Forget the weekend – that’s for quiet times. Week nights are when you need to be out and about this week, with a cracking three-in-a-row from Birmingham Jazz, all featuring young bands.
First up is the TG Collective, Trio Gitano with a new and expanded line-up. With TG regulars Sam Slater and Jamie Fekete on guitars are Percy Pursglove and Ray Butcher on trumpets, Holly Jones on flute and Louis Robinson on violin. And there’s a bit more jazz about the sound and music now, so I’m told.
The TG Collective is at the Jam House in St Paul’s Square from 9.30pm tomorrow, and entry is free.
On Wednesday it’s the turn of saxophonist Ed Johnston and a new project called A Heart’s Tale. Ed leads a quartet of Hans Koller on piano, Ryan Trebilcock on bass and Doug Hough on drums, with Black Voices singer Genevieve Sylva and multi-wind player Jan Hendrickse joining as special guests.
Johnston is a formidable and highly original tenor player familiar from many West midlands bands, Conservatoire bands, Walsall Jazz Orchestra and more recently Sugar Beats. This project – a Birmingham Jazz commission – lets him showcase his compositional skills with a piece inspired by Sufism and gospel music as well as jazz.
The Ed Johnston Quartet and friends are at the mac on Wednesday from 8pm. Tickets are #8 (#5) from 0121 440 3838.
On Thursday, dash down to the Rainbow in Digbeth for the Jazz Club, this time featuring the anarchic James Allsop and his group Fraud. They have been described as the jazz equivalent of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and you can find out what all the fuss is about from about 9.30pm when the band – born in Hackney, London, but with players from elsewhere in Europe – takes over from DJ Sammy Goulbourne. Entrance is a mere #2.
OTHER GIGS THIS WEEK:
WEDNESDAY: If the blues is your thing, you might like to know there is a regular session each Wednesday at The Newt in Stephenson Street, Birmingham. First up are the Lonesome Dogs. The 12-bars start at 8pm. It’s free.
THURSDAY: for fans of African music, there is another hot line-up of African Soul Rebels. This time it’s Femi (son of Fela) Kuti from Nigeria, Ba Cissoko, kora master from Guinea, and Akli D, Algerian born singer-songwriter. The rebels are at the Warwick Arts Centre from 8pm. Tickets #16.50 (#14.50) from 024 7652 4524 or warwickartscentre.co.uk
FRIDAY: A big one for the guitarists: The Antonio Forcione Jazz Quartet are at the Glee Club. Forcione is a fab acoustic guitarist and his band has a strong world music feel. It all starts at 8pm and tickets are #16 from 0870 241 5093.
Finally, excellent news for Birmingham’s national jazz profile and Chris Bowden in particular is that the saxophonist’s trio has been chosen to open EST’s upcoming UK tour. They’ll all be playing at at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival March 17 and then visiting Edinburgh, Bristol, London before playing to the home crowd at Symphony Hall on Thursday, March 22. Book your tickets on 0121 780 3333 or www.symphonyhall.co.uk.