South Tyneside’s Brooke Bentham among rising stars celebrated at North East music festival

Brooke Bentham
Brooke Bentham
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Rising music stars of the future, including South Shields songbird Brooke Bentham, will be showcased at Sage Gateshead in January when the New Year New Artists’ festival returns.

Celebrating the UK’s most exciting contemporary musicians from indie, folk, jazz and classical, New Year New Artists takes over the Tyneside venue from January 26-28.

Now in its third year, the festival is an opportunity for music lovers to support the artists of tomorrow and boast that they saw them here first.

The festival kicks off with two concerts on the Friday night, January 26.

In Sage Two, Leeds-born Paul Thomas Saunders brings his psychedelic soundscapes to Sage Gateshead for the first time.

Supporting Paul is County Durham’s Harri Endersby and Brooke Bentham from South Shields.

Growing up in the North East’s thriving folk scene, Harri’s music has been heavily influenced by the region’s crowd of prestigious folk singers and musicians.

Brooke, 21, wrote her debut single at the age of 16 and has been described as having “one of the most beautiful new voices of recent times”.

Sage One will host two star soloists of tomorrow, Sindy Mohamed (viola) and Aaron Pilsan (piano) plus the winner of the venue’s Young Composers’ Competition, who will be announced during the weekend.

During the festival, audiences will have the chance to hear the three competition finalists and vote for their favourite along with the jury.

Saturday afternoon brings an assortment of artists to Sage Two and Northern Rock Foundation Hall including Swedish Grammy-nominated violist Ellen Nisbeth, prestigious ARD International Music Competition prize winner percussionist Christoph Sietzen and visionary and innovative trumpet player Tamás Pálfalvi.

All three young classical artists have been selected by the leading concert halls in Europe from the European Concert Hall Organisation network (Echo), as the leading chamber musicians of the next generation.

Also performing in Sage Two will be winners of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Original Track – The Rheingans Sisters – and Indian classical vocalist Keertan Kaur Rehal.

A night of the best up-and-coming bands in the North East will also take place in Sage Two, with sets from indie rock four-piece Vito, electro pop trio Shamu and mysterious six-piece band Shy-Talk.

Mali Hayes (lauded by Jamie Cullum and Giles Petersen) will perform music from her debut EP on the concourse with her four-piece band.

And, later on, a new album by six young composers – New Wave 2 – will be launched in Northern Rock Foundation Hall.

It is the end of a nine-month artist development project involving workshops with Royal Northern Sinfonia musicians and mentoring from professional composers.

On the Sunday, January 28, Ohio born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan will make his North East debut, bringing his eclectic, critically-acclaimed sound to Sage Two.

Compared to Sturgill Simpson, he has toured with Lady Gaga and the New York Dolls and has been called “country’s new hope”.

l Tickets for the festival can be bought at www.sagegateshead.com or from 0191 443 4661.