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Something for every taste and music to all ears at Halesworth Arts Festival

PUBLISHED: 09:47 06 October 2017

Exciting British chamber ensemble The Heath Quartet. Photot: Submitted

Exciting British chamber ensemble The Heath Quartet. Photot: Submitted

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With a reputation for special performances in an intimate setting Halesworth Arts Festival has become a much-loved fixture on the region’s artistic calendar. We take a look at what’s in store in 2017 as its begins this weekend.

Folk guitarist Chris Wood has just released his latest album So Much to Defend. Photot: Submitted Folk guitarist Chris Wood has just released his latest album So Much to Defend. Photot: Submitted

The opportunity to see top quality artists in small, intimate surroundings has helped to make Halesworth Arts Festival a force in the arts in north Suffolk attracting capacity crowds every October.

The festival is now in its 17th year and has 20 events spread over 15 days that will attract audiences from all over the region.

And the 2017 programme, which kicks off this Saturday with an already sold-out performance by jazz legend Chris Barber and his big band, is as diverse as in previous years, ranging from music to comedy, theatre to films and talks.

World renowned pianist Noriko Ogawa will be bringing her ravishingly poetic playing. Photo: Satoru Mitsuta World renowned pianist Noriko Ogawa will be bringing her ravishingly poetic playing. Photo: Satoru Mitsuta

All events are held at the New Cut Arts Centre culminating in another sold-out night of nostalgic music with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra on October 22.

In between is something for all tastes including this Sunday a concert with one of Britain’s leading folk heroes Chris Wood making a long-awaited appearance (7.30pm, £16.50). A songwriter and composer he plays fiddle, viola, guitar and sings and he is an ardent enthusiast for traditional English dance music.

He made his name in folk circles with his debut album The Lark Ascending and has just released his latest album So Much to Defend.

Grammy-nominated vocalist Stacey Jent will take a dip into the Great American Songbook. Photo: Submitted Grammy-nominated vocalist Stacey Jent will take a dip into the Great American Songbook. Photo: Submitted

The festival continues next week with a recital by the Heath Quartet (Oct 9, 7.30pm, £20), rapidly earning a reputation as one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment. They will be performing a programme that includes Haydn, Tippett and Beethoven.

World renowned pianist Noriko Ogawa (Oct 10, 7.30pm, £20) will be bringing her ravishingly poetic playing for a concert that also includes works by Beethoven alongside Liszt Piano Sonata and Japanese composer Akiko Yamane’s Illuminated Baby.

Following its hugely acclaimed premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a recent West End run, Tanya Holt and Robin Kingsland’s part-stand-up comedy, part-cabaret show Cautionary Tales for Daughters will bring razor-sharp musical satire to the festival (Oct 11, 7.30pm, £14.50).

Kathy Lette will be bringing her Girls' Night Out. Photo: Neil Cooper Kathy Lette will be bringing her Girls' Night Out. Photo: Neil Cooper

Internationally acclaimed Grammy-nominated vocalist, Stacey Kent (Oct 12, 7.30pm, £18.50) then returns to the region with brand new show featuring music from her latest album I Know I Dream. The concert will feature American Standards, Bossa Nova classics, Chansons, and original songs from the pen of Stacey’s husband, the saxophonist, composer and arranger, Jim Tomlinson.

The diverse musical range then shifts to a contagious mix of Celtic, Gypsy and Klezmer beats with the Dodo Street Band (Oct 15, 7.30pm, £18.50).

Comedian and writer Kathy Lette will be bringing her Girls’ Night Out (Oct 16, 7.30pm, £18.50), a typically outspoken show full of tales of love, lust, men, childbirth, sexist bosses, hiding Julian Assange in her attic and tongue kissing Prince William.

Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Apphia Campbell’s play Black Is The Color Of My Voice. Photot: Supplied Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Apphia Campbell’s play Black Is The Color Of My Voice. Photot: Supplied

The London-based acclaimed ensemble Harmoniemusik (Oct 17, 7.30pm, £20) will be presenting a concert featuring Mozart, Handel, Roussel and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Then things get more upbeat as brilliant clarinet maestro Julian Marc Stringle brings his Dream Band (Oct 19, 7.30pm, £16.50) a Latin-influenced jazz-funk sextet, who will be joined by Shakatak vocalist Jaqui Hicks.

Their will also be a live music score accompaniment to a screening of Cecil B DeMille’s saucy silent film version of Chicago (Oct 18, 7.30pm, £10).

Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Apphia Campbell’s acclaimed play Black Is The Color Of My Voice (Oct 21, 7.30pm, £17.50) reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. This special festival performance will also include Soul Sessions, Apphia’s cabaret show paying tribute to Nina Simone’s phenomenal music.

Meanwhile festival’s programme of talk includes a visit from Gerald Durrell’s wife Lee, who will talk about the Durrell family’s life in Corfu in the 1930s (Oct 20, 7.30pm, £14.50).

• Halesworth Arts Festival runs from October 7-22. Full details of events and booking at 01986 874264, halesworthartsfestival.org.uk

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