An impressive international music line-up at the Brighton Festival – and how to get your tickets

André Comben

As audiences rediscover the joys of live music, an exciting contemporary music program features artists from around the world, from Italy to Syria, and from the United States to the United Kingdom.

Andrew Comben, Managing Director of the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said: “Trumpeter and bandleader Ambrose Akinmusire brings his inimitable funk, hip hop and classical style to Brighton for a Brighton Festival exclusive on May 21. After previous collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Robert Glasper, his latest album for the legendary Blue Note label, in the tender place of every insensitive moment, once again showcases his unique kaleidoscopic vision. Joining the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet is Alina Bzhezhinska, composer, bandleader and founder of HipHarpCollective – a one-woman powerhouse whose mission is to bring the harp to the forefront of contemporary music.

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“In a Brighton Festival exclusive, the critically acclaimed Syrian Musicians Orchestra celebrates the power and joy of Syrian music and culture with beautiful strings, infectious rhythms and haunting vocals. Having collaborated internationally with Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz, Africa Express and the Liverpool Philharmonic, the UK-based members of the Orchestra will reunite at the Brighton Festival on May 11 for an unmissable musical performance.

“One of the few female oud players in a traditionally male-dominated field, Rihab Azar graduated from the Damascus Conservatory in 2014. Based in London, while remaining strongly connected to her Syrian musical roots, Azar’s collaborations with London Sinfonietta, Stile Antico and Cantata Dramatica saw her perform on stages from the Royal Albert Hall to St Paul’s Cathedral.The Brighton Festival welcomes her to All Saints Church on May 26 for a classical music journey and contemporary Syria and the wider Middle East.

“The New Regency Orchestra of the United Kingdom is a big band whose mission is to reinvent the music of the saints of Afro-Cuban music. Over the past year, this incendiary ensemble of twenty musicians has torn up the big band rulebook, garnering the endorsements of legendary DJ Gilles Peterson in the process. Drawing inspiration from New York’s fusion of jazz and Latin from the 1950s to the 1970s, the New Regency Orchestra adds a contemporary London flair to reflect the effervescence of this scene. On May 15, they will perform Afro-Cuban classics to a standing Brighton Festival audience, free to move in their searing jazz energy.

“Two of world music’s most revered artists, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino and Justin Adams & Mauro Durante, bring a vibrant take on Southern Italy’s fiery folk dance music, the Taranta, to the Brighton Festival on May 18. After triumphant performances at WOMAD and the BBC Proms, the seven CGS virtuosos will present their new show featuring haunting dancer Silvia Perrone Adams – a longtime Robert Plant collaborator – and Durante’s latest collaboration, Still Moving, is a stripped down meeting of Desert Blues and Italian was hailed Songlines’ “Album of the Year” in 2021.”

Brighton Festival returns to full capacity in 2022, with an extensive international schedule of over 150 events, taking place in Sussex from May 7-29.

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