Line-up unveiled for city’s new Jazz Fest on Westside and in Digbeth

A foot-stomping line-up of star names and local acts has revealed by Birmingham’s Town Hall and Symphony Hall ahead of its first ever jazz festival.

The brand-new Jazz Fest event, run in partnership with radio station Jazz FM, will take place in front of live audiences from Monday 23 to Saturday 28 August.

The week of music will showcase the full spectrum of jazz and includes performances from international touring artists to local community bands.

Audiences will be able to enjoy free or low-cost performances on the Symphony Hall stage, in the iconic venue’s brand-new Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, and at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth.

Artists announced for the festival include headline shows from pioneering Birmingham-based saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch (Soweto Kinch Trio: Monday 23 August) and Jazz FM’s UK Jazz Act of the Year 2020, Yazz Ahmed (Yazz Ahmed Quartet: Wednesday 25 August).

Yazz Ahmed

Mary Wakelam Sloan, Town Hall Symphony Hall’s jazz programme manager, said, “This week-long celebration of jazz reflects the breadth that Town Hall Symphony Hall offers, giving a platform to early career jazz musicians alongside international stars.

“This inaugural 2021 festival will see us bring an array of exciting talent from the local and UK jazz scene to audiences in Birmingham with our programme of live music.

“We are thrilled not only to support the rich and diverse jazz ecosystem in the city but also to work with a range of industry professionals that help to create exceptional opportunities to experience live music.”

Also on the festival line-up are new trio Warmer Than Blood, comprising guitarist Chris Montague, pianist Kit Downes and bassist Ruth Goller, Birmingham-born jazz pianist Reuben James, the Paula Gardiner Quartet, the Romarna Campbell Trio, the Camilla George Quartet, the Daniel Casimir Quintet, and the ever-popular Notebenders.

The festival will run in partnership with Jazz FM, the largest commercial jazz station in the world, who will include a number of music and interview specials around Jazz Fest on their nationwide platform.

Tickets for Jazz Fest are available at: www.thsh.co.uk/whats-on/season/jazz-fest Watch Soweto Kinch’s exclusive performance filmed at Symphony Hall, here: https://youtu.be/Z910RCOZ67k

Main image: Reuben James

Full Jazz Fest programme:

  • Mon 23 Aug – Soweto Kinch Trio @ Symphony Hall Stage, 19:30
  • Tue 24 Aug – Paula Gardiner Quartet @ The Spotted Dog, 19:30
  • Wed 25 Aug – Romarna Campbell Trio @ The Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, 17:00
  • Wed 25 Aug – Yazz Ahmed Quartet @ Symphony Hall Stage, 19:30
  • Thur 26 Aug – Camilla George Quartet @ The Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, 17:00
  • Thur 26 Aug – Warmer Than Blood @ Symphony Hall Stage, 19:30
  • Fri 27 Aug – Reuben James @ Symphony Hall Stage, 20:00
  • Fri 27 Aug – Daniel Casimir Quintet @ The Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, 21:30
  • Fri 27 Aug – Neighbourhd @ The Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, 22:30
  • Sat 28 Aug – Jazzlines Family Jam ft. Keiran McLeod @ The Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, 10:30
  • Sat 28 Aug – The Notebenders @ The Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, 13:30

By Tony Collins

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