scholars ( York Minster, July 10), Ensemble Peregrina (Sr Mary's Church, Bishophill Junior July 11), The Clerks' Group (NCEM, July 12), Stile Antico (Chapter House, July 13), Alla Francesca (Chapter House, July 15), I Fagiolini in a new programme entitled 'Tallis in Wonderland' (University of York, July 16), The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers ( York Minster, July 17), Academy of Ancient Music directed by Pavlo Beznosiuk (St Michael le Belfrey Church, July 18).

Finally the Musical Play in a Week will run from Monday 10 to Friday 14 August and this year will celebrate one of England's favourite composers, GF Handel.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: "There is such variety this season, the programme is fantastically exciting and we have some tremendous partnerships in place. We hope our audiences will enjoy the eclectic mix and book to see a variety of concerts, particularly taking advantage of our more4less offer on the world music and jazz concerts.

"Remember to check out our website at to listen to soundbites of the artists and also to book on-line to save time."

This season has been funded by the Arts Council England, Yorkshire with support from the City of York Council. To book tickets, either contact the Box Office on 01904 658338 or visit and use the secure on-line booking system.

Press Contact:
Melanie Paris
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