Rock and pop to jazz and folk, music not to miss in the Norfolk and Suffolk in 2017

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry will relive their American railroad songbook at Norwich's Open. Picture: Sup

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry will relive their American railroad songbook at Norwich's Open. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Martha Wainwright, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Billy Bragg and jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater amongst the music artists heading our way this year.

Dee Dee Bridgewater, one of today’s leading female jazz vocal stars, is part of the Norfolk and Norw

Dee Dee Bridgewater, one of todays leading female jazz vocal stars, is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Picture: Mark Higashino - Credit: Mark Higashino


• Martha Wainwright

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, January 24

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With an undeniable voice and an arsenal of powerful songs, this beguiling performer returns four years after her last album, Come Home To Mama, with a follow-up, Goodnight City, being described as her best record yet. This album returns to the rawness of her first release and includes songs by Martha, as well as brother Rufus and Norfolk's own Beth Orton.

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• Sophie Ellis Bextor

Waterfront, Norwich, February 16

After her career-invigorating album, Wanderlust, which she wrote with Ed Harcourt, who also produced the record, SEB returns having released her sixth album Familia. Where their previous collaboration resulted in Eastern-European-inspired baroque pop and orchestral folk, this marks a return to the soft disco sounds she's best known for.

Martha Wainwright brings her new album, Come Home To Mama, to Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Carl Lessard

Martha Wainwright brings her new album, Come Home To Mama, to Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Carl Lessard - Credit: PA

• The Handsome Family

Norwich Arts Centre, February 21

Husband-and-wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks' embrace a wide sweep of musical references, from medieval ballad and Appalachian holler to Tin Pan Alley and punk rock. Best known for their theme from TV's True Detective, their 10th album, Unseen, is steeped in the western gothic of New Mexico life.

• Deaf Havana

UEA, February 23

'We're going to sing like we mean it, 'cos I mean it this time,' sings James Veck-Gilodi on Deaf Havana's earth-shakingly new single, Sing. After festival triumphs and supporting Bruce Springsteen, the Norfolk rockers thought about calling it a day, but a still-burgeoning fanbase sees them return with new album All These Countless Nights, their most eclectic and expansive yet.

• De La Soul

UEA, March 8

Hip hop pioneers who with their debut classic 3 Feet High and Rising were a quirky alternative to 1980s gangster rap. Formed in 1987, Posdnuos, Dave & Maseo, with eight studio albums and a cult following to their name, last year released 'and the Anonymous Nobody...', their latest full-length album, funded in just 10 hours via Kickstarter.

• Blossoms

UEA, March 27

Blossoms' eponymous debut record spent two weeks at No.1 when it was released in August – it is the first time a debut album has spent more than one week in top slot since 2014. The Stockport band's cathartic sing-a-longs hark back to the region's pop greats, with minor key moodiness with the kind of bravado not seen since the glory days of The Stone Roses and The La's.

• Ward Thomas

Open, Norwich, May 5

Chart-topping twins Catherine and Lizzy made history with their debut, Cartwheels, when it reached the top spot on the album charts, becoming the first ever UK country act to achieve the feat. On top of that extraordinary achievement, the album stayed in the top five for three weeks: a rare accomplishment. Ward Thomas were barely out of their teens when they became country crossover stars with their independently released 2014 debut album From Where We Stand.

• Los Campesinos!

Norwich Arts Centre, May 6

Six-piece Cardiff band started with chunks of giddy teenage twee-pop, but have since moved into moodier territory, celebrate the release of their sixth album, Sick Scenes (out on February 24). Thematically the record is concerned with fumbling for personal relevance while trying to be a better person.

• Rick Astley

Thetford Forest, July 1

Soulful-voiced pop icon and multi-million selling artist, Rick Astley has had a lot to celebrate. With 50, his first number one album in 25-years, the Brit Award winning singer has pulled off one of pop's most remarkable comebacks. Here he will be playing tracks old and new in a summer night celebration in Thetford Forest.


• Billy Bragg & Joe Henry

Open, Norwich, January 22

In March Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train in Chicago looking to reconnect with the culture of railroad travel and the music it inspired. Winding along 2,728 miles over four days, the pair recorded classic railroad songs in waiting rooms and at trackside. Here they'll be playing songs from the journey, along with favourites from their own back catalogues.

• Cara Dillon

Norwich Arts Centre, March 2

Sweet-voiced folk singer Cara Dillon entertains with her songs from A Thousand Hearts, her fifth solo album, another small masterpiece of song and emotion, ethereal and radiant. She has won every folk award going, but confesses to being no purist, making music that reaches beyond the constraints and limitations of tradition.

• Calan

Norwich Arts Centre, April 25

Fiddles, guitar, accordion, bagpipes and step dancing explode into life when this energetic young folk band from Wales, take to the stage. They breathe fire into the old traditions with their infectious rhythms before melting into some of the most beautiful and haunting songs as they explore the legends of Wales' very own fairy realm with tales of magic, myth and mischief. A huge sense of humour, they also promise step-dancing from a champion dancer.

• Peatbog Faeries

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, May 2

Following the release of their latest album, Blackhouse, this legendary band will once more be back on the road in 2017 to delight audiences countrywide. Hailing from the Isle of Skye, they are trailblazers of the Celtic dance music renaissance. But drawing upon a dazzling myriad of influences from traditional jigs and reels through jazz, hip hop, reggae and more, they take traditional Scottish music in a fresh direction.


• C Duncan

Norwich Arts Centre, February 2

Glasgow's prodigious talent C Duncan released his critically acclaimed and Mercury Prize nominated debut album, Architect, last July, but with Twilight Zone-inspired follow-up The Midnight Sun, the bedroom producer returns with a more expansive and experimental sound, blending electronic elements and sweeping synth sounds with his signature layered vocals and dreamy instrumentation.

• Baluji Shrivastav

The Cut, Halesworth, March 18

One of the greatest instrumentalists to come from India, Baluji Shrivastav is a blind musician who excels in playing the sitar, dilruba and tabla among other traditional Indian instruments. Here the recently OBE awarded sitar master will perform a special evening of mesmerising Indian classical music, accompanied by Sanju Sahai on tablas.

• Dee Dee Bridgewater

Norwich Theatre Royal, May 20

A fantastic live performer, Dee Dee Bridgewater is one of today's leading female jazz vocal stars. Putting her own unique spin on standards as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics, the Grammy and Tony Award-winning artist has had a multifaceted career that has spanned over four decades. But she is probably the most electrifying stage presence in vocal jazz today, and counts Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon among her list of past collaborators.

• Paolo Angeli & Derek Gripper

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, February 5

Solo guitars like never before on a genre-defying double bill of daring contrast and beauty. Paolo Angeli, the Sardinian guitar sorcerer, composes unclassifiable music, suspended between free jazz, minimal pop, post-folk and pre-everything else. Derek Gripper has produced some of South Africa's most extraordinary musical works as well as working with everyone from Toumani Diabaté to Ballaké Sissoko.

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