Town Hall concert and Symphony Hall exhibition for Birmingham jazz legend

Concert: Wednesday 26 March 2008

Exhibition: 3 – 31 March 2008
Level 4, Symphony Hall, BIRMINGHAM

Andy Hamilton’s 90th Birthday Concert
Andy Hamilton is 90 – Exhibition

Legendary jazz saxophonist Andy Hamilton, the proud owner of an MBE awarded in the New Year Honours List, two honorary degrees and an incredible musical history, turns 90 in March. To celebrate he will be performing with his band The Blue Notes at an evening concert on Wednesday 26 March at Town Hall Birmingham with many special guests to be announced.

From 3 March to 31 March, Symphony Hall Birmingham plays host to an evocative photographic exhibition by photographer Russ Escritt documenting performances by Andy, his band, guest musicians and vocalists from over the last decade. This is a superb opportunity to see striking images of some amazing jazz performances at a variety of venues. Entry is FREE and the exhibition will be displayed in the foyer of Level 4 daily and during concert performances.

Born in Jamaica in 1918, Andy has had a long and passionate love affair with jazz, playing from an early age. Influenced by the sounds of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Redver Cook and Roy Coburn, he formed his first band in 1928 when he made a saxophone from bamboo and taught his friends how to play jazz. After a spell touring the USA he returned to Jamaica where he became the musical director at Errol Flynn?s Titchfield Hotel before emigrating to the UK and settling in Birmingham.

In his late 60?s he was rushed to hospital in a diabetic coma and after a miraculous recovery started a new life. He released his first ever recording; Silvershine at the age of 72 and it became the biggest selling UK Jazz album of the year winning numerous awards worldwide including the Times Jazz Album of the Year. He has since played in Paris, Milan, Cape Town, Jamaica, St Lucia, Havana and at countless festivals across the UK.

For almost 60 years, Andy has been a driving force in the Birmingham jazz scene and musician, teacher and promoter and is still active with residencies at Bearwood Corks Club, The Drum and monthly Sax In The City sessions at Symphony Hall Birmingham.

Showing great commitment to music education, particularly with young people, Andy helped to establish, and is patron of the Ladywood School of Music and was the inspiration behind The Notebenders, a Big Band project which specialises in teaching and mentoring the future jazz stars of tomorrow.