17 December • A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, and other pieces • Ligeti Quartet

A festive musical treat from one of the UK’s leading contemporary string quartets.

Adam and Charlotte Caird/Dylan Thomas: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

This wonderful adaptation for strings and narrator of A Child’s Christmas in Wales chronicles Dylan Thomas’s own childhood memories and remains one of his most popular and loved works. A festive musical treat.

Fodé Lassana Diabaté: Sunjata’s Time

Sunjata’s Time is dedicated to Sunjata Keita, the warrior prince who founded the great Mali Empire in 1235, which, at its height, stretched across the West African savannah to the Atlantic shores. Fodé Lassana Diabaté originally wrote the piece for the balafon, the 22-key traditional xylophone of which he is a virtuoso player. This brilliant arrangement for string quartet is by Jacob Garchik.

Stef Conner: Singing Strings: A Contemporary Quartet in Conversation

This is a musical and theatrical treatise on the contemporary string quartet, tracing sounds and their histories through the medium of a four-way conversation between voices and instruments. Musical materials take root in the sound world of the contemporary string quartet and evolve into gestures that evoke and extol the musicality of words about music.

Sunday 17 December
CLASSICAL MUSIC / SPOKEN WORD – Corn Exchange
3pm (doors & bar 2.30pm)
£16 / £14 members & concessions / £5 Live for 5 

Fri 19 January • The Surfin’ Birds • Fuelled by Cider

The Surfin’ Birds (Fuelled by Cider)

The Surfin’ Birds have earned a reputation for being one of the most exciting live acts in the area, and have been making waves further afield with stand-out appearances at Boomtown, Outcider, Cursus and Sark Roots festivals in 2017.

Their music is simultaneously raw and visceral yet highly crafted, with a desire for constant experimentation that puts them way ahead of their contemporaries. They appeal to fans of rockabilly, surf, psychedelic and good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll music, without ever being constrained by any one genre.

‘All My Dreams’ is the band’s second full length album and will be released on the Fuelled By Cider label, with copies available to buy at the gig itself. It is the product of a period of intense energy, vision and hard work from the band and looks set to push them on to bigger things in 2018.

Guitarist and frontman Paul Sharod told us: “’Surf, psychedelia, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz, poetry and punk – this album has elements of it all. ‘All My Dreams’ is our most experimental and creative record to date. The whole process was laid back and grooving from the off, a purely organic process between four best mates.”

Support on the night comes from highly acclaimed Bristol rockabilly / soul band The Hawkmen, who are grabbing attention themselves with regular airplay on BBC 6 Music and a track on the latest Craig Charles compilation CD. Local singer-songwriter Amy Brown will open the night in style.

Friday 19 January
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£11 / £9 members & concessions

Sat 20 January • A Viennese Whirl • Swansea City Opera

A VIENNESE WHIRL!

 

The acclaimed Swansea City Opera presents a captivating production – A Viennese Whirl, evoking the magic and music of Vienna and transporting audiences to the banks of the dreamy Danube River. Enjoy an enchanting evening of singing and soaring violin melodies from some of the most popular Viennese composers including Kreisler, Lehar, Kalman and Johann Strauss, as well as operettas such as ‘The Merry Widow’, ‘Die Fledermaus’ and ‘The Gypsy Baron’.

Echoing the wonderful voices of the era and including songs by Richard Tauber, a carefully selected cast of tenor, soprano, violin and piano accompanist has been assembled for this amusing and entertaining evening hosted by the charismatic Artistic Director of SCO, Brendan Wheatley, who introduces the music of the Viennese greats in his own inimitable style.

A Viennese Whirl is certain to delight and enthral its audiences.

 

 

 

 

Programme includes such gems as:

Adele’s Laughing Song (Die Fledermaus) – Johann Strauss
Girls Were Made to Love and Kiss (Paganini) – Franz Lehár
Vilja Song (The Merry Widow) – Franz Lehár
Love Unspoken (The Merry Widow) – Franz Lehár
Roses from Tyrol (Der Vogelhändler) – Carl Zeller
Vienna Blood (Wiener Blut) – Johann Strauss
Annen-Polka – Johann Strauss
Song and Czardas (Zigeunerliebe) – Franz Lehár
Vienna, City of my Dreams – Rudolf Sieczynski
Czardas, for Violin – Vittorio Monti
Liebesfreud – Kreisler

A Viennese Whirl (Swansea City Opera)
Saturday 20 January
OPERA – Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£16 / £14 members & concessions

Wed 24 January • Sultans of String

Three times JUNO (Canada’s Grammy) nominees Sultans of String are an “energetic and exciting band with talent to burn!” (Maverick Magazine, UK).

Thrilling audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, Flamenco, Gypsy-jazz, Arabic, and Cuban rhythms, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar, while funky bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound. Celebrating a milestone 10 years together, Sultans of String have hit #1 across Canada on world music charts, #6 on Billboard (world), and received multiple awards and accolades, including a SiriusXM Award, 1st place in the ISC (out of 15,000 entries), 3 Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus invitations to perform/record with such luminaries as The Chieftains, Sweet Honey In The Rock, and David Bromberg.

Bandleader/violinist Chris McKhool (Jesse Cook, Pavlo), a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal recipient, was raised in a Lebanese-Egyptian household just bursting with music and diversity. Growing up, he was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality alongside Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons. When he first heard founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s (Jesse Cook) rumba rhythm, their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. From this rich foundation, the dynamic duo grew, featuring such amazing musical friends as in-the-pocket bass master Drew Birston.

Sultans of String have been touring many taste-making forums such as UK’s legendary Celtic Connections, NYC’s Birdland and The Lincoln Center. They recently sold out Koerner Hall (Toronto’s Albert Hall), and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Stratford, Ontario and Niagara Symphony Orchestras, as well with Kingsfield POPS in Maine and Maryland’s Annapolis Symphony. Sultans of String were recently filmed by MPBN’s Maine Arts! in a feature concert, and performed live on BBC TV, BBC Radio, Irish National Radio, and the internationally syndicated shows WoodSongs, World Cafe, and on SiriusXM in Washington.

“Chris McKhool and the boys are fantastic!”
Bob Ezrin (Producer–Pink Floyd. Kiss)

“Sultans of String are one of Canada’s hottest new musical exports, dynamically embodying their homeland’s values of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures.”
International Celtic Connections Festival, UK

“Impressive, considerable virtuosity and tasteful arrangements… its positive vibes are irresistible”
Songlines UK

“Absolutely brilliant”
BBC Radio

“It seems that Sultans of String can’t get themselves out of bed at the moment without finding themselves nominated for one award or another. In a word: Magnificent”
R2 – Rock ‘n’ Reel – UK – 5 Star review

Sultans of String
Wednesday 24 January
FOLK MUSIC – Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
Duration: 2x 45 min sets with interval
£13 / £11 members and concessions

 

 

Sat 27 Jan • Bessie Smith • Empress of Blues & Jazz

BESSIE SMITH “EMPRESS OF THE BlUES”

 

Bessie Smith (15th April 1894 – 26th September 1937)
Nicknamed the “
Empress of the Blues”, Bessie Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on other jazz singers.

Ma Bessie (Julia Titus) and her blues troupe (internationally acclaimed drummer, Sam Kelly with Musical Director, Paul Jobson on keyboards, Tony Qunta on acoustic guitar, Richard Sadler on upright bass, Chuck Lloyd on saxophone and Kevin Davy on trumpet) perform to a narrated show, featuring music from the era and showcasing many of Bessie’s songs.

 

The show chronicles her life from a one-room shack in Blue Goose Hollow, to becoming the highest-paid black entertainer of that time, to the tragic accident on Route 61 in September 1937 that ended her life aged 43 years.

Saturday 27 January
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
Duration: 2x 45 min sets with interval
£15 / £13 members & concessions

9 February 2018 • Emily Maguire

A classically-trained multi-instrumentalist with five albums and two books to her name, Emily Maguire is truly “a talent to be reckoned with” (R2 Magazine), her strong, thought-provoking lyrics, supremely expressive vocals and stunning live performances winning her fans across the globe.  After living in a shack in the Australian bush where she made her first two albums, Emily returned to the UK to tour with American legend Don McLean and make her third album ‘Believer’, a ‘masterpiece’ according to Maverick Magazine, with two singles playlisted on Radio 2. Her latest album ‘A Bit Of Blue’ was released in February 2017.

 

 

Friday 9 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
Duration: 2x 45 min sets with interval
£13 / £11 members & concessions / £5 Live for 5

 

Sat 10 February • The Pasadena Roof Orchestra

 

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra

A vintage dance band in every sense of the word! For 45 years the Pasadena Roof Orchestra have been re-creating the sounds of a golden era of music from the 1920’s and 1930’s. Enjoy beautifully arranged songs from Irving Berlin, Ray Noble, Cole Porter and their contemporaries and re-live the electrifying hot jazz from Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington.
Presenting the show, and putting on the top hat and tails, is the suave singer and band leader Duncan Galloway. So pack up your troubles, come on get happy, and experience an evening of superlative live music, with more than a dash of wit and humour.

“It is said that if some Pasadena Roof Orchestra tunes are floating past her window, the Queen is not displeased” (The Daily Telegraph)

“An evening of rare musical entertainment” (The Financial Times)

“For the PRO I have nothing but praise, they brilliantly evoked an array of 20’s and 30’s musical styles” (The Sunday Telegraph)

Saturday 10 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
Duration: 2x 50 min sets with interval
£22 / £20 members & concessions

 

Wed 14 February • John Hudson, Mario Lanza and Me

 

John Hudson, Mario Lanza, and Me

It’s 1973. I’m a boy living in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and we’re going through another bloomin’ power cut.

My life is about to change completely and forever. Sitting in the candle lit gloom with nothing but a wind up gramophone, I decide to play a record. Not wanting to ruin one of my own LPs, I try one of my parent’s – some geezer called Mario Lanza. Two things happened. Firstly, I discovered that you can’t play modern vinyl on a wind up gramophone – trust me, my backside still hurts, and secondly, I don’t know how to describe it, a miracle? Corny old songs from the 40s and 50s, but that voice…that absolutely electrifying voice…

Twenty years later and I’m singing Rodolpho in la Boheme at the Coliseum for ENO and it’s Mario Lanza’s fault. Well now I’m returning the favour.

In this loving tribute to one of the world’s greatest voices, by, if I may say so, a half decent tenor, let me introduce you to Mario Lanza. To that voice.

Stolen from the opera world by Hollywood, he became the world’s first “crossover” artist. In this modern age of Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, the X Factor and the Voice, we have become accustomed to classical voices in the charts. Well, come and meet the Daddy of ’em all.

Whether an old friend, or someone you’ve never heard of, allow me to show you how he changed not only MY life, but the lives of many more.

With songs such as Be My Love, Serenade, Because and I’ll Walk With God, he captured the hearts of a generation.
Come and meet him. I’ll give you an evening you’ll never forget.”

Wednesday 14 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£15 / £13 members & concessions

Thurs 22 & Wed 28 February • Thomas Hardye School Musical Showcases

Thomas Hardye School Musical Showcases

The Thomas Hardye School presents a concert series of solo performances by sixth-form students who are taking Music A-level. As ever, there will be a great variety of music and a great deal of talent on show. Where else are you
likely to hear a classical singer, solos on electric guitar, oboe, trombone, or drum kit all in the same concert?

These annual concerts have grown more and more popular in the last 10 years and are a wonderful opportunity for audiences to hear and support our own young musicians.

 

Thursday 22 & Wednesday 28 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
1pm (doors 12.20pm)
FREE (Donations welcome)

Sat 24 Feb • The Wildes

The Wildes

Will and Dani Wilde have wowed audiences here with their solo shows, and now they come together at the Corn Exchange for a special ‘Live and Unplugged’ gig. Dani (on vocals and guitar) and Will (on harmonica) will be sharing songs from each of their respective new albums as well as visiting material from their extensive back catalogues. Will’s soulful blues-rock style combined with Dani’s country and gospel tinged approach to the blues makes for a heartwarming and foot-stomping show.

About Will Wilde: ‘Wilde’s live show is “A masterclass of blues harp playing, bar none.’ Blues in the North West

About Dani Wilde: ’The entire audience was silenced and caught in the spell of deep emotion’ Music News Magazine

Saturday 24 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£14 / £12 members & concessions / £5 Live for 5