Clubs swap Skepta for Bach as classical stars come out of the concert hall

Abel Selaocoe plays The Jago in Dalston on December 4

Abel Selaocoe plays The Jago in Dalston on December 4 - Credit: Supplied

Venues which usually echo to the sounds of grime and techno are hosting classical music gigs - thanks to a Hackney start-up.

Through the noise is running two events this winter, including a night at former Hackney Gazette printing works The Jago in Dalston. The iconic venue, where the paper was printed between the 1890s and 1950s, will host a 'noisenight' on December 4 featuring South African cellist Abel Selaocoe.

The Jago

The Jago music venue in Dalston is the former Hackney Gazette printworks from the 1890s to the late 1950s. - Credit: LarryJ Photography

And in January, Royal Wedding cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and pianist Harry Baker play the first classical concert at Bethnal Green's Space 289 - a club more used to hearing top DJs and grime acts such as Skepta.

Inspired by London's great jazz clubs, the Hackney start up offers an independent guide to the best classical events and aims to bring music stars out of the concert hall into grassroot music venues. They tested the idea with two sell out crowdfunded pilot events over the summer.

Selaocoe brings his blend of European and African musical traditions to The Jago with two short classical sets, one early evening, and a late show followed by jazz, funk and afrobeat bands, and a late licensed bar.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays Bethnal Green's Space 289 in January 2022 - Credit: Supplied

Kanneh-Mason and Baker also perform two sets on Jan 15 including Boulanger, Bach, and improvisations around folk songs and jazz standards. Baker, an award-winning performer and composer who has appeared at both Ronnie Scott’s and Wigmore Hall, will play with his jazz trio after the show.

Both gigs will be crowdfunded with members of the public invited to become ‘backers’ in return for tickets and each event only confirmed when it achieves sufficient backing.

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Hackney-based through the noise Artistic Director Jack Bazalgette said: “After an overwhelming response to the first two noisenights, we’ve been compelled to go bigger. Abel, Sheku and Harry have constructed groundbreaking programmes specially for these great venues. We know how special it is to have an audience made up of crowdfunding backers: every member of a noisenight audience has made that concert possible, which is a beautiful thing to be a part of. We’re sure these two nights will be unforgettable.”

West Hampstead-based Kanneh-Mason said: “I am really excited to be performing in such a unique venue. As performers we respond so much to the space we are in, not just acoustically, but the energy of the room and the people in it. This will be a special opportunity to share music we love in a new setting.”

Baker added: “I’m thrilled to be taking our mix of classical, folk and improvised music out of the concert hall into Space 289."

Backing options for both events range from £13.50 for tickets to the early set to £17.50 for tickets to the late set.

Through The Noise