As you may have noticed, we love the Spitalfields area. Both the spaces which we’re able to fill with sound (ranging from tiny Georgian drawing rooms, to the magnificent Christ Church Spitalfields) and also the great places to eat, drink and relax in.
To help you out this Summer Festival, we’ve put together a downloadable PDF venue pack. This includes maps, address details and travel information for all our Festival venues and in addition, recommendations of our favourite places to eat, drink and be merry – giving you options for rounding off your Festival experience in style!
You can also find all our venues and recommended bars and restaurants on our interactive Google map.
The handful of choice eateries are places recommended by the Spitalfields Music team, but do you know somewhere we don’t? Share with us your favourite places in Spitalfields and our surrounding area. Alternatively, check out the places we like and let us know what you think!
A riotous collection of artists representing the variety of colourful cultures in and around the Spitalfields area will be gearing up to take to the main stage at our Midsummer Street Party.
The performances kick off with a veritable gaggle of schoolchildren from local schools showcasing their singing talents. Next up brass group is the Gold Digger’s Brass Band who’s musical arrangements are completely original and not necessarily of tunes you would expect a brass band to play. The band draws its influence from legendary pop and soul artists such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, performing in the style of some of today’s outstanding ‘second line’ and ‘street’ brass bands such as Youngblood Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band and The Hackney Colliery Band. Expect quirky pop and funk covers with a New Orleans infused brass band twist!
She’Koyokh then takes to the stage in a stampede of sound – hailed as “Britain’s best klezmer and Balkan music band” (Songlines) and winners of the Netherlands’ International Jewish Music Festival competition, the band’s evolution spans the humble origins of busking at East London’s Columbia Road flower market to performing in the famous concert halls of Europe. She’Koyokh is a Yiddish expression meaning “nice one!”
Spitalfields Music’s very own vocal group Spitalfields Singers will sing highlights from their repertoire – a busy day for them as you will also be able to see them perform later in the evening in our final event in Bishop’s Square. A huge event aptly named Fire involving 150 singers, fire artists and a new work by David Bruce – definitely an unusual spectacle not to be missed!
Just as you think you should be winding down Rhythms of the City blaze onto the stage in a riotous explosion of sound and energy. One of the UK’s premier samba percussion squads the group perform not only authentic carnival samba, but many other funky styles (salsa, soca, reggae, funk, hiphop…) with the same passion and energy. Rhythms of the City is the beating heart of London’s multi-award winning jazz community the F-IRE Collective. Drummers, singers, dancers, horns and guitars combine in a unique spectacle to get you up and moving!
Our final event of the day is Street Dance the Maypole, produced by East London Dance. It’s a swirling, twirling, funky maypole fusion – you’ll be able to learn a funky street dance routine, mix it with folkie maypole moves all to the sound of an English bagpipe player and a beatboxer. Sound intriguing? We look forward to seeing your fancy footwork!
Programme Director: Festivals
Posted in Festival, Local Area & Community
Tagged aretha franklin, Bishops Square, brass band, david bruce, East London Dance, f-ire collective, fire, Gold Digger's Brass Band, kate kelly, michael jackson, Midsummer Street Party, rhythms of the city, She'Koyokh, Spitalfields Market, Spitalfields Singers, stevie wonder, street dance the maypole, Summer Festival, Summer Festival 2012
The Midsummer Street Party is this Summer Festival’s fantastic final day. Programme Manager, Ellie tells us more about what’s in store!
Although there will be plenty of bunting, this won’t be your typical street party. With it falling on the midsummer weekend, we thought we’d take this as a starting point and bring together the community to celebrate Spitalfields using music and dance as a focal point. What could be more midsummer than gathering everyone up at the end of the day for a good old dance around the maypole?
There’ll be lots going on throughout the day, with exhibitions and workshops from various local organisations including Crisis and Stitches in Time, musical storytelling for youngsters in the beautiful yurt, New Esperance Morris Dancers getting you moving, animals from the Spitalfields City Farm, a special selection of market stalls organised by the Spitalfields Community Group… the list goes on.
“this won’t be your typical street party”
Don’t miss the Spitalfields Speaks hut where you can pick up an mp3 and explore the area through the ears of someone who lives here, and with the help of sound artist Duncan Chapman and the Toynbee Hall Inspire group, you can even contribute your own story or favourite memory of the area and see it included in a live performance at the Water Poet’s Underground Cinema.
Throughout the afternoon there will also be a treasure hunt of mini music and dance performances – Hidden Gems – to seek out. Over the past few months composers from the Royal Academy of Music have been working with choreographers from East London Dance to create site specific dance and music pieces, responding to specially selected locations across Spitalfields. Pick up a map and be inspired to look at your surroundings in a different light!
Programme Manager: Festivals
You can help make this extraordinary day happen by supporting with a small donation. Head over to justgiving.com/midsummer to find out more.
Posted in Festival, Local Area & Community
Tagged animals, bunting, Crisis, duncan chapman, East London Dance, Ellie Folkes, hidden gems, maypole, Midsummer Street Party, new esperance morris dancers, Royal Academy of Music, Spitalfields City Farm, spitalfields community group, Spitalfields Market, Spitalfields Speaks, stitches in time, storytelling yurt, Summer Festival 2012, toynbee hall inspire, underground cinema, water poet
200 singers, horn ensemble, fire-artists and pyrotechnics in the open air of Spitalfields – it’s our Festival Finale, Fire!
Sample design for the performance of Fire by Mandy Dike & The World Famous
Fire is an exciting new work by David Bruce, and is the second of our PRS for Music Foundation New Music 20×12 performances this Summer. The piece uses texts from Vikram Seth and Yannai to revel in the spiritual relationship we as human beings have with fire, and we’ll be working with The Opera Group to bring this celebration alive in Spitalfields’ market area.
It’s also a unique opportunity to get further involved in this summer’s Festival, as we are looking for enthusiastic singers to join the chorus. If you would like to find out more download our e-flyer, or contact our Programme Manager: Learning & Participation, Natalie Ellis via email or phone 020 7377 0287.
In the meantime, do check out this video from composer David Bruce and The Opera Group all about Fire:
Posted in Festival, Learning & Participation
Tagged david bruce, fire, Learning & Participation, mandy dike, natalie ellis, New Music 20x12, PRS for Music Foundation, pyrotechnics, sing, Spitalfields Market, Summer Festival 2012, The Opera Group, the world famous, vikram seth, Yannai
So it’s still cold and miserable outside, and too dark in the evenings, but summer is hotting up Spitalfields Music HQ as booking is now open for our Summer Festival 2012!
Matthew Barley at Village Underground (Image: Alys Tomlinson)
Running from 8-23 June, the Festival is packed with more musical treats than ever! Leading the programme as our Associate Artists are the Gabrieli Consort & Players, cellist Matthew Barley and tabla player and music producer Talvin Singh. Between them they present an eclectic series of performances ranging from Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, and Stravinsky’s mass setting to a fusion of tabla, folk and electronic, a candle-lit performance of John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil and a search for the answer to the question, What’s Music For?
Paul McCreesh in Old Spitalfields Market (Image: Alys Tomlinson)
We welcome a number of music-theatre encounters, as The Sixteen return with a new commission from Alec Roth with Samuel Beckett’s Old Earth monologues. La Nuova Musica collaborate with Vignette Productions on Sacrifices: a new staging and installation around two baroque oratorios, and The Opera Group come together with the London Sinfonietta in Harrison Birtwistle’s tale of love and jealously, Bow Down.
Talvin Singh at Oxford House (Image: James Berry)
Alongside all this, Dutch cult sensation Night of the Unexpected makes its London debut, with a cocktail of experimental beats improvised jazz, composed repertoire and conceptual pop music. Late-night concerts from Melvyn Tan with Bach suites and new variations plus EXAUDI celebrating the beauty of John Cage’s vocal music. There’s also choral music of every flavour as the Monteverdi Choir go on a European choral pilgrimage, the Choir of Royal Holloway bring songs from the Baltic States and the distinct sounds of South American baroque from Florilegium and the Arakaendar Bolivia Choir.
All this and much, much more will be filling the extraordinary spaces of Spitalfields this summer! See our website for the full festival listings, or flick through the Festival brochure online.
Booking is now open: online 24 hours-a-day at spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk (just register an account if you’re new to us) or via the Box Office phone lines on 020 7377 1362 (open Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm).
Posted in Festival, Spitalfields Music
Tagged Alec Roth, Arakaendar Bolivia Choir, Bow Down, choir of royal holloway, choral music, christ church spitalfields, EXAUDI, Florilegium, Gabrieli Consort, harrison birtwistle, John Tavener, June 2012, la nuova musica, London Sinfonietta, Matthew Barley, melvyn tan, monteverdi choir, Night of the Unexpected, Old Earth, Paul McCreesh, Purcell, samuel beckett, shoreditch church, Spitalfields Market, spitalfields music, Stravinsky, Summer Festival 2012, tabla, Talvin Singh, the fairy queen, The Opera Group, The Sixteen, vignette productions