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March 2020

EVERYBODY DANCE… NILE RODGERS & CHIC ARE RETURNING TO SCARBOROUGH OAT

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The undisputed Kings of Disco Nile Rodgers & CHIC are returning to the Yorkshire coast for what promises to be this summer’s ultimate party night.

The legendary hit-makers will play a headline show at Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Friday August 21.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday (March 13) via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com

Nile Rodgers is a multiple Grammy Award-winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist with more than 200 production credits to his name. He is constantly traversing new musical terrain and successfully expanding the boundaries of popular music.

As the co-founder of CHIC, he pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits such as Le Freak, Good Times and Everybody Dance that sparked the advent of hip-hop.

Nile Rodgers & CHIC are no strangers to Scarborough Open Air Theatre having played a sell-out show at the venue in 2018.

Nile said: “As most people know the UK is my home from home. Myself and CHIC had a brilliant time when we played Scarborough OAT in 2018 and we cannot wait to come back again this summer. It’s going to be another amazing night – so bring your dancing shoes!”

Nile transcends all styles of music across every generation with a body of work that’s gained him inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

His work with CHIC and his productions for artists such as David Bowie, Diana Ross and Madonna have sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide. His innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure and Sam Smith reflect the vanguard of contemporary music.

This unmissable Scarborough OAT show is presented by Cuffe and Taylor. Promoter Peter Taylor said: “Nile Rodgers & CHIC are global superstars and we are delighted to be bringing them back to Scarborough OAT.

“The show in 2018 was brilliant, Nile and CHIC never fail to get an entire arena on their feet dancing. This is going to be one of the highlights of the summer and I would strongly advise people to get their tickets now because you will not want to miss this!”

Tickets for Nile Rodgers and CHIC go on sale via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com or in  person, from Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office (01723) 818111 and the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Bureau (01723) 383636.

MACY GRAY AND LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY ADDED TO YORK FESTIVAL LINE-UP

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Grammy Award winner Macy Gray and British pop-soul stars Lighthouse Family will join music legend Lionel Richie for an unforgettable night at York Festival.

The two chart-topping stars are the latest additions to a stellar line-up for the brand-new music festival which will be held at York Sports Club between Friday June 19th and Sunday June 21st.

British music icons Madness headline the opening night before pop superstars Westlife take to the stage on Saturday and then Lionel Richie will close the festival on the Sunday.

And the four-time Grammy Award-winner will now be joined on the night by two artists with hit-packed live sets.

Macy Gray first broke onto the scene in 1999 with her debut album On How Life Is. Inspired by the stylings of Billie Holiday, the American R&B and soul singer-songwriter is revered for her wonderful and unmistakable voice.

Her hit song, I Try achieved global acclaim and delivered her a Grammy while debut album On How Life Is sold an incredible seven million copies around the world.

In the 20 years since, Macy has amassed a global fan base, appeared in many films and TV shows and released 10 studio albums — most recently 2018’s Ruby. As well as sold-out live shows and her own hit albums, she has featured on songs with such artists as Dolly Parton and Ariana Grande.

Lighthouse Family became one of the most successful British bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s, selling more than 10 million albums and producing such timeless hits as Lifted, High and Ocean Drive.

The Newcastle-based duo – singer Tunde Baiyewu and keyboardist Paul Tucker – released their first single Lifted in 1995. The uplifting pop-soul classic went on to become one of the defining songs of the era.

Six-times platinum debut album Ocean Drive was followed by Top 10 albums Postcards From Heaven and Whatever Gets You Through The Day. After an 18-year hiatus, Tunde and Paul reunited last year to record Blue Sky In Your Head, their fourth studio album, which saw them matching the chart success of their previous releases.

York Festival director Peter Taylor said: “We are delighted to add both Macy Gray and Lighthouse Family to our debut line-up. Together with the global icon that is Lionel Richie this is going to be an amazing and unforgettable night.”

York Festival’s opening night headliners Madness will be joined by indie chart-toppers Lightning Seeds, Craig Charles with his famous Funk and Soul Club DJ set together with Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and York’s very own Violet Contours.

Joining Westlife on the Saturday night will be superstar pop group All Saints, Brit singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis Bextor, indie rock band Scouting for Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald, who will be spinning the discs for a very special DJ set.

For more information and tickets go to www.york-festival.com

KIDZ BOP look ahead to first-ever UK headline tour

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KIDZ BOP the #1 music brand for kids, is bringing the KIDZ BOP World Tour to the UK for eight live concert dates in April 2020.

 This marks the first-ever headlining tour for The British KIDZ BOP kids, who have sold more than 275,000 albums to date.

The tour, which features today’s biggest hits “sung by kids for kids”, will visit iconic venues across the UK during the Easter holidays, opening at the world-famous The London Palladium on Tuesday, April 7. It follows the release of KIDZ BOP’s fifth UK album, KIDZ BOP 2020.

The KIDZ BOP Kids, Ashton, Max, Mia, and Twinkle, will bring the interactive live family-friendly concert experience to the following cities:

Tues April 7 – The London Palladium

Weds April 8 – The London Palladium

Fri April 10 – Liverpool Empire Theatre

Sat April 11 – Birmingham Symphony Hall

Mon April 13 – Glasgow SEC Armadillo

Weds April 15 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

Thurs April 16 – Cardiff St David’s Hall

Fri April 17 – Manchester Bridgewater Hall

The tour will see the KIDZ BOP Kids perform some of today’s biggest global pop hits live on stage. The all-new show features awesome set design, costumes, exciting choreography, and tonnes of cool surprises! Dads even have the chance to show off their best dance moves on stage during the “Daddy Dance Off.”

Tickets are on sale now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com 

 

We spoke to Ashton (14), Max (15), Mia (14) and Twinkle (13) as they prepare for the tour.

 

How long have you been in KIDZ BOP?

MAX (15): Just over three years now for me. I wouldn’t say I’m a veteran, but I am part of the original UK team, and we’ve added a few new people along the way.I’ve seen it grow and it has been so much fun doing all the shows.

I’d seen the American KIDZ BOP Kids and watched their videos loads before I auditioned – and seeing them doing all that and their live shows, I was so excited to be chosen for the UK team.

MIA (14): I’ve been in KIDZ BOP just over a year. It was a bit of a different start for me, as I was filmed during the audition process for a TV show. I was at school with Ashton and Twinkle, so I knew a bit of what KIDZ BOP was all about when I started the audition process which was massive with being on TV too. There were a lot of stages, and the very last one I was performing with the KIDZ BOP Kids, and when we finished, I was told I’d been chosen.

TWINKLE (13): I was 10 when I started, so it’s been over three years now, it’s gone so quickly. I did the same as Max and Ashton, going through a whole big audition process at the very start of it all; lots of rounds of dancing and singing, and I eventually got in. I was at the Sylvia Young Stage School for about a year before auditioning.

ASHTON (14): It’s been about three years since I signed up with KIDZ BOP, and it’s been incredible seeing how much we have grown from just making music videos here in the UK through to travelling to New York last year [2019] to film there on location, and then looking forward to 2020 and having our own tour in the UK.

 

What’s your favourite thing about being a KIDZ BOP Kid?

MAX: I love performing, I love being on stage – so the tour will be amazing; singing some of my favourite songs with some of my best friends. It’s amazing to think we now have a tour which will be all about us, the UK kids, after having done a big live show alongside the American kids last year.

MIA: It’s like all my dreams come true to be in KIDZ BOP; I get to rehearse songs, travel the world with my best friends, it’s all amazing. Honestly, I do love everything about it, but probably at the moment, I’m super excited for the tour and starting rehearsals to learn the new dances. I love all the clothes we get to wear too. We have a stylist called Gemma, who brings all the outfits to out shoots, I always look forward to seeing what she’s got for us.

TWINKLE: For me, it’s actually the rehearsals for our live shows and performances – which is a bit different to the others. It’s the time when we get to experiment with new dance moves and our vocals, and we learn so much during the rehearsal sessions. The process of creating the show is hard work but so much fun, and then we get to go out there, perform and see all the reactions from the audience; I love watching out for that too.

ASHTON: I really enjoy the production side of it, making the songs and learning about that technical process. Then, of course, we take it out to the live shows and performances and it’s amazing to see people singing the tracks back to you.

 

KIDZ BOP is massive in America where it first launched – and it’s growing more and more popular here in the UK now too. What’s the difference between the UK and US KIDZ BOP Kids?

MAX: We usually sing UK chart songs, and the US kids will sing the songs from their charts. But then there are some huge hits, which are big tracks on both sides of the Atlantic and we come together for those. Last year [2019], we went to New York to film with the US kids – and did Lizzo’s Truth Hurts where we appear in the US kids’ video, and we did Jess Glynne’s One Touch with them in our video. In November 2018, we had our first trip to America with KIDZ BOP, recording One Kiss (Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa) in the studio, but the trip last year was the first time we got out and about filming videos as well as recording in the studio.

ASHTON: Probably my favourite song of all the ones we’ve done so far is Beautiful People (Ed Sheeran), which we filmed on that trip – the video is awesome. We were filming on a beach in front of Coney Island… What’s not to love about that?

 

Do you enjoy making new friends and all the experiences which KIDZ BOP has brought you?

MAX: It’s been brilliant to meet everyone through this experience and we’ve all become such good friends. We all share the same passion and come together to sing and dance. Then there’s meeting the fans too, and we’re so lucky to have them… It’s like we’re all one big global KIDZ BOP family.

TWINKLE: It was amazing working with the US kids, with different people and on different songs. The trips we get to go on to film abroad are great fun. We’ve been to Germany to film with the German KIDZ BOP kids too, joining in with their videos – so we get to learn songs in other languages too. We might not have spoken the same languages but, like Max said, we share the love of singing and dancing and that’s what brings people together wherever they come from.

ASHTON: The whole experience is a dream come true for each of us. We’d never have imagined a few years ago that we would have achieved all of this; none of us had done anything like it before and we just didn’t realise how many opportunities it would bring us; traveling, meeting so many people, touring the UK. It’s just WOW.

 

Obviously, life as a KIDZ BOP Kid is limited – you’re only a kid for so long! So what would you like to do in the future?

MAX: Hopefully I’ve still got a little while as a KIDZ BOP kid, especially as I’m still loving it. I would definitely like to stay in music – writing and producing my own songs. I play guitar and a bit of piano, and I have a bit of software on my computer at home.

MIA: I would love to stay doing this forever if I could! But I’d also maybe like to try acting on TV. I had done some bits and pieces of acting before KIDZ BOP and TV adverts, but one of the things which has been really amazing about being in KIDZ BOP is getting to experience lots of different areas of the industry – music, TV, producing, performing. I’ve just learnt so much and it’s really opened my eyes to different things.

TWINKLE: Yes, I’d like to stay in the industry too, making more music and also doing more acting, probably in TV.

ASHTON: Before KIDZ BOP, I just wanted to be an actor, but this has really opened my eyes to so many different things and different opportunities in the music and entertainment business. I would love to work in music, but there are lots of things I want to know more about now too.

 

What are you looking forward to most with the tour?

MAX: For me, the Palladium dates will be the big ones as I’ve got my family and friends coming along, and it’ll be so good to see them all there in the audience. I’m especially looking forward to performing Uptown Funk, that’s my absolute favourite track at the moment because it gets such a great reaction when we perform it, whether it’s been live or on TV.

MIA: The first songs I did with KIDZ BOP were Rise and One Kiss, so they’re always special for me and I’m looking forward to doing them on the tour. Although, like Max – I also love Uptown Funk, it’s such a great track. And the Manchester show will be extra special for me, as I come from Lancashire so lots of my family and friends are coming. Every time I speak to them, they’re telling me more people have booked to come and see me there.

ASHTON: I’m excited to perform in Birmingham, because although I live in London I have a lot of family from there who don’t always get to see what KIDZ BOP is all about for me. And of course, who doesn’t want to say they have performed at The London Palladium? That’s going to be special as London is home. But I can honestly say, I really want to see the reactions from everyone right across the country – that’s going to be incredible.
When we did the KIDZ BOP World Tour headline show in London last year, with the US KIDZ BOP Kids, that was great – it was the first time people in the UK had had the chance to come out specially to see KIDZ BOP in a live performance, we’d always been part of other shows… And now, here we are preparing for our very own KIDZ BOP UK tour. We can’t wait.

GOOD CAUSES SET TO BENEFIT AS YORK FESTIVAL NAMES ITS CHARITY PARTNERS

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York Festival – the historic city’s major new three-day music event – will support no fewer than five local charities this summer.

Global icon Lionel Richie, pop superstars Westlife and British music legends Madness will headline the brand-new festival at York Sports Club between Friday June 19th and Sunday June 21st.

As well as three days of unmissable live music – which will also include performances by Lightning Seeds, All Saints, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Scouting for Girls among many others – it is hoped thousands of pounds will be raised for local good causes.

Festival organisers Cuffe and Taylor are today delighted to announce they have selected St Leonard’s Hospice (pictured above) and The Snappy Trust (pictured left) as York Festival’s first ever official charity partners.

These two much-loved, York-based charities will be joined at the festival by the Lord Mayor of York’s three chosen annual charities. This means festival goers will be supporting the work of five local good causes.

The mayoral charities will be announced when Cllr Chris Cullwick takes over civic duties from current Lord Mayor Cllr Janet Looker in May.

York Festival director Peter Taylor said: “We are absolutely delighted York Festival will be supporting five local charities and good causes in its first year.

“Just before Christmas we invited applications for charity partners. We were inundated with nominations from so many good causes who all do wonderful work locally. It was an almost impossible task to select which charities would be our official partners.

“Together with St Leonard’s and The Snappy Trust, we are really pleased to be working with the Lord Mayor’s charities. Representatives from all will be at the festival and we would urge festivals goers to do what they can to support these very worthy causes.

“It is going to be a brilliant first year for York Festival. Not only are we bringing a sensational line-up of world-renowned artists but also supporting the great work of these wonderful local organisations.”

St Leonard’s Hospice, which this year is celebrating its 35th anniversary, provides specialist palliative care and support for local people with life limiting illnesses.

As well as offering in-patient care and its Hospice@Home service, which allows people with to be cared for in their own homes, the Tadcaster Road-based hospice offers bereavement counselling, occupational therapy and spiritual care.

Dawn Clements, St Leonard’s Hospice’s Director of Income Generation, said: “We are thrilled to have been selected as a charity partner for the inaugural York Festival. 2020 is a special milestone for St Leonard’s Hospice, as we celebrate our 35th anniversary, and we look forward to celebrating with the community we serve. Because they care we can!”

The Snappy Trust (Special Needs Activities and Play Provision for York) supports children and young people with wide-ranging disabilities, from across the York area.

​It now helps youngsters by maximising personal development and providing good quality play and recreational opportunities for children and young people with special needs.

Anne Stamp, project manager at The Snappy Trust, which is based at Lowther Street, said: “We are delighted to be working with York Festival – a major new event for this great city and we cannot wait for it to begin.

“The people of York are so generous with their support of The Snappy Trust and we look forward to seeing them at the festival. Come and say ‘hi’ and see how you can help us continue to make a real difference to young people’s lives.”

And Cllr Chris Cullwick added: “As the Lord Mayor elect I look forward to taking up this important role in the city from May and I am delighted York Festival has kindly offered to support my nominated charities each of which is doing vital work in the local community.”

York Festival has a stellar line-up in its debut year.

Opening night headliners Madness, who have chalked up no fewer than 15 UK Top 10 singles and seven Top 10 albums, will be joined by indie chart-toppers Lightning Seeds, Craig Charles with his famous Funk and Soul Club DJ set together with Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and York’s very own Violet Contours.

Westlife headline on the Saturday night as part of their UK-wide Stadiums in the Summer Tour. The UK’s top selling album group of the 21st century will perform classic hits such as Swear It Again, Flying Without Wings and You Raise Me Up together with new songs from their forthcoming album Spectrum.

Joining Westlife on the night will be superstar pop group All Saints, Brit singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis Bextor, indie rock band Scouting for Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald, who will be spinning the discs for a very special DJ set.

Sunday night headliner is none other than international superstar Lionel Richie. The four-time Grammy Award-winner will perform a hit-packed concert that covers his extensive and much-loved repertoire – from his hit-making days with the Commodores right up to the present day.

For more information and tickets go to www.york-festival.com

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