The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is still a week away and you’ve figured out that because it’s Easter there’s going to be nothing happening?
You might be right if you look in the usual places, but all is not lost.
Let me show you how…
Tonight (Thursday) at the George IV, a little pub in Bore Street, Lichfield, Birmingham Conservatoire student and Lichfield live-music livewire Nick Dewhurst has his monthly Back Room Jazz Club running.
Alicia Gardener-Treo will be leading her Benny Golson Project, playing the music of the veteran hard-bop saxophonist and composer of such classics as Killer Joe, and providing the support will be the Will Rumney Quartet.
The music starts at 8.30pm and entry is free.
If you want to take a trip down the M40 the Oxford Jazz Festival runs until Sunday, and boasts some fine players and singers.
Tonight (Thursday) Tim Whitehead is with the Spin Trio at the Spin Jazz Club and the Roger Beaujolais Quartet is at the Jacqueline du Pre Music Building.
Tomorrow (Friday) Fringe Magnetic are at Oxford Town Hall in the early evening, while Birmingham’s jazz champion Soweto Kinch plays the main evening gig at the same venue.
Saturday’s highlight is the Bobby Wellins Quartet in the evening at The North Wall Arts Centre, but you can also hear Bobby with Alyn Shipton earlier in the day recording a Jazz Library programme for BBC Radio 3.
On Sunday Kit Downes brings his Sextet to play among the dreaming spires, and the real highlight of the festival is singer Norma Winstone with her terrific young partners, Glauco Venier and Klaus Gesing at the Randolph Hotel.
For more about all these and many more gigs over the weekend, including late-night jams, go to oxfordjazzfestival.com.
There are special ticket packages if you want to make a weekend of it.
There might be no Symphony Hall foyer cure for the rush hour blues this weekend, but if you get the Easter Monday blues, head over to The Prince Of Wales in Cambridge Street, Birmingham city centre, between 4pm and 7pm and Steve Ajao and his Blues Giants will take care of them.
It’ll cost you no more than your beer. Call 0121 643 9460 for details.
Finally, there is a real treat on Wednesday, at The Cross in Moseley.
The fabulous bass player Michael Janisch is there with his new band Paradigm Shift.
There is no player around at the moment more likely to make you smile with the sheer vitality of his playing, and he has some strong company in saxophonist Paul Booth, trumpeter Jason Palmer and pianist Leonardo Genovese.
It starts at 8pm and tickets are £8.
The band is doing a workshop in the afternoon, so if you want more info about the gig or the workshop, email aaron@cobwebcollective.