Sara Colman on the Jazzlines Vocal Series

In April 2012 I had the enormous pleasure not only to be showcasing at Jazzahead in Bremen but of also watching some very special singers at this renowned international jazz conference.

The diversity of styles and creativity was incredibly inspiring and it led me to thinking about a special vocal series for Birmingham.

This could be a platform that would give audiences a broad sweep of some the talented vocalists around, mixing the established UK and US artists with those perhaps lesser known to us here, but making a new vocal music in wider Europe.

This thought has become a reality and the Jazzlines Vocal Series which I’m now curating, kicks off with some home grown excellence on Friday 12 October – the wonderful Claire Martin will be bringing her quartet to the excellent acoustic of the CBSO Centre.

The ‘opening ceremony’ of this vocal trail will also feature my quartet and the series will run throughout the year – exciting!

My quartet includes Malcolmb Edmonstone on piano, Ben Markland on bass and Carl Hemmingsley on drums while Claire’s band is Gareth Williams on piano, Laurence Cottle on bass and Ian Thomas on drums.

Claire Martin has been a driving force behind the UK jazz scene for the past 25 years and has won many accolades, including a British Jazz Award no less than six times. Her massive contribution to UK jazz was noted in 2011 when she was the proud recipient of an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to music.

Too Much in Love to Care is Claire Martin’s first US studio recording for fifteen years and guest stars Kenny Barron.

- Sara Colman