You should all be resting on Good Friday so have no need for a Rush Hour commuter session, but that shouldn't stop you getting those smart jazz threads on and heading down to The Rainbow in Digbeth. You might even get on the radio if you cheer loudly enough.

The occasion is a special performance by the Chris Bowden Trio, being used as a broadcast on Radio 1Xtra, hosted by Benji B, to highlight the vibrant Jazz scene here in Birmingham.

It's part of the regular Jazz Club Sessions moving from their usual Thursday spot just this once.

Chris Bowden (pictured) is a spectacular saxophonist, and as a composer and arranger he has spearheaded a very fresh amalgam of jazz, tougher club beats, and a difficult-to-place retro feel.

This has resulted two highlypraised albums and a great following both within the jazz mainstream and among a younger set for whom Bowden has come first and Bird afterwards.

He will be appearing with regular partners Ben Markland on bass and Neil Bullock on drums, plus the possibility of a surprise guest.

Entrance is £2 on the door (£3 after 10.30pm) and there is more info on

Another fine saxophonist is in town on Sunday evening.

Shabaka Hutchins, formerly of the Walsall Jazz Orchestra, now doing great things while studying in London, makes a welcome return for the Live Box session at The Drum.

The Drum is at 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham, doors open at 7.30pm, tickets are £5, and you can find out more on 0121 333 2444

And for the third fine sax player in a row, head for the Jam House in St Paul's Square, Birmingham, on Tuesday evening.

The Anna Brooks Quintet has been a little quiet of late, but is back in force here. Expect some rock solid improvising, finely-honed tunes and arrangements, and a few of contemporary jazz's favourite covers.

The music starts around 9.30pm, the venue has a great listening atmosphere and it's free to get in. For more information see again.

I'm hearing enthusiastic reports about The Bash Bar, 84b New Street (just near Habitat), which presents jazz fusion in addition to broken beats, house, disco and hip-hop.

It's where you are likely to find some bright young Conservatoire jazz students doing their homework.

Saturday offers two bands, Anton Debiage with Ian Standford, and Identity Crisis, as well as the DJs Blueprint.

Entry is free and the music lasts from 8pm to 2am.

If you missed the Tim Amann X-tet with Oleg Kirejev at the Symphony Hall Bar last Friday, there's another chance to hear Tim and Oleg at Bearwood Corks Club tomorrow evening.

Entry is £4 on the door, they open at 8.30pm, and there's more on 0121 429 2091 or at

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