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Jazz Festival Unmasked

Colin TownsCoventry Jazz Festival is to host a UK premiere by Colin Towns’ Mask Orchestra in August.

The Mask Orchestra’s Kurt Weill arrangements have never before been heard in the UK and will be played for the first time as part of Coventry Jazz Festival at the city’s Belgrade Theatre on 25 August.

Towns’ powerful and dramatic one–off performance will contain an hour of specially arranged Kurt Weill pieces – including jazz standards such as Mack the Knife and Speak Low.

The line-up for the Orchestra contains some of the most exciting jazz soloists in the country including, Henry Lowther, Guy Barker, Mark Nightingale, Peter King, Alan Skidmore, Julian Arguelles, John Paricelli and Paul Clarvis.

Colin Towns said:

"Last year the NDR band in Germany asked me to rearrange Kurt Weill pieces for a CD and also for concerts. It is a great honour that the Coventry Festival have made it possible for the Mask Orchestra to perform this music in England for the first time."

The second hour of the Mask Orchestra’s set will consist of previously unreleased Mask Orchestra tracks and pieces from the ‘Dreaming Man with Blue Suede Shoes’ album.

Colin Towns started his career as a film and TV composer. The death of his wife Jan from cancer spurred him on to realise his ambition to write for a jazz orchestra, resulting in his work with the Mask Orchestra.

The Mask Orchestra is one of the acts booked for the six-day Coventry Jazz Festival (22-27 August) which also includes Courtney Pine, Tommy Smith, Tim Garland and Kenny Ball.

It’s the third year Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions have organised the festival together with a group of local jazz enthusiasts.

Free programmes and festival tickets are available from Coventry Tourist Information Centre 024 7622 7264, email

For Mask Orchestra tickets call the Belgrade Box Office on 024 7655 3055.

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CWN / Tourism / Coventry & Warwickshire Promotions / 10 Jul 01
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