The Jazzlines Month: March 2014

March sees a whole range of Jazzlines activity; in Town Hall, Symphony Hall, and round the city.

First up is the Tord Gustavsen Ensemble at the CBSO Centre on Friday 14 March. This is Tord’s fourth appearance in Birmingham. The ensemble’s very delicate, introspective but intense music has proved very popular with audiences here, and reviews of the latest album Extended Circles have suggested that it is the best yet; John Fordham in The Guardian describes it as ‘ a delicious collage of hypnotic grooving, softly stroked gospel themes’.

Gregory Porter makes only his second appearance in Birmingham on Tuesday 18 March, but he has moved from playing the Hare & Hounds to selling out the Town Hall and will no doubt be in Symphony Hall on his next visit.

Three of our Jazzlines Fellows reach the climax of their year in March and early April with their showcase concerts. We’ve hosted three Jerwood Charitable Foundation-supported Fellows, Lluis Mather, Dan Nicholls and Percy Pursglove, and one BBC Performing Arts Fellow, Jonathan Silk. The Fellowships have enabled them to concentrate on developing their own work, to have specialist advice on their compositions and their developing musical career and to have the opportunity to present their new work in the CBSO Centre as part of the regular Jazzlines programme. Jonathan Silk presents on Friday 21 March, Lluis Mather on Friday 28 March and Dan Nicholls on Friday 11 April. Percy Pursglove’s showcase will come in the autumn.

We would like to congratulate a young pianist-composer Andrew Woodhead, who is in his final year on the Jazz Course at Birmingham Conservatoire on his winning the small group 2014 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition

Applications are now open for the 2014 Jazzlines Summer School, a key part of our growing talent development programme.

This is a great opportunity for young musicians of all abilities to learn more about jazz and to receive expert tuition in jazz performance, technique, harmony and ensemble playing alongside fellow young musicians.

Thanks to the invaluable funding support from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust we are able to make the Summer School free for young musicians from Birmingham. At last year’s inspiring showcase performance it was great to see how much the young musicians had developed across the week, whilst having a fantastic time in the process.

A number of the young people who took part in the Summer School last year are now part of the excellent Jazzlines Ensemble, who rehearse monthly at Symphony Hall.

This month they will be taking part in a masterclass with the Hans Koller Quartet, before their gig at CBSO Centre on Saturday 29 March; it’s exciting and hugely valuable that we can link our performances and talent development programmes like this.

Read what two of our exciting young musical talents, Romarna and Nick, have to say about the Jazzlines Summer School.

– Tony Dudley-Evans, Jazzlines Adviser and Philip Woods, Project Manager Jazzlines Education