Revamped Thursday jazz at The Yardbird is proving a hit

yardbird 2Sam Marchant, who promotes jazz in Birmingham under the title of Beat City, has been co-organiser of the Thursday evening sessions at The Yardbird for a good while, but has now taken full control, and has revamped the evening.

He filled me in on the changes:

“I’ve changed the layout and running order for The Yardbird and this has been in place since 16 January. It’s proving to be a big success. Normally in January, as I’m sure you know, you’re lucky to get a handful of people attending a gig. However since the new layout we’ve been packed each week which is great to see.”

The new structure of the night is as follows:
8pm – Support act – Student band between years 1-3 or younger – 1 x 45min set
9pm – Main act – UK/Birmingham based musicians, Conservatoire graduates, tutors, touring artists – 2 x 45min sets
11pm – Jam session until 2am – Hosted by rhythm section from support act.

Last night’s line-up included Conservatoire tutor and pianist Hans Koller and a band playing music inspired by Thelonious Monk

Regarding the other venue where Beat City promotes jazz, there has been something of a hiatus recently for a highly topical reason.

Sam tells me: “Churchills Snooker Bar was unfortunately flooded a while ago, and we haven’t had any gigs on since before Christmas. Next Wednesday (12 Feb) we were hoping to have the grand new launch of the Beat City Churchills Jazz Club nights, but we’ve had to rethink this.”

Alas, Churchills remains in no fit state. So at the last minute the 12 Feb gig by Frolics has moved to Urban Coffee in Church Street, Snow Hill.

Here are the bands for the foreseeable future:

The Yardbird

13 February
8pm – Sean Gibbs Quintet
9pm – Anthony Marsden Major Project Bande
11pm – 2am – Jam session

20 February
8pm – John Greenwood Quartet
9pm – Chris Maddock Quintet feat. Nadim Teimoori
11pm – 2am – Jam session

27 February
8pm – David Sear Quintet
9pm – Andrew Woodhead Sextet
11pm – 2am – Jam session

6 March
8pm – Ami Opreanova Quartet
9pm – Ed Haine Major Project Band
11pm – 2am – Jam session

13 March
8pm – Robbie Fearon Trio
9pm – YBY Trio
11pm – 2am – Jam session

20 March
8pm – Ash Bonfante Quartet
9pm – Jonathan Silk Quintet
11pm – 2am – Jam session

27 March
8pm – Birmingham University Small Ensemble
9pm – Birmingham University Big Band
11pm – 2am – Jam session

See here for the Frolics dates next Wednesday

The website for all of this will be up and running soon, Sam assures me, and it’s In the meantime keep an eye on Churchills activities on Twitter and Facebook – look for churchillsjazz

Categories: News

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