Jazzlines first Autumn season announced

• International artists include Wayne Shorter and Jack DeJohnette
• New vocal jazz series curated by Sara Colman
• The Impossible Gentlemen, Ken Vandermark and Soweto Kinch feature in Jazzlines around the city
• New free series at Bramall Music Building begins in September
• Read Tony Dudley-Evans blog introducing the season

Four months after its launch, Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s dynamic strand of programming and education work, Jazzlines, reveals its first autumn season. The new 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 Tony Dudley-Evans’ and Mary Wakelam’s programming for many years.

Jazz lovers can look forward to visits from international greats Wayne Shorter (in an exclusive UK date – Thursday 1 November, Town Hall) and Jack DeJohnette (Saturday 20 November, Adrian Boult Hall), plus performances from Jazz Jamaica (Catch A Fire Bob Marley Tribute, 13 Oct, Town Hall) and Supersilent (with Led Zeppelin founder member John Paul Jones, 14 Nov, Town Hall) . There are Jazzlines events around the city – at CBSO Centre, mac, Adrian Boult Hall and the Hare & Hounds – featuring Claire Martin & Sara Colman (Fri 12 Oct, CBSO Centre, part of a new series of vocal jazz), Ken Vandermark (Wed 26 Sept, Hare and Hounds), the Impossible Gentleman (Sat 1 Dec, CBSO Centre) and Soweto Kinch (Sat 20 Oct, mac birmingham). And a new series of free events at the University of Birmingham’s Bramall Music Building launches in September, complementing established series at the Symphony Hall café bar and The Jam House.

Speaking about the new season, Andrew Jowett OBE, Director of Town Hall and Symphony Hall said, “Jazzlines has already achieved so much in four short months, connecting people to jazz music through innovative programming and inspiring opportunities for participation. 270 schoolchildren took part in the Ladywood Showcase in May, and this month we’ve witnessed the achievements of two groups of young people at the end of an intensive summer school. We have also been able to nurture new talent – the Jazzlines Ensemble will be opening for Wayne Shorter – and commission new work through the PRS Women Make Music programme. All of these exciting developments confirm Birmingham’s status as a leading city for jazz.”

The Jazzlines programme is supported by a three-year funding grant from Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme.


Notes to Editors

Jazzlines is Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s dynamic strand of concert programming and inspirational education work, connecting people to jazz music. It is produced by Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam, building on their huge success as the creative forces formerly behind Birmingham Jazz. Launched in April 2012, Jazzlines is supported by a three-year funding grant from Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme. The programme encompasses live jazz performances at a wide variety of venues around the city, including Town Hall & Symphony Hall, and an innovative participation and learning programme.

Jazzlines Programming team

Tony Dudley-Evans, Artistic Adviser
Mary Wakelam, Programme Manager

Tony Dudley-Evans first started jazz promotion while a student of Arabic at London University in the early 1960s. He led a double life for many years from the early 1980s as an academic teaching ESP (English for Specific Purposes) and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham and running Birmingham Jazz events. Since taking early retirement in 2001, he has dedicated his time to jazz promotion acting as Artistic Director to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival as well as playing a major role in Birmingham Jazz and now Jazzlines. He received the Services to Jazz Award at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2005 and was nominated for the Services to Jazz Award at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2010.

After studying Jazz on the BMus (Hons) degree at Birmingham Conservatoire on saxophone Mary Wakelam worked for several music organisations in the city including Sound It Out and Punch as a workshop musician and administrator while maintaining work as a gigging musician. In 2008 she was awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fund Urban Music bursary to develop her band Maylight which has since performed at London Jazz Festival and Mostly Jazz Festival this year as well as recording an album at the renowned Pinewood Studios. Mary has worked alongside Tony Dudley-Evans for the last eight years developing an innovative contemporary jazz programme as General Manager for Birmingham Jazz and is now continuing and strengthening that work as Programme Manager for Jazzlines.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to music from jazz, folk, world, roots and classical, to rock and pop. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and almost 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving Education and Community programme.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).


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16 August 2012