Birmingham Jazz

This group of jazz-niks are committed to bringing energetic drum fills and mind blowing sax solos to all parts of the city. Birmingham Jazz pleases more than the purists with an interesting three pronged approach: The Concert Series, The Club Series and Rush Hour Blues. They promote up to 100 events a year in various venues around the city. These include 30 to 35 concerts at concert halls and arts centres such as the CBSO Centre, The Adrian Boult Hall, the Recital Hall at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Town Hall. Birmingham Jazz also believes strongly in presenting jazz in club venues, notably The Jam House, the Yardbird Jazz Club and The Rainbow pub. The Club Series is the best place to find music at the more interesting fringes of the jazz spectrum. With a keen interest in spreading their infectious beats, Birmingham Jazz also has a healthy Education programme for all ages – from early years to undergraduates.

Articles by : Birmingham Jazz
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Steve Lehman Octet

2011.01.05 | 0 comments
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Friday 21st January
CBSO Centre
£14 ( £12 members and concessions)

Box Office : 0121 767 4050

Box office 0121 7674050

At the frontier of contemporary music Brooklyn born Steve Lehman and his octet have developed a sound that combines jazz and contemporary classical music.He has been recognised as a major talent worldwide and named a Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll Rising Star four times. Lehman has performed and recorded with renowed artists such as Anthony Braxton, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium.

Produced by Sound and Music and Birmingham Jazz this concert is part of a short tour of Lehman’s octet which features Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet,Mark Shim on tenor sax, Tim Albright on trombone, Chris Dingman on vibraphone, Drew Gress on double bass, Dan Peck on tuba and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. This is set to be a magnificent concert to start the new year and highly recommended.

Listen to Steve Lehman Octet on Spotify:

Summer Jazz Club:Weds 28th July at The Rainbow

2010.07.21 | 0 comments
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Mirror : Nicholls / Allsopp / Smith

Wednesday 28th July
Jazz Club at The Rainbow Courtyard

Birmingham Jazz ends this season of Jazz Club with an incredible band led  pianist and composer Dan Nicholls. Featuring reedsman James Allsopp of Fraud and The Golden Age of Steam and drummer Dave Smith of Outhouse and countless other bands.  Dan is one of the most promising young players to come from the Conservatoire jazz course.  He now spends his time between his home in Stafford and Copenhagen playing and composing music.  Combining the best of the Birmingham and London scenes, this gig promises to sign off Jazz Club for the summer in style. From Dan himself:

Mirror is a new ensemble interpreting and reworking the compositions of keyboardist Dan Nicholls. Featuring the distinctive voices of James Allsopp (reeds) and Dave Smith (drums), the music aims for a fluidity between written and unwritten and explores the unexplicable connections between sound and image.”

Dan’s music can be found here:

Jazz Club will be back in the Autumn with the 5th Anniversary Series starting on Wednesday 27th October.

Django Bates Pays Tribute To His Childhood Inspiration: Charlie Parker, Sat 10th April, CBSO Centre,8pm

2010.04.06 | 0 comments
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Django Bates & The Beloved Bird Trio
Saturday 10th April

CBSO Centre, Berkley Street
£13 (£11 Members & Concessions) Book Tickets

Django Bates reaches his 50th Birthday this year in October and his project for at least the earlier part of the ’significant year’ for him is a tour built around an album issued this year dedicated to Charlie Parker, whose music he heard as a young boy and who inspired him to take up jazz.  The album is called Beloved Bird and it is played by a trio led by Django on acoustic piano and featuring two young players from Copenhagen where Django has been teaching for the last few years in the splendidly named Rhythmic University.  They are Petter Eldh on bass (seen here last year in Dan Nicholls’ Hyderabad) and Peter Brun on drums.

It’s a great album and it features some of the most famous tunes penned by Parker including Scrapple from the Apple, Billie’s Bounce, Moose the Mooche and other bop classics written by others such as Hot House. Reviews have pointed to the seriousness with which Django treats each piece and the avoidance of his normal quirkiness.  Mike Hobart in the Financial Times comments on Django’s clear ‘enthusiasm for bop piano’ and Ivan Hewitt in the Daily Telegraph describes the pieces as ‘true homages’.  John Fordham whose review you can read here describes the CD as ‘an astonishing achievement’ that in its creativity really delves into Parker’s psyche.

The trio comes to Birmingham’s CBSO Centre next week on Saturday 10th April at 8pm in a Birmingham Jazz gig.  You can buy tickets from the Symphony Hall Box Office on 0121-767-4050 or online here.

Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket at CBSO Centre Tuesday 30th March

2010.03.29 | 0 comments
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Tuesday 30th March
CBSO Centre
Berkley Street
£14 (£12 Members & Concessions) Book Tickets

Dan Berglund bass; Tomas Hallonste Piano; Johan Lindström guitar; Andreas Werliin drums

Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket come to the CBSO Centre this Tuesday in the final part of an extensive UK tour.  Dan Berglund was the bass player in EST and many considered his strong bass sound to be the heart of EST’s sound.  After the tragic death of Esbjorn Svensson, Dan took time off to consider what he should do to build on the reputation he had developed with EST.  The group Tonbruket is the result of those deliberations; it has a very different sound from that of EST, on its first CD certainly more rock influenced, but also moving into a gentler, more ambient sound for certain tracks. Berglund has assembled a terrific quartet of fellow Swedes, playing music that stretches from e.s.t to Pink Floyd to Royksopp to Arvo Part. Quite a few of the reviews were quite critical of the album, but, as I suspected, the group has developed its own character out on the road and reviews of the concerts on this UK tour have been positive.  See for example Ian Mann’s review on his Jazzmann website; you can read it here.

Tickets can be bought by clicking here.  They will also be available on the door.  The concert begins at 8pm and will consist of a 90 minute through set without an interval.

Troyka at Jazz Club at The Rainbow

2010.03.23 | 0 comments
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Wednesday 24th March
Jazz Club at The Rainbow

Rounding off our mini series of jazz bands with a rock influence are London based Troyka. Tipped to follow hot on the heels of bands like Polar Bear and Portico Quartet as the next big thing in British jazz. Their eponymous album on Edition Records was in Jazzwise’s top 10 albums of 2009 and Time Out describes them as being “like King Crimson for the Ipod Generation”. The band cites influences as being Wayne Krantz, Aphex Twin, Tim Berne and Steely Dan and features the stellar line up of Kit Downes on organ, Chris Montague on guitar and Joshua Blackmore on drums.

Harmonic Festival

2010.03.09 | 0 comments
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At last Birmingham gets a festival that reflects the thriving contemporary jazz scene in Birmingham.  The Harmonic Festival has been put together by two Birmingham based musicians, bass player Chris Mapp and trumpeter/bass player Percy Pursglove and it is an excellent showcase for all the various strands of the contemporary jazz happening in Birmingham.  It runs from Wednesday 10th  to Saturday 13th March.

It begins on Wednesday in the Adrian Boult Hall at Birmingham Conservatoire with two groups of the best students on the Conservatoire jazz course playing music by Dave Holland. Dave arrived this morning (Sunday) and will be working with the two groups in the next couple of days preparing them for the concert.  He won’t actually play with the students, but may do a short solo performance at the end.

Thursday sees a double bill at the regular Cobweb Collective session at the Yardbird Jazz Club with two bands, one led by Lluis Mather, winner of this year’s Dave Holland Ensemble Prize and the other led by local hero Soweto Kinch.

Friday begins with the Ben Markland Quintet playing the regular Rush Hour Blues sesion at the Symphony Hall foyer.  It then moves to the CBSO Centre where one of the most interesting New York bands, Claudia Quintet, plays at CBSO Centre at 8pm.  The band, which is actually a sextet this time,  is led by drummer and composer John Hollenbeck and has an interestingly unusual lineup with vibes, accordion as well as sax, piano, accordion, double bass.  In the second set the sextet will be joined by two Birmingham musicians, Steve Tromans on keys and Percy Pursglove on trumpet to play some original material of John Hollenbeck’s.  This evening is curated by us at Birmingham Jazz.

The final day is the Saturday and there is a very strong programme beginning at 5pm with a full evening of music with special projects from Aaron Diaz’s Moon Unit playing arrangements of Frank Zappa material, a new band Gambol led by bass player and Festival Direcor Chris Mapp and an improvising trio led Paul Dunmall featuring John Edwards on bass and Mark Sanders on drums .   In addition to these main acts there are short sets from various young players, notably the Hammond Organ trio Mc3 playing at 1pm in Brindley Place and various duos playing the foyer at the CBSO Centre between the main sets.  These are a double Rhodes set with Steve Tromans and Dan Nicholls, a vocal guitar duo with Holly Thomas and Tobie Carpenter, and a sax drum battle between Nick Rundle and Tim Jozwiak.

This short festival will give a real boost to the scene here in Birmingham and will hopefully generate some national publicity to make the outside world realise how good it is. Read more on the festival website here

Birmingham Jazz are delighted to be festival partners and are supporting the International project with Claudia Quintet on Friday 12th March at CBSO Centre at 8pm.

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