There’s a new festival this weekend and it’s not very far away. The first Burton Jazz Festival takes place at the National Brewery Centre in the Staffordshire town, and features a wide range of music from the mainstream to vocal to contemporary.
Headlining the two days are singer Clare Teal and her band on Saturday evening and saxophonist Alan Barnes with the Ben Holder Quartet on Sunday night.
Keeping the Midland flag flying on Saturday are Warwickshire trombonist Andy Derrick and his Quartet, and Staffordshire saxophonist Chris Gumbley who brings his Latin Experience to the festival.
Also on the Saturday bill are Fluff, featuring Ben Martin on saxophones, and the Charlotte Glasson Band from Brighton, which features trombonist Paul Taylor and legendary guitarist Chris Spedding alongside multi-instrumentalist Charlotte who is likely to play flute, saxophone, penny whistle, violin and even the saw in the course of a gig.
Sunday’s bill includes Italian saxophonist Tommaso Starace with his Quartet, the piano trio with the appealing name of Eyes Shut Tight, and Les Musettes who play, as you might guess, French jazz with accordion, guitar and vocals.
The performances are stretched across the Brewery Tap bar and restaurant, the Worthington Suite and the NBC Marquee, all at the National Brewery Centre, and run from noon till after midnight on both nights.
There is an art exhibition and late night jazz jam sessions, and you can buy a day ticket or a weekend one. More information and booking is at www.burtonjazzfestival.com
Back in Birmingham there is al fresco jazz tomorrow early evening courtesy of Jazzlines and BrindleyPlace. This time the band is led by drummer and percussionist Lydia Glanville.
Lydia is a Birmingham Conservatoire graduate and ranges from folk to world to jazz in her musical tastes.
The square opposite the Ikon Gallery is the place to hear her and her band from 5pm. It’s a free gig and there is more information at www.thsh.co.uk/jazzlines.
And finally, now is the time to be planning an active autumn of jazz concerts with a strong programme from Jazzlines in Birmingham, and a new series of jazz gigs at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton.
In Birmingham the highlights are Swedish former E.S.T. drummer Magnus Ostrom and his band at the Adrian Boult Hall on Friday 13 September, the Liam Noble Quintet with Chris Batchelor on trumpet and Shabaka Hutchings on saxophone, at the mac on Tuesday 8 October, and the David Murray Infinity Quartet at the CBSO Centre on Friday 18 October.
Booking for these and many more Jazzlines gigs is now open at www.thsh.co.uk/jazzlines
Over in Wolverhampton, the Zoe Rahman Quartet is appearing on Saturday 5 October and The Impossible Gentlemen on Sunday 20 October.
The Impossible Gentlemen – Gwilym Simcock on piano, Mike Walker on guitar, Steve Swallow on bass and Adam Nussbaum on drums – have a marvellous new album for release very soon. For the Wolverhampton gig, the new album’s producer, Steve Rodby, stands in for Swallow.
You can find out more and book at www.wlv.ac.uk