From a world leading harpist to award-winning instrumentalists, Birmingham comes alive with the sweet sounds of jazz this August. We take a look at the highlights of B:Music’s week-long B:Jazz Fest.
The line-up has been revealed and if you’re a lover of all things jazz then you’re going to want to secure your tickets for this summer’s musical showcase. Now in its second year, B:Jazz will take over Town Hall and Symphony Hall this month, offering audiences free and low-cost performances with many funded by the B:Music Charity.
Running from Monday 22nd through to Friday August 26th, the week of music – in partnership with Jazz FM – will showcase international touring artists as well as local community bands. Festival highlights include headline shows from international harpist and Jazz FM Award nominee Alina Bzhezhinksa with her Hip-Harp Collective (Friday August 26) and Jazz FM’s Instrumentalist of the Year Daniel Casimir with his quintet (Thursday August 25).
Additional acts include British jazz trumpeter Byron Wallen and highly acclaimed saxophonist Trish Clowes; Bex Burch and Leafcutter John; Free Jazz Trio featuring Blue Ruth, Lucy-Anne Daniels and Andy Woodhead; and rising star of the UK Jazz scene, Midlands drummer & composer, Romarna Campbell.
“This year’s B:JazzFest is themed around community and collaboration. We want to deliver a programme that challenges artists who have never worked together to explore and share their experience of jazz music.” B:Music’s Jazz and Emerging Talent Programme Producer Alex Carr.
Neighbourhd Wlvs at the Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, Monday August 22 (free ticketed event)
Neighbourhd are back, this time with their expanded family Neighbourhd Wlvs. Neighbourhd provide a safe space for musical collaboration and expression for musicians and artists in the Midlands. This years show will feature NEOne The Wonderer & and jazz singer Hali Ray, along with their house band. For tickets click HERE
A first-time pairing of like-minded artists Leafcutter John and Bex Burch, Boing! celebrates the creative freedom from two of the most exciting voices in the jazz+ scene. It highlights the potential of technology – originally the two started playing over Zoom, using the delay as part of their improvisation. For tickets click HERE
Pianist Andrew Woodhead, vocalist Lucy-Anne Daniels and Blue Ruth team up for an early evening concert incorporating free improvisation, electronica, folk and new music. For tickets click HERE
An award-winner rising star, most recently honoured as Jazz FM’s Instrumentalist of the Year. Daniel has worked with a roll call of top musicians as well as releasing three recordings, including his critically acclaimed These Days album, mixing jazz with classical orchestration. For tickets click HERE
Midlands musician and rising star of the UK Jazz scene, Romarna Campbell is certainly making her mark. Having been a student at the summer school herself Romana knows firsthand the important role B:Music plays in the lives of musicians from the region. Having honed her craft with Berklee College of Music, Tomorrow’s Warriors and the Notebenders, Romarna stands on the shoulders of giants and is drawing inspiration from the view as she beats a path forward that is very much her own. For tickets click HERE
One of the world’s leading harpists, Alina Bzhezhinska is joined by Mikele Montolli, Adam Teixeira and Joel Prime for this fundraiser. “My country is burning,” says Alina. “I wish I could go and fight alongside my family who are all in the resistance, but I have to stay where I am and use my music as my weapon. My mother told me I have to be strong for all Ukrainians and play my music for them to show solidarity and give my people some comfort and love.” Alina will also be joined by Scottish Trombonist & vocalist Noushy, MC NEOne The Wonderer and our very own world class Saxophonist Xhosa Cole. This promises to be an incredible live performance, not to be missed. For tickets click HERE
ABOUT JAZZLINES SUMMER SCHOOL
Alongside B:JazzFest, the B:Music charity-funded Summer School attracts budding young musicians from across the region, offering them the chance to experience Birmingham’s iconic Symphony Hall. This free course is open to those aged 11-19 who will work closely with a range of guest tutors ahead of shows at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, on stage at Symphony Hall and in the Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, culminating with a Jazzlines Tutor Ensemble led by Percy Pursglove and Sara Colman. For more information on future Jazzlines Ensembles click HERE