I know it’s not a traditional jazz time, 10.30am, especially after a potentially busy Friday night, but hey, it’s only once in a while, so please, please, join us this coming Saturday 21 May at Saint Kitchen in St Paul’s Square. It’s all part of the Birmingham Jazz Legends Festival, which runs from Friday to Sunday with a wide range of both ticketed and free events running through each day.
Leading the band for this free Jazz Breakfast session will be alto saxophonist Eddy Lim and it’s his first public performance here under his own name. Joining him will be Alex Astbury on trumpet, Andrew Woodhead on piano, Josh Taylor on double bass and Gwilym Jones on drums.
I asked Eddy Lim a bit about himself.
“I grew up in a small town called Kuala Terengganu in West Malaysia,” he told me. “I was introduced to the saxophone when I was in my high school years, as I was part of my school’s military band. My knowledge of jazz was limited at that time, having only listened to it. It was not until my university years that I really learned more…”
The chance to further his studies led Eddy (full name Eddy Lim You Cheng) to taking a Masters course in Jazz Performance at Birmingham Conservatoire. So what does he think of his new adopted city?
“What I really enjoy about Birmingham is the variety of music concerts and workshops that I’m able to attend, something that unfortunately I cannot find back in my home country. I also love that I’m able to travel easily to other cities (London, Manchester) to watch concerts. Another important element that makes me prefer Birmingham over bigger cities such as London, is that it is not a terribly busy/congested city, and everything I need is available here.”
And who’s the jazz musician that floats his boat highest?
“I would say Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley is my main inspiration in jazz. He is the one who sparked my interest in the music and made me want to learn more about this genre. I felt that I have learned basically everything from him; from playing the instrument to life lessons.”
And you’ll be pleased to know, given the early hour of Saturday’s gig that Eddy has a penchant for a quieter tune.
“I would say that playing a ballad is my all-time favourite. To me, the melodies in the ballads that I know are simply beautiful, and they always touch my heart and soul.”
And how will he cope with playing in the a.m.?
“Ha ha! I defintely would not consider myself a morning person, but I am trying my best to wake up as early as I can, and try to get as many things done as opposed to slacking around.”
I don’t think we’ll be able to order Eddy Lim’s favourite breakfast – traditional Malaysian Nyonya Cakes and Malaysia Teh Tarik (Malaysian Pull Tea), he tells me – at Saint Kitchen on Saturday, but the coffee is excellent and the grilled sandwiches are great, too.
So please do try to join us; remember, you can always have a nap later…
- More about Eddy Lim at the Legends Festival and the rest of the weekend programme is HERE.