Jazzlines is proud to be announcing a strong autumn programme that confirms Birmingham’s status as a leading city for jazz. The season contains the impressive mix and variety with both big international names and up-and-coming young British stars that have been the hallmarks of programming by myself and Mary (Wakelam) for many years.
The two biggest names in the programme are Wayne Shorter (Thursday 1 November) and Jack DeJohnette (Saturday 20 November) both perfoming with their own groups. Wayne Shorter is known for his seminal role in Miles Davis’ great bands of the 1960s and then the partnership he formed with Joe Zawinul in Weather Report. These days he remains a hugely influential jazz musician leading his own quartet with Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on double bass and Brian Blade on drums.
Jack DeJohnette comes to Birmingham’s Adrian Boult Hall as part of the celebration of his 70th Birthday. Jack too was part of Miles Davis’s bands of the late 1960s before moving on to develop his own career. The legendary drummer is a member of the Keith Jarrett Trio as well as leading the quintet that he will be bringing to Birmingham with Don Byron on clarinet, Dave Fiuczynski on guitar, George Colligan on piano and Jerome Harris on bass.
Other events to look out for are Jazz Jamaica All Stars present their jazzy tribute to Bob Marley and the Wailers’ seminal ‘Catch A Fire’ album on Saturday 13 October at Town Hall. The Norwegian avant-jazz band Supersilent with special guest John Paul Jones on bass perform at the Grade I listed venue on Wednesday 14 November.
The first of a series of vocal jazz concerts curated by Sara Colman featuring major national and international jazz singers at the CBSO Centre takes place on Friday 12 October with Claire Martin, her quartet as well as Sara and her own group. Then on Saturday 1 December we present The Impossible Gentlemen, a renowned quartet that brings together two British players, Gwilym Simcock on piano and Mike Walker on guitar with two great Americans Steve Swallow on bass and Adam Nussbaum on drums. At mac we present the Soweto Kinch Trio on Saturday 20 October as part of the Birmingham born saxophonist and MC’s ‘The Legend of Mike Smith’ tour.
The Jazz Club series is a very important part of the Jazzlines programme. It takes place at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath and mostly presents young cutting edge bands usually in a double bill every two months on the last Wednesday of the month. Next up, on Wednesday 26 September, we present superb US saxophonist Ken Vandermark playing with two British players, Ollie Brice and Mark Sanders supported by the Steve Tromans Quartet featuring Mike Fletcher on alto sax. On Wednesday 28 November it is the turn of the amazing Trio VD supported by a wonderful new Birmingham band Threenil.
The third strand of the programme consists of the Jazzlines Free Events in the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar every Friday between 5pm and 6.30pm, monthly gigs at The Jam House on the third Tuesday of each month and a new series of monthly gigs on Thursday evenings at 5pm in the foyer at the Bramall Music Building, the wonderful new hall at the University of Birmingham, starting with the Matt Radcliffe Coda Quartet on Thursday 13 September.
Jazzlines continues to collaborate with other music organisations in Birmingham. For example, we are working with Capsule to bring the amazing Norwegian guitarist Stian Westerhus to the fantastic Supersonic Festival on Saturday 20 October and are collaborating with the weekly jazz session at the Spotted Dog pub in Digbeth to revive the tradition of a major artist working with a local rhythm section; on Tuesday 23 October alto saxophonist Pete King will be playing with the Andy Bunting Trio.
We promised that the move to THSH and the creation of Jazzlines would strengthen our programming. I think our first major season provides good evidence that this claim is being met!
Tony Dudley-Evans – Artistic Adviser, Jazzlines