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Rock with new season, featuring contemporary, jazz, folk, world and roots music

Get ready for a new season, featuring contemporary, jazz, folk, world and roots music, from artists including Sierra Maestra, Laura Marling, The Portico Quartet, Jack Bruce, The Imagined Village and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain amongst others. It is now on sale at Town Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

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Between January and June 2012, the two world-class venues will present a programme of over 20 ticketed events and more than 40 free events spanning music from across the globe such as son Cubano, British trad-jazz, Irish folk, US country, Indian classical and many styles in between.

Season highlights include performances from Grammy nominees and Latin music heroes Sierra Maestra, the Symphony Hall debut by 2011 Brit Award winner and Mercury Prize nominee Laura Marling, a return to Town Hall by legendary Cream bassist and songwriter-storyteller Jack Bruce and his Big Blues Band, a visit by inspirational folk-world experimentalists The Imagined Village and a specially commissioned work exploring the songbook of folk’s founding father Cecil Sharp from The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall will also host performances from The Chris Barber Big Band and Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band, Martin Simpson Trio, Transatlantic Sessions, Demon Barbers: Time Gentlemen Please!, The Portico Quartet, Fairport Convention, Nanci Griffith, An Evening with Joan Baez, Caro Emerald, The Spaghetti Western Orchestra, The Dubliners, Charlie Landsborough, Roberto Fonseca + Ayanna, Kailash Kher with his band Kailasa, Don Williams and The Chieftains.

Paul Keene, Director of Programming at Town Hall and Symphony Hall, said: “2012 sees Birmingham’s internationally acclaimed Symphony Hall begin its 21st Anniversary celebrations alongside our continuing commitment to developing Town Hall as a world-class venue for wonderful and distinctive music-making.

“We’re doubly thrilled, therefore, to be delivering another season of exciting concerts featuring outstanding artists both new and established, whether it’s Laura Marling and Portico Quartet at the cutting edge of cool, or legendary musicians like Joan Baez and Jack Bruce.”

In addition to ticketed events, music fans can get their fix of jazz, folk and world music for free at the weekly Rush Hour Blues and monthly Mid-day Mantra, Folk For Free and Sax in the City sessions in the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar.

Rush Hour Blues, the free early Friday evening performance programmed in conjunction with Birmingham Jazz, regularly attracts audiences of around 400 and has presented hundreds of solo artists, ensembles and orchestras to date.

Folk For Free, presented in association with Moseley Folk, showcases some of the very best in contemporary folk from around the West Midlands once a month. Similarly, Mid-day Mantra, presented in association with sampad, introduces outstanding Asian artists from the UK and the Indian subcontinent in relaxed and informal free sessions. Veteran jazzman Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes also perform free monthly Sax in the City gigs in the public space.

For ticket sales and information on all events, you can visit www.thsh.co.uk or call Town Hall and Symphony Hall Box Office on 0121 780 3333.

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