Jazz lovers can choose from dozens of concerts and other events after full details of this year’s Birmingham, Sandwell and Westside Jazz Festival were unveiled.
The programme for the 37th annual festival, which runs from Friday 16 July to Sunday 1 August, boasts around 130 performances.
All but nine of them are offering free admission, with much of the entertainment available at nearly a dozen venues on Westside.
The jazz festival, first held in 1985, is pretty much back to normal despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Last year’s event still went ahead but was postponed till October in a reduced form.
Westside BID chairman Dipesh Mistry said the “stylish venues” in the area would be offering a great deal of quality jazz.
Mr Mistry said: “After over a year in which entertainment, like so much else, has been drastically cut back, the festival is returning to its rightful place in the city’s calendar.
“By any measure, Westside is the entertainment capital of the Midlands. It’s therefore with great delight that I welcome the jazz festival here, for Westside is the beating heart of the festival.”
Birmingham’s biggest and longest running jazz festival will feature a number of much-anticipated performances on Westside.
Venues taking part in the festival include the Brasshouse, O’Neills, and Velvet Music Rooms, all on Broad Street, and Caffe Nero, Central Square, Cosy Club, Hilton Garden Inn, and Waters Edge Bandstand, all in Brindleyplace.
In addition, The Bulls Head, incorporating Henry’s Blueshouse, in Bishopgate Street, off Broad Street, will be hosting a couple of special events.
They include a packed programme on Tuesday 20 July featuring a Cigar Box Guitar Workshop, Blues Talkin’ with Lucy Piper, and the Sam Kennedy Band, followed by Bluesday on 27 July starting with a Meet the Author event with festival director Jim Simpson and culminating with The Shufflepack in concert.
Other performances on Westside include the Jake Leg Jug Band and Sheila Waterfield, both at the Hilton Garden Inn, the Simon Spillett Quartet in Central Square, and Spats Langham’s Hot Fingers on the Waters Edge Bandstand.
The Brasshouse hosts concerts by the likes of the Bruce Adams Quartet, Emma Jonson Band, Tipitina, and Big Jim & The Alabama Boogie Boys, while Bruce Adams and Big Jim and his band also appear at Velvet Music Rooms together with the Boperator Boogie Band.
Cosy Club, meanwhile, sees performances by artists such as Florence Joelle, and Martin Litton & Janice Day, O’Neills entertains The Shufflepack and The Old Jelly Rollers, and Caffe Nero hosts Strictly Jitterbug. For full details of events and venues, visit: http://www.birminghamjazzfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Jazz_Fest_prog_2021_V5_LoRes_spreads-compressed.pdf
By Tony Collins