We’ve had a busy summer with gigs in Brindleyplace and a very successful week-long Jazzlines Summer School with tutors Sara Colman and Percy Pursglove aided by the Jazzlines Trio culminating in an excellent sharing session to an audience in Symphony Hall Cafe Bar last week.
It’s certainly a very busy line-up, with concerts in Town Hall, Symphony Hall, the Adrian Boult Hall, the CBSO Centre, mac, the Hare and Hounds, Bramall Music Building, and even the Spotted Dog pub in Digbeth.
Jazzlines Free Gigs start again in Symphony Hall Café Bar this Friday 6 September (5.00pm), with Robbie Moore’s Cop Music, a band that will lead with versions of music by English new wave and reggae rock band The Police into that evening’s Funknight over at Town Hall (7.30pm). The main event itself features Brand New Heavies, Colman Brothers, Bassment Project and Sam Redmore.
This month, we start an exciting new venture with The Hour, an hour of big band music in Symphony Hall. The first one is on Friday 27 September (7.00pm) with the Fats Chops Big Band; this comes almost immediately after the Jazzlines Free Gig that night with Simon Spillett and we hope that many of the hundreds that attend that session will give The Hour a try. Buy your tickets at Symphony Hall Box office in advance thereby avoiding a booking fee; tickets will be available on the night too. The second The Hour session will be on Thursday 7 November (7.00pm) with the wonderful Walsall Jazz Orchestra.
One event we are all really looking forward to is Mr. Big Plays Jazz on Wednesday 30 October (11.00am and 1.30pm) at Town Hall as part of THSH’s Big Fun Festival. Featuring joyful improvisation and storytelling from Neil Cowley alongside live illustration by author / illustrator of Mr Big Ed Vere this unique family show incorporates a live creative collaboration between illustration and music. The well-known children’s book tells how a gorilla, Mr Big, finds a new life of friends and jazz music by learning to play the piano.
Magnus Öström, the Swedish drummer who was the rhythmic inspiration for the Swedish piano trio e.s.t., performs at the Adrian Boult Hall on Friday 13 September (8pm). Magnus took time off from music after the tragic death of Esbjorn Svensson, but is back with a new project that builds on his skills on the drums and with electronics. Read a review of his new album Searching For Jupiter over on the Jazz Breakfast site here.
Other gigs to look forward to in October are Liam Noble Quintet at Bramall Music Building on Tuesday 8 October (8.00pm), David Murray Infinity Quartet with support from The Notebenders on Friday 18 October (8.00pm) at CBSO Centre, and a special project to mark Paul Dunmall’s 60th birthday at mac on Saturday 26 October. Paul is one of the world’s leading improvisers on his saxophones, clarinet and Northumbrian pipes, but is also a great composer.
At the Spotted Dog in Digbeth we are working with Blam! Birmingham to revive a great jazz tradition, the guest star soloist playing with local heroes: on Tuesday 29 October (9.00pm), saxophonist Stan Sulzmann will be guesting with a Birmingham band led by Richard Foote.
More details of all the above and later concerts to come in future blog posts!
– Tony Dudley-Evans, Jazz Adviser