One of the region’s most iconic theatres is to host a live music concert with a difference as a top bill of musicians line-up to raise funds for community arts projects across the Teesside region.
The ‘soulfood’ event taking place this month at the ARC in Stockton town centre sees 9-piece funk festival favourites GrooveTrain headline a night of diverse live music with all proceeds going to support the work of participatory arts charity Tees Valley Arts and its work with communities across Teesside. The charity which is based in Middlesbrough but, uniquely, works across all five local authority areas using all art forms is supported by Arts Council England and works with HM prisons, local businesses, schools, community groups and our region’s universities to inspire residents in all parts of the community.
Funksoul band GrooveTrain is made up of some of the North of England’s finest touring and session musicians, playing with the likes of Sting, Robert Plant, Jools Holland, The Supremes and the original Blues Brothers Band. They performed at the town’s Georgian Theatre in 2016 and 2017. With supporting tours with the likes of Craig Charles’ BBC Radio 2 Funk & Soul Show and sell-out shows at specialist jazz and soul venues across the UK, this is the only chance to catch GrooveTrain delivering a set of big-band tracks from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and The Doobie Brothers ahead of their appearances at this summer’s Willowman festival in Thirsk and VW Festival in Leeds.
Joining GrooveTrain is all-female acapella group Henwen from North Yorkshire with their brand of self-penned blues, old folk and new country songs which they have performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on national TV and radio. 18-year-old singer-songwriter from County Durham, Elizabeth Liddle, makes her theatre debut and opens the show with a set of her own songs inspired by icons Kate Bush and Carole King.
GrooveTrain frontman and Tees Valley Arts trustee Michael Lavery was delighted to get involved in the show. He said:
“Having worked on Teesside for many years and played an active role in culture and community programmes in the region I was delighted to bring my band back to the area and to such a fantastic venue. We are looking forward to leading a night of high-quality live music for our local followers and for the friends and partners of Tees Valley Arts which does so much fantastic outreach work with communities in the region.”
Tees Valley Arts Executive Director James Beighton added:
“We’re very grateful to all of the musicians and volunteers for helping us to stage this fundraising concert which adds to our efforts to sustain the programme of outreach and inspiration we facilitate with artists and communities right across Teesside. We’d ask fans of live music and of community arts to support us by buying tickets and spreading the word about our first-ever benefit concert.”
Remaining tickets for ‘Soulfood: A night with GrooveTrain and Friends’ on Thursday 19th April are on sale from the ARC box office. £12 ADV / £15 OTD – all proceeds to support Tees Valley Arts.
Box Office Telephone: 01642 525 199 or on the ARC website here.
Michael worked in Higher Education leadership for 12 years before establishing himself as a national and international brand and marketing consultant in 2017. As Executive Director at Teesside University he led an award-winning team covering brand and strategic marketing, student recruitment and admissions, communications, development and alumni relations; having previously held the role of director of communications and marketing at Durham University – a World Top 100 University. Michael has extensive marketing experience in the private and public sectors working across Europe since 2001, and is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA).