A musical jaunt through the ages with Joglaresa

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KICK off your seasonal celebrations this year with something a little bit different.

For Christmas 2011 London-based British/Irish ensemble Joglaresa will be ‘strictly medieval’ – bringing a lucky Hemel audience a wonderful programme of Christmas music from the 12th to the 15th century.

Look forward to an amazing concert with a range of sounds from medieval instrumental dances to Middle English lullabies using historical instruments such as harps, vielles, voices and bells – and don’t worry about missing out on those carols.

They’ve actually been around for thousands of years – originally of pagan origin, our ancestors would have belted them out at solstice probably while gathered around a stone circle.

Fortunately there’ll be no standing around ancient monuments at this show, simply sink into your Old Town Hall theatre seat and be entertained by a group of talented musicians who, directed by Belinda Sykes, have been playing together since 1992.

Now well-established, they imaginatively push, and often transcend, the limits of what is often thought of as early music.

Comprising outstanding international performers from classical, world, folk and jazz, and combining elements of medieval, Middle Eastern, flamenco and Celtic music Joglaresa has a sound that is both traditional and contemporary, extrovert and intimate.

On Yoolis Night you will hear Belinda Sykes, who was raised on a pure diet of English folk song, professional harpist Jean Kelly, Tim Garside who has played for broadcasts by Andy Kershaw, the late John Peel and Jools Holland, Jim O’Toole who works for various opera companies and orchestras in addition to having his own band Licence To Ceilidh, and recent graduate of Trinity College of Music Ruth Fraser.

Don’t miss a dazzlingly different start to the Christmas season. Joglaresa: On Yoolis Night comes to the Old Town Hall Theatre, Hemel Hempstead on Sunday, December 11 at 8pm.

Call the box office on 01442 228091 for tickets or go to www.oldtownhall.co.uk.