Mondays at Yorks – the finest free jazz in town?

Andrew Bain, Percy Pursglove and John O'Gallagher with guests at a previous Yorks Bakery Cafe Monday night session

Andrew Bain, Percy Pursglove and John O’Gallagher with guests at a previous Yorks Bakery Cafe Monday night session

It’s a sign of a sophisticated city when good quality live music is acknowledged to be a vital and regular part of the cafe bar mix. And when that live music starts to feature international musicians of exceptional calibre, then there is even more reason to take note – and to get along to hear them!

Key members of Birmingham’s jazz community trumpeter/bassist Percy Pursglove and drummer Andrew Bain started a regular Monday evening session at Yorks Bakery Cafe when it was in Newhall Street; now the cafe – one of Birmingham’s funkiest – has relocated to Stephenson Street, nearer the action, not far from Birmingham New Street Station and Grand Central. And thankfully, Percy and Andrew have moved with it.

This year, in addition, a third regular performer has been the New York saxophonist recently relocated to Birmingham, John O’Gallagher. The trio has guest players each week, so there is always something new.

Tonight that guest is David Ferris, one of the busiest young players on the Birmingham scene, adept on both piano and organ – it will be on the latter that he will be performing this evening. Expect some truly greasy grooves – in sharp contrast to the delicious (no-grease-here!) burgers which form part of Yorks Bakery Cafe’s £10 Beer And A Burger offer.

Andrew Bain told me: “These relocated sessions, featuring myself and Percy Pursglove, are an amazing place to hear live, improvised jazz music in a relaxed setting with great food and drinks. Tonight, catch local legend Dave Ferris on organ and world-class alto star John O’Gallagher before he heads off on tour.”

  • More about Monday Night Jazz, which runs from 7.15pm at Yorks Bakery Cafe and has free entry, is HERE.

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