Levitate Birmingham Music Week: A Showcase Of Birmingham's Thriving Music Industry

Levitate Birmingham Music Week February 23rd - March 1st 2015

Levitate: Birmingham Music Week will showcase the city’s thriving and vibrant music sector with a variety of live, academic and industry led events taking place across the city from February 23rd - March 1st.

During the week, live events across Birmingham are drawn together through Birmingham Music Map, highlighting performances by over 130 musicians in 23 venues, for a combined audience of up to 14,500 music lovers. This Levitate in-house prototype seeks to highlight existing events throughout the city, and encourage further collaboration between venues to draw attention to Birmingham's live music offer.

Music sector focussed Levitate Summit - free to registered delegates - which will take place on Thursday February 26th 2015 at The Old Library, Custard Factory, from 10am - 5pm. This exploration of Birmingham’s music industry will unite musicians, students, promoters, venue owners, experts and academics in a day of workshops, panels, and guest speakers. 

Representatives from national bodies including UK Music, PRS Foundation, Independent Label Market, Kobalt Music, Music Publishers Association, Industry In The Streets, Live at Leeds, Music Venue Trust, Transmission Music Group, and Manchester's iconic Ruby Lounge will join Birmingham based practitioners and commentators to take part in Levitate Summit.

By exploring and highlighting the city’s dynamism and resilience, Levitate Summit will prototype solutions to challenges which face the sector. 

Panels include Destination Birmingham, where Jez Collins from Birmingham Music Archive and Birmingham City University will be joined by representatives from Sao Paulo, Manchester and Leeds, compare Birmingham’s live music economy with that of other cities.

For the Collaborate to Levitate panel Jon Walsh – Director of Kambe Events (Shambala Festival) will showcase what can be achieved when organisations and individuals join forces. Key speakers include Matt Riley from Kobalt Music, a platform offering artists, songwriters, and publishers an alternative to the traditional music business model.

Further panels include Brum and Beyond, The Future of Live Music, one to one sessions with Musicians Union, advice on publishing the Music Publishers Association, a Music Export 101 workshop from Sound Diplomacy, an artist led prototyping area and much more.

Following Levitate Summit, from 7pm on Thursday February 26th, free celebration Levitate Live will take over Alfie Bird's & The Oobleck, bringing an exuberant line up which echoes the variety of Birmingham's music scene. 

Headlining will be internationally renowned fist pumping punk heavy weights GBH, joined by Jo Hamilton a multi instrumental pioneer with a loyal global fanbase whose track Liathach is played by Prince on his world tour. The lineup is completed by traditional tabla player Mendi Singh, 4 times DMC World Champion Mr. Switch, soulful newcomer Elektric and rockabilly band the The Frenzies, who will have attendees jumping and jiving to the greatest Rock N Roll hits from the 1950’s.

Tessa Burwood, project manager and Director of Professional Incredibles explains: 

“ We are really excited to showcase Levitate: Birmingham Music Week this month, through which we hope to offer a platform with a national reach to highlight all the great things already happening in our vibrant city.”

“ We want to showcase the many initiatives and organisations that are and continue to prosper in the industry, with specially curated areas to the Levitate outline, from academic to live performances - all of which are free to get involved in.”

“Essentially with Levitate: Birmingham Music Week we hope to join the dots and really showcase Birmingham’s offering to the music sector, to facilitate conversations and collaborations, prototype solutions, and with Levitate: Live bring performances from Birmingham musicians whose international profile really put this city on the map. ”

The new music event will take place in Birmingham from February 23rd to March 1st, designed to raise the profile and showcase the resilience of Birmingham’s wide and varied music industry, to register for this free event please visit youcanlevitate.com.

Birmingham Music map is currently available from venues across the city, it can also be viewed or downloaded online at www.youcanlevitate.com/music-map, and to follow all the latest action head to facebook.com/youcanlevitate or @youcanlevitate

ENDS

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More Information

About Levitate: Birmingham Music Week

Levitate: Birmingham Music Week - February 23rd - March 1st

Levitate Summit - 10am - 5pm, Thursday 26th February, at Birmingham’s iconic Custard Factory, in Digbeth.  FREE TO REGISTERED DELEGATES.

Levitate Live - 7pm - 12am Thursday 26th February, at Alfie Birds Oobleck, The Custard Factory, in Digbeth. FREE ENTRY.

Panels and Key Speakers: http://www.youcanlevitate.com/levitate-summit/

Levitate Live Performers

GBH (HEADLINER) 

GBH have gained legendary status on the UK punk scene since forming in Birmingham in 1979. Today the band consists of the founding core trio; vocalist Colin (Col) Abrahall, guitarist Colin (Jock) Blyth, and bassist Ross Lomas, with Scott Preece on drums for the past 17 years. They have been described as forerunners of the UK82 sound and are credited with influencing bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica and Nirvana. 

Since their 1982 debut album, City Baby Attacked By Rats, GBH have been busy touring worldwide and have released a further ten albums. Their last offering in 2010, Perfume and Piss, was produced by fellow punk rocker and Rancid front man, Lars Frederiksen. They are currently busy writing new material for a much anticipated follow-up album.

http://gbhuk.com/ 

https://www.facebook.com/GBH.official 

JO HAMILTON

After a nomadic childhood which saw her move all over the world, Jo Hamilton finally settled in Birmingham, bringing her uniquely beautiful voice with her. Her 2009 debut album, Gown, was critically acclaimed, receiving 4 star reviews from publications such as MOJO and The Independent, and gaining her comparisons with the likes of Björk and KD Lang. In addition to glowing reviews for Gown, Jo has also been praised for her series of accompanying films made up of a mixture of footage she filmed whilst on tour and live performances.    

In 2010, Jo revealed she was the first artist in the world to be working with an Airpiano. She has continued to mesmerise audiences by pioneering this new instrument in her live work. 

http://about.johamilton.com/

https://www.facebook.com/johamiltongown

MENDI SINGH

Born and bred in multicultural Birmingham, Mendi has been inspired by the diverse musical styles he has been surrounded by. From a young age, he started performing with westernised Asian bands, leading him to pursue a career in music.

As well as receiving praise in his own right for innovative compositions mixed with traditional tabla playing, Mendi collaborated with Honeyfeet’s Ríoghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies on the EP, The Centre Cannot Hold, in 2013. The trio toured the well-received EP in Brazil throughout April and May 2013.  Mendi has recorded with Peter Gabriel, shared a stage with Paul McCartney and composed the world's first concerto for tabla.

https://myspace.com/menditabla

THE FRENZIES

Made up of Bo Dudley on vocals and guitar, Baby Jimmy White on drums who just so happens to be 74 years old, and Diablo D’sylva on Double Bass and Bass Guitar. This ‘hotter than a hot rod in a hell storm’ band will have you jumping and jiving to the greatest Rock N Roll hits from the 1950s. 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Frenzies

MR SWITCH 

Mr Switch (aka Anthony Culverwell and previously known as DJ Switch) is a world champion DJ based in Birmingham. He discovered his skill aged just 11 and has gone on to great success, supporting artists from Professor Green to Public Enemy. In 2008, he won the ‘Battle of Supremacy’ category at the World DMC DJ championships and successfully defended his title a further three times, becoming the first person to achieve a quadruple-win. He has demonstrated his skills as a turntablist on Blue Peter, BBC Radio 1xtra, and at various festivals, including Glastonbury.

In 2011, he became the first DJ to partake in BBC Proms as part of Gabriel Prokofiev’s ‘Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra’ with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. 

ELEKTRIC 

Versatile lyricist Elektric brings a unique sound to Hip Hop/Soul. Her music fuses old school Hip Hop and RnB with electronica, backed up with accessible singer-songwriter style. Her refreshing and original style represents and champions the underground vibe of the Midland’s scene. Elektric uses here music to express what its like to be a young, gay, female artist in 21st century Britain. She is currently signed to producer baby J, who has produced for Amy Winehouse, Estelle, Skinnyman, Dead Prez and Jamie Joseph.

http://www.thisiselektric.com/

E: rachael@tigerbam.co.uk

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