Beverley Knight, Ruby Turner, Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Soprano Jeanine De Bique, & Chineke! At BBC Proms ’17

African-American jazz legends Dianne Reeves, Kandace Springs and Christian Scott, plus soul legends Winston Rollins, Booker T. Jones, William Bell, Sam Moore and Eddie Floyd, also perform in a Gospel-free year.

With the First Night of The Proms kicking off on 14th July, here are some TBB gems to watch out for:

Friday 4th August

Diane Reeves

Proms Extra: Talk Imperial College Union @17:45, Nigerian-Scottish writer Jackie Kay and fellow writer Ali Smith talk to broadcaster, journalist and Echoes deputy editor Kevin Le Gendre about Ella Fitzgerald’s voice as a prelude to the evening…

Book tickets here.

Prom 27: Ella and Dizzy: A Centenary Tribute – Royal Albert Hall @19:30, one interval. “The most admired jazz diva since the heyday of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday,” (New York Times), African-American singer Dianne Reeves will be accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Broadway musical and Hollywood movie-score legend John Mauceri. Together, they will pay a double tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie in the centenary year of their births. The programme which will contrast the Great American Songbook with bebop and Afro-Latin sounds which, respectively, made Fitzgerald and Gillespie great.

Seats £9.50 to £50 (plus booking fee). Tickets for this concert are now very limited. However, weekend Promming passes are still available which guarantee entry into this Prom up to 30 minutes before the performance starts.

Book tickets here.

Tuesday 22 August

Chineke Orchestra

Proms Session: Chineke! – Royal Albert Hall @10:00. In partnership with Royal Albert Hall Education & Outreach, this is a BBC Proms Session with Chineke! and classical Guyanese-Brit composer Hannah Kendall – a free workshop and masterclass offering young people the opportunity to work with musicians from the UK’s first majority BME orchestra. Young musicians aged 11-18 will have the chance to explore a brand new work by Kendall, The Spark Catchers, ahead of its world premiere at Prom 62 (see below).

You will workshop extracts from The Spark Catchers and create your own version to perform to an audience of friends and family on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall. This is a practical, creative session open to orchestral instrumentalists aged 11-18 of a grade 6 standard (or equivalent) or above.

Book tickets here.

Thursday, 24th August

Shabaka Hutchings

Prom 53: Beneath the Underdog: Charles Mingus Revisited – Royal Albert Hall @19:30 – Nashville-based Kandace Springs will sing alongside Bajan-Brit Shabaka Hutchings on saxophones, Grammy award-winning African-American trumpeter Christian Scott and Leo Pellegrino on baritone saxophone. Jules Buckley returns with his Metropole Orkest to celebrate the life and music of the legendary composer, bandleader and bass-player Charles Mingus (1922–79), having previously paid tribute to Quincy Jones at Proms 2016. Mingus was renowned for combining the classic style of Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton with the radical spirit of African-American music of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Seats £14 to £60 (plus booking fee).

Book tickets here.

Sunday 27th August

Winston Rollins

Prom 57: Swing No End – Royal Albert Hall @15:00, one interval. Featuring Winston Rollins and his big band, stomps and shuffles, boogie-woogie and blues, bebop to Latin, this Sunday matinee Prom presents a slice of musical action from the 1930s and 40s. Rollins’ roaring big band battles Guy Barker’s to celebrate the big band greats, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmie Lunceford, Boyd Raeburn, Machito, Stan Kenton, Mary Lou Williams and Woody Herman. Seats £9.50 to £50 (plus booking fee).

Book tickets here.


Wednesday 30th August

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Prom 62: Chineke! – Royal Albert Hall @22:15. Hailed by critics as ‘fresh’ and ‘brilliant’, the UK’s first BME orchestra Chineke! makes its Proms debut in a programme including works by George Walker, the first African-American Pulitzer Prize-winner for music, and young British composer Hannah Kendall, whose The Spark Catchers takes inspiration from the urgent energy of Ethiopian-Brit Lemn Sissay’s poem of the same name. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition and hailing from the musically prodigious 7-strong Kanneh-Mason siblings, Trinidad and Tobago-born soprano Jeanine De Bique and conductor Kevin John Edusei all make their Proms debut here. Seats £7.50 to £25 (plus booking fee).

Book tickets here.


Friday 1st September

Prom 65: Stax Records: 50 Years of Soul – Royal Albert Hall. The amazing Stax label’s greatest surviving artists Booker T. Jones on the Hammond organ, Sam Moore, William Bell and Eddie Floyd, plus UK soul legends Beverley Knight, Ruby Turner and long-time Stax fan and interpreter of the songbook Sir Tom Jones, accompanied by Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra to pay tribute to the pioneering label and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stax/Volt Revue’s first tour of the UK. Founded in 1959, Memphis-based Stax Records was synonymous with Southern Soul – a distinctive blend of funk, gospel and R & B that brought listeners across America together at a time of racial conflict and political unrest. Seats £9.50 to £50 (plus booking fee). Also on BBC Four.

Book tickets here.


Wednesday 6th September

Proms at… The Tanks at Tate Modern – @22:15, no interval: Wolverhampton-born, London-based, cerebral electronic music producer Actress (Darren J. Cunningham) collaborates with the London Contemporary Orchestra as part of a specially curated Prom in a link-up with BBC Radio 3’s new music series Open Ear in the industrial surroundings of The Tanks at Tate Modern. Standing tickets: £6 (booking fees apply)

Book tickets here.

Also, because we love film…

Friday 21st July

Prom 8: Celebrating John Williams Having scored Star Wars, Harry Potter, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and the Indiana Jones films, Williams is the winner of 5 Academy Awards, 22 Grammy Awards and seven BAFTAs, ranking him among the greatest of film composers. To mark his 85th birthday, Keith Lockhart conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in an evening featuring excerpts from the composer’s catalogue on BBC Four.

Book tickets here.

And, because classical music is for everyone…

Proms Extra: Family Workshop @Imperial College Union. Bring your instrument and join in! Proms Family Workshops take place before Proms with professional musicians for approximately 45 minutes, selected with families in mind. Booking is not required for this event. Entry is on a first-come-first-served basis (doors open 30 minutes before the event begins; capacity is limited). Suitable for all the family (ages 7-plus). All under 18s must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Book on the following dates:Sunday 16th July, Friday 28th July, Thursday 17th August, Sunday 3rd September. 


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