The gong is not a common jazz instrument – but gongs of a sort will be much in evidence at the Jam House on Wednesday night.
This is the venue for the Birmingham Jazz Awards, a centrepiece of Birmingham Jazz’s 30th anniversary season, with categories including Best UK Artist, Best International Artist and Best Club Jazz Artist.
There will also be an education showcase and the announcement of this year’s Commuter Jazz Award, voted for by the audience at the free weekly Friday evening Symphony Hall sessions.
Birmingham Jazz big cheese Tony Dudley-Evans has stressed that the evening will contain a lot more music than acceptance speeches and that’s the way we like it.
Performing on the night – and giving you a hint of who some of the award-winners might be – are the Clark Tracey Quintet, Sara Colman, Sugar Beats and The Void.
Comperes for the evening are Soweto Kinch and Jacqui Dankworth.
There may still be a few tickets available (#5 for BJ members, #10 the rest) but do hurry if you want to be part of this glittering affair. Go to thejamhouse.com for full price tickets or call 0121 454 2371 if you are a BJ member.
And may I just add how delighted I am that, after months of web-hell, the new Birmingham Jazz website is at last up and running. Check it out at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
Also part of the 30th anniversary season is a second chance to hear Abram Wilson’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival commission, Delta Blues Project.
The trumpeter and singer has written a semi-autobiographical piece which weaves the blues and jazz heritage of his New Orleans origins into a thoroughly contemporary jazz/hip-hop mix. It has a ten-piece line-up playing in various combinations.
Abram Wilson’s Delta Blues Project is at the CBSO Centre on Friday at 8pm. Tickets are #12 from 0121 767 4050 or online from www.boxoffice.necgroup.co.uk/cbsocentre.asp
Fancy a Halloween party with a difference? Birmingham Conservatoire reprobates turned 15-piece band The Destroyers have combined their love of film and Eastern European music with a selection of scores for classic horror films.
They will be performing them tomorrow night at The Glee Club. For more info look at their website thedestroyers.co.uk or just turn up with your scary boots laced up tight.
Other gigs this week:
Thursday: Bobby Wellins trombone with the Archie Cotterill Trio. The Norbury Theatre, Friar Street, Droitwich Spa, Worcester WR9 8ED, 7.30pm. Tickets from the Norbury Theatre – Telephone 01905 770154
Thursday: Bryan Spring Trio (Bryan on drums with Mark Edwards on piano and Andrew Cleyndert on bass) at the Biggin Hall Pub in Coventry. 8.30pm, tickets #8 (#5 concs) on the door.
Friday: Tom Hill and ZZ Bop play the Rush Hour Blues session at the Symphony Hall foyer bar from 5.30pm. It’s free.
Saturday: Sax in the City, with Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, also in the Symphony Hall bar, this time from 12.30pm. Free as well.
Sunday: Trumpeter Neil Yates and guitarist Stuart McCallum join Soweto Kinch’s trio for the Live Box session at the Drum. It starts at 7.45pm, tickets #5 can be booked online at the-drum.org.uk or on 0121 333 2444.
* News and views by email, please, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for the blog: www.thejazzbreakfast.blogspot.com