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Early Years Conference Opens Spring Season

A significant two-day conference 'Everyone a Music Maker' exploring how babies and young children respond to music and how you can help children acquire the skills and passion to develop their musical potential to the full, will take place at the NCEM on 2nd and 3rd February in conjunction with Music4U - the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone. The conference is suitable for all early years workers. For more details visit

The Making Tracks world music series featuring musicians from across the world, returns this season with two concerts - Lo Còr de la Plana (19 Feb, 7.30pm) with six a capella singers from Marseille and an array of percussion instruments and Grupo Lokito (14 May, 7.30pm) with laid-back and stylish Congolese dance vibes.

The world music theme continues with Sleeping Beauty and Alcestis (10 May, 7.30pm). In this magical performance, award-winning storyteller Daniel Morden breathes new life into one of our most haunting stories and is accompanied by Oliver Wilson-Dickson violin and Dylan Fowler guitar. This show is not suitable for children under 12. Rising star in the revival of urban Greek folk music - Cigdem Aslan (4 June, 7.30pm) performs Songs of Smyrna - the Blues of the Aegean with Pavlos Melas guitar Pavlos Carvalho bouzouki and Cahit Baylav violin and the final world music concert this season is TG Collective (18 June, 7.30pm) with a combination of gypsy hotclub, flamenco, jazz and contemporary classical influences, built around a core of two guitarists, alongside flutes, violin, double bass, trumpet and cajón.

The jazz programme opens with the award winning Denys Baptiste (26 Feb, 7.30pm) accompanied by Andrew McCormack piano, Gary Crosby double bass and Rod Youngs drums and performs repertoire from his new Dune Music album 'Identity By Subtraction' - his first album release since 'Let Freedom Ring!' The Late Music Festival presents the Paul Baxter Trio (1 April, 7.30pm) performing music from their latest project 'Eyes Shut Tight'. Top British soul jazz and funk saxophonist Snake Davis (30 April, 7.30pm) makes a welcome return with his band featuring material from his eight CDs; Dutch fiddler Tim Kliphuis (21 May, 7.30pm), virtuoso guitarist Nigel Clark and the rock-steady bass of Roy Percy combine gypsy, classical, folk, tango, world music and grappelli jazz and Dave Newton (25 June, 7.30pm) makes a first visit with his Trio featuring Andrew Cleyndert bass and Steve Brown drums. Voted best jazz pianist for nine years running in the British Jazz Awards, Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003, pianist Dave Newton will be playing songs from his new CD called 'Portrait of a Woman'.

There are three folk concerts this season. Heidi Talbot (14 April, 7.30pm), makes her first appearance at the NCEM. Related to John McCusker, Heidi has toured extensively with Eddi Reader and Drever-McCusker-Woomble. Her 2008 CD, 'In Love and Light', propelled her into the spotlight and she has been nominated for two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for best 'Traditional Track' for Willy Taylor and 'Folk Singer Of The Year'. Working in association with The Black Swan Folk Club, the NCEM presents Steve Knightley (11 Feb, 7.30pm) the song writing force behind Show of Hands, widely acclaimed as the finest acoustic roots band in England and Spiers & Boden (11 April, 7.30pm), who have made the genre of punky English folk very much their own stomping ground. Whether on their own or with Bellowhead, they are loud and proud at the forefront of 21st century folk.

The NCEM joins forces with the University of York to present three events. The English Song Day (5 Feb, 10.30am onwards) - is a celebration of song settings in English from both sides of the Atlantic with Yvonne Seymour soprano, Jason Darnell tenor, Roderick Williams bass, Christopher Glynn & Peter Seymour piano and Ian Partridge which culminates in a celebration of music by Copland, Barber, Vaughan Williams and Butterworth. The University of York Baroque Day (7 May, 10.30am onwards) entitled The Grand Tour with Compagnia d'Istrumenti, University of York Baroque Ensemble and vocal chamber groups, captures the spirit of times in four cities - Paris, London, Venice and Leipzig plus The Greatest Story Ever Told? (17 June, 7.30pm) - the new York Mystery Plays developed by University of York music students. This is a response to an ancient artform revived in a 21st-century format, incorporating digital imaging and audio and reflecting the spirit of the 1951 Festival of Britain, which featured the revival of York Mystery Plays in modern times.

Celebrating its 25th year birthday I Fagiolini presents 'It don't mean a thing' (17 March, 7.30pm) directed by Robert Hollingworth. The programme includes a new work by Orlando Gough, combining the music of 16th century Flemish composer de Wert with the poetry of Torquato Tasso - who was inspired by the music of Monteverdi. The concert is a mix of Renaissance madrigals with a 21st century twist. Commissioned with support from the PRS for Music Foundation.

In anticipation of The Sixteen's Choral Pilgrimage 2011, which includes the concert on 15 July as part of the York Early Music Festival, please note The Sixteen Insight Day (2 July, 10.30am - 3.30pm) where musicologist John Milsom, music editor Sally Dunkley, and members The Sixteen explore the music of the 16th century musical genius Tomás Luis de Victoria.

There are two early music Festivals in the spring/summer. The Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival (26 - 29 May) including The Tallis Scholars (Thurs 26 May, Beverley Minster); the Academy of Ancient Music (Fri 27 May, Beverley Minster) and The Burning Bush (Sat 28 May, Toll Gavel Methodist Church). Tickets are now on sale for this Festival. The York Early Music Festival (8 - 16 July) celebrates the spirit of the 1951 Festival of Britain and includes: The Gabrieli Consort (Fri 8 July, York Minster); The English Concert with Ian Bostridge (Sat 9 July, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York); the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists (Sun 10 July, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York) and The Sixteen (Fri 15 July, York Minster). Tickets will be available from Mon 21 March.

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. 


Contact:            Melanie Paris

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