The first two gigs in Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s new Jazzlines programme take place tomorrow (Friday 13 April) heralding a new era for jazz in Birmingham under the creative leadership of Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam. The Neil Cowley Trio plays the CBSO Centre and the Hamish Livingstone Band performs a specially commissioned piece The Music of the Titanic at Symphony Hall’s Rush Hour Blues session.
Jazzlines is a dynamic new strand of concert programming and inspirational education work produced by Tony and Mary, building on their hugely successful work at Birmingham Jazz. The programme is supported by a three-year funding grant from Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme.
Jazzlines will encompass concert performances in a wide variety of venues across the city, from Town Hall and Symphony Hall, to the CBSO Centre, mac Birmingham, The Jam House and The Hare & Hounds. And artists will include some of the best emerging talent to the greatest names in jazz music today. Forthcoming performances include Andy Sheppard’s Trio Libero (11 May) at CBSO Centre, top UK/Scandinavian piano trio Phronesis (15 May) at mac Birmingham and a full line-up at Symphony Hall’s Rush Hour Blues. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis give a concert timed to coincide with the stay in Birmingham by the US track and field team and, perhaps most exciting of all, the Wayne Shorter Quartet is booked to appear at Town Hall on 1 November.
Central to Jazzlines is an innovative participation and learning programme, connecting young people to jazz music. This leads on from previous collaborative work which began last year with a project bringing together young people of different backgrounds and musical abilities in a series of outreach workshops with play centres and primary schools. The project culminated in a performance with internationally renowned jazz artist Abram Wilson at a Musical Picnic event at Symphony Hall.
Jazzlines has been nominated for the 2012 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.