Twin Cities in Jazz Exchange

Birmingham musicians visit Chicago through Chicago Birmingham Contemporary Jazz collaboration with Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s Jazzlines programme

Four jazz musicians from Birmingham are spending a week in Chicago playing with leading musicians on the Chicago scene as part of an innovative exchange project between the twinned cities. They are drummer Mark Sanders and the Steve Tromans Trio led by pianist Steve Tromans and featuring Chris Mapp on bass and Miles Levin on drums. Together with their Chicago colleagues, the Birmingham musicians play three gigs at clubs in the Windy City: The Hideout on Wednesday 6 February, The Elastic Arts Center on Thursday 7 February and the Hungry Brain on Sunday 10 February. The project is a collaboration between the Chicago Birmingham Contemporary Jazz and Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s Jazzlines programme.

On the Wednesday (6 Feb) at the Hideout the Steve Tromans Trio will be playing with top Chicago saxophonist Ken Vandermark and Steve will be writing new material for this collaboration. Then in the second set Mark Sanders will play an improvised set with Ken Vandermark and Chicago vibes player Jason Adasiewicz. On the Thursday (7 Feb) at Elastic the four Birmingham players will join Chicagoans Dave Rempis, James Falzone and Josh Berman to play an improvised concert in various small and large configurations. This initial ‘get-to-know-you’ session will lead into two days of rehearsal of a special commission from Steve Tromans that will be premiered on the Sunday (10 Feb) at The Hungry Brain. This will be for an octet with four Chicagoans, Ken Vandermark, Dave Rempis, James Falzone and Dave Rempis and the four Birmingham players.

The project comes out of a visit made to Chicago last February by Jazzlines’ Artistic Adviser Tony Dudley-Evans and Steve Tromans. Tony explains:

There have long been links between the jazz scenes in the two twin cities and Jazzlines has brought over to Birmingham a number of the many great players based in Chicago. Jazzlines is delighted to be able to move in the other direction and take these four musicians from Birmingham to Chicago for this major project which reflects the strength of the jazz scene in Birmingham and of Jazzlines’ international profile.

It is expected that this collaboration will continue and strengthen in future years.

The project is supported by Birmingham City Council’s Culture Commissioning Service to promote Great International City activity, and Arts Council England’s Artists’ International Development Fund.

Jazzlines has collaborated with Umbrella Music Chicago in setting up the dates.

Steve and Tony will be sharing a diary of the events as they unfold in Chicago.


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 is supported by the PRS for Music Foundation

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, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. 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).

Supported by Birmingham City Council
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

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14 January 2013

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