Today’s jazz musicians have to have a lot of fingers in a lot of pies in order to survive, and one with more than a few digits in more than a few steak-and-kidneys is drummer Jonathan Silk. He’s not only a leader of bands big and little, he is a much in demand side-man too.
Take tonight, for example. At 5pm he will be in the Symphony Hall cafe bar leading his Fragments Quartets. Isn’t that a spelling mistake, you’re thinking. Surely it should be Quartet? Well, no, because there will be two quartets on stage: one jazz one, with Percy Pursglove, Toby Boalch and Ben Muirhead, and one string quartet. They will be playing music from Jonathan’s eagerly awaited new album, called Fragments, out soon on Stoney Lane Records.
When that gig ends at 6.30pm Jonathan will be high-tailing it south to Kings Heath where, from 8.30pm in the upstairs room at the Hare And Hounds, he will be part of the two-man driving force behind Young Pilgrims. The New Orleans meets New Birmingham high-energy horns ‘n’ drums outfit led by trombonist Richard Foote is holding the latest in its regular monthly Pilgrimages, featuring two guest bands – Hans Prya and Fistful Of Dynamite this evening – as well as the YPs themselves. It’s likely to be the hottest, sweatiest, most exhilarating experience if past Pilgrimages are anything to go by.
I hope Mr Silk is planning to take it easy tomorrow… though I doubt it.