There's a shadow over the Birmingham jazz world this week with the death at the weekend of the city’s oldest and most beloved jazz musician, the saxophonist Andy Hamilton.
At Bearwood Corks Club, where Andy and his band, the Blue Notes, have been resident for many years, and where Andy appeared for his 94th birthday party in March, the band will be joined by singer Vic Evans for what is bound to be an emotional affair.
The doors open at 8.30pm, and the music starts around 9pm. Tickets are £4 on the door.
Rush Hour Blues welcomes back an old favourite tomorrow evening, with the Charlotte Glasson Band rolling in from Brighton to play their grin-inducing mixture of jazz, ska and African beat.
Charlotte is on saxophone plus countless other things, including, very possibly, the saw.
The music runs from 5.30 to 7pm in the Symphony Hall foyer bar. Entry is free and this is a Jazzlines gig.
Meanwhile, out of town the first jazz festival of the summer gets under way at Lichfield Rugby Club.
The 23rd Lichfield Real Ale Jazz & Blues Festival is a little early this year but offers a familiar mix of bands old and new, with perhaps more of a leaning towards the blues than in previous years.
It opens this evening with music of the rock/blues variety from The Cohen Brothers and Tom Woodman, while tomorrow it’s Derrin Nauendorf and Paul Cox & Charlie Fabert.
The jazz side of the festival comes into play on Saturday with some French cafe-style swing from Strumpit, the Trad approach of George Huxley’s Jazzmen, more string-driven gypsy swing stuff from Fret & Fiddle and stylish Belgian jazz singer Gabrielle Ducomble.
Things take a brassy turn with Saturday’s headliners, the Welsh big band Wonderbrass, who will be joined by the superb alto saxophonist Jason Yarde.
On Sunday, you can hear Ben Crosland’s Threeway, with Ben on electric bass, Steve Lodder on piano and Steve Waterman on trumpet, while adding some bang up to date, contemporary jazz edge will be the superb Led Bib. Later on Sunday, the headliner is guitarist Eduardo Niebla with his Trio, melding jazz with flamenco and more.
The festival operates a very sensible rolling programme on Sunday meaning the bands, apart from the headliners, play two sets in rotation. You can therefore get a day ticket and hear them all in the afternoon, and/or playing different sets in the evening. For more information and to book tickets, go to www.lichfieldarts.org
Finally, the programme has been announced for the 28th Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival, which includes many festival favourites from Alan Barnes and Art Themen to Tipitina, Val Wiseman and The Zoltans.
The festival runs in dozens of venues, from halls to pubs to shopping centres, from July 6-15, so look around for a printed programme or go to www.birminghamjazzfestival.com