Phelps, Fowler, Glasson and Hill – this week’s Midland highlights

Jay Phelps

Jay Phelps

One of the most exciting players of the young jazz set that has matured over the last decade – it includes the members of Empirical, pianist Kit Downes and saxophonist/rapper Soweto Kinch – is surely trumpeter Jay Phelps.

We don’t get many chances to hear Jay in the Midlands, but we have one tomorrow when he brings his Quartet to the Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry.

With Jay will be Shane Forbes on drums, Mark Lewandowski on bass and Rick Simpson on piano and the special guest is Soweto Kinch.

Jay’s latest album is Projections: Of Miles, and he was also on Soweto’s The Legend Of Mike Smith.

The Jay Phelps plus Soweto Kinch, tomorrow (Fri) at 7.45pm, Warwick Arts Centre Studio, £13.50. More here.

Back to today and guitarist Gareth Fowler is presenting a new band and new compositions at the Yardbird Jazz Club.  The Gareth Fowler Quartet is at the Yardbird at 8.30pm. Donations are encouraged. All you need to know is here.

We’re accustomed to jazz groups that incorporate saxophone, trombone, guitar, bass and drums. But how about steel pans, and poetry, and violin, and a B&Q saw?

The Charlotte Glasson Band, a surefire hit on its previous visit, is back at The Red Lion, Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter, tomorrow evening.

With Charlotte on too many instruments to mention are Paul Taylor on trombone and poetry, Chris Spedding on guitar, Mick Hutton bass and steel pans, and Sam Glasson on percussion. Charlotte has a new CD, called Festivus, to promote, and a good musical time is guaranteed.

Tickets are £12, it starts at 7.45pm, and this is a Birmingham Jazz presentation. More here.

Tom Hill

Tom Hill

A man in two places this week is double bassist and wit Tom Hill. First he brings his ZZ Outsville Bop group – Ian Ellis on tenor, Craig Milverton on piano and Neil Bullock on drums – to the Symphony Hall cafe bar tomorrow (Fri) evening at 5pm for the Jazzlines free jazz session. More here.

And if you want a full evening with the band, Tom is playing again on Wednesday with Nick Millward on drums in place of Bullock, and without, it seems, the Outsville part of its name, at No 1 Shakespeare St, Stratford-upon-Avon. This is a Stratford Jazz presentation with tickets £10. There is more here.

Finally, if outdoor entertainment and a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras parade is your thing, there is some jazzy stuff going on all weekend in the Solihull Jazz Festival. The organisers promise the town centre will be “jumping and jiving”. It’s organised by Solihull Business Improvement District in collaboration with Big Bear Music. More information here.

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