The week ahead in gigs

What’s 40 years old and still bursting with youthful enthusiasm? The Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra, that’s what.

And it returns to its spiritual home, the mac, on Sunday for a big celebration.

MYJO will be led, naturally, by John Ruddick, who, with his wife Nichola, has been running the band for 30 out of the last 40 years. Guest soloists will be trombonist Mark Nightingale, who cut his big band teeth with MYJO all those years ago, and Sophie Feek, a singer just at the start of a promising career.

Tickets are £18 and include a “meet the band” party and buffet in the interval. The whole shebang starts at 7.30pm in the mac theatre, and, as we hear about the importance of private sponsors supporting the arts as public funding cuts bite, let’s hear it for Henley Golf and Country Club who have sponsored this gig.

Book now at or on 0121 446 3232.

Also on Sunday evening, Stratford Jazz have the Magic Hat Ensemble. The band, Steve Chadwick (trumpet) Andrzej Baranek (piano) Nick Blackla (bass) Tommy Ormesher (guitar) and Rob Turner (drums), will be playing music from the CD just out, This Conversation Is Now Over.

Expect standards, like Monk’s Epistrophy, played in a fresh funky way, and Darn That Dream taken to pieces in a dreamy fashion.

Stratford Jazz meets at No.1 Shakespeare Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. Start time is 8pm and tickets are £8 on the door. More at

Before that there’s some time to remember pianist and composer Horace Silver as John Patrick and his band pay tribute to the man who brought a bright smile and some soulfulness to jazz in the 1950s. They will be doing it in the Symphony Hall Foyer between 5.30pm and 7pm tomorrow. It’s a co-promotion between Birmingham Jazz and Symphony Hall and that means they meet the cost. For you it’s completely free.

If you like a little ska with your jazz, or jazz with your ska, the Herbert Spliffington AllStars are for you. They are at the Bearwood Corks Club this evening bringing smiles to faces and movement to feet. Doors open at 8.30pm, the groove settles at 9pm, entry is £5 on the door and there is more at

Looking into the future, now would be a good time to book your tickets for these three upcoming recommendations:

Friday 5 November: Singer Claire Martin and her band, featuring pianist Gareth Williams, are at the CBSO Centre. Her latest album, A Modern Art, is superb and includes vocal versions of tunes by E.S.T. and Joshua Redman. Book at or on 0121 780 3333.

Saturday 20 November: Trumpeter Christian Scott is turning heads and getting ears pricked up with his modern mix of jazz, rock and hip hop. His album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow contains his own tunes and a cover of Thom Yorke’s Eraser. He is at the Hare & Hounds, tickets are available from and from Polar Bear in Kings Heath. Or call 0844 870 0000.

Monday 29 November: Three of Dave Brubeck’s sons, pianist Darius, multi-instrumentalist Chris and drummer Dan, play tribute to their father’s music with help from saxophonist Dave O’Higgins. They are at the Town Hall, so book at or on 0121 780 3333

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2 replies

  1. Also…

    Tonight at the Yardbird, Birmingham Conserqtoire graduate and acclaimed singer Lizzy Parks and band.

    After recording with Birmingham’s Chris Bowden on the Ninja tunes label Lizzy has gone on to appear with ensembles such as The Heritage Orchestra and Nostalgia 77, and has recently released her third solo album ‘This and That’

  2. A busy Sunday night, but you do not mention my pick: Empirical(with kevin Le Gendre) at the Drum (Live Box 7.45pm.) An exploration of Cannonball Adderley’s
    music and their versions of same.

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