If you are left working while all your friends have gone on holiday, never mind. There are always some friendly jazz bands around happy to have you in the audience.
Saxophonist Andy Hamilton’s regular Thursday sessions at the Bearwood Corks Club in Bearwood Road, Smethwick, B66 4BT, carry on through the summer, and the grand old man should be there with his Blue Notes this week, doors opening at 8.30pm, the music starting at 9pm.
If anyone can be called a legend, then 92-year-old Andy is the man.
Tickets are £4 at the door.
Find out more at www.bearwoodjazz.co.uk
On Friday the Rush Hour Blues slot is taken by pianist Tim Amann and his Xtet, who play at City Inn in Brindleyplace.
Tim is pianist in Hamilton’s Blue Notes as well as a key member and composer for the Walsall Jazz Orchestra.
His own band features the fiery tenor of Sam Rogers, with fellow WJO rhythm team members Adam Gilchrist on bass and Carl Hemmingsley on drums.
The music runs from 5.30pm to 7pm and all you need to pay for are your drinks.
More information at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
If big band jazz is your thing, then the Swan Theatre in Worcester is the place to be on Saturday, as local hero Steve King brings his large and swinging ensemble in to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Trumpeter Steve favours the classic swing band repertoire from, as he puts it, “anything from Goodman and Goodwin”.
Adding the vocals is US singer Lynn Dawes.
The show starts at 7.30pm, tickets are £13.50 and you can book now at www.worcesterlive.co.uk
Sunday at No1 Shakespeare Street in Stratford-upon-Avon offers something really special.
In a world of fine guitarists, Nicolas Meier still stands out.
He has mastered the glissentar, an eleven-stringed, fretless guitar that enables the skilled player (and any other kind of player cannot really manage this axe at all) to bring western and eastern stringed instrument styles together, using all the conventional scales and then all those microtones beloved of the east.
Is it a guitar? A sitar? An oud? It can be all these things at once, and Meier is quite capable of bringing all those sounds out.
He also plays conventional guitar and as if this wasn’t enough, he also has a classy band with Mark Lockheart on saxophone, Asaf Sirkis on drums and Pat Bettison on bass.
The music starts at 8pm, tickets are £6 at the door, and don’t forget to get a ticket for the prize draw.
There is more information at www.stratfordjazz.co.uk
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