Some choice small gigs over the next four days, with a great variety of music, from contemporary song-writing to classic big band charts, with a little Gambian roots sounds thrown in.

* Tonight (Thursday) in Birmingham the vibes player Julian Powell brings his Collective to the Bearwood Corks Club. An exciting mix of Latin, jazz and fusion is promised, the doors open at 8.30pm and entrance is £4/£3 on the door.

Find out more about the Club at

* Meanwhile over in Coventry, at the Biggin Hall pub, Jazz Coventry presents the Brighton-based multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Glasson.

She will be leading her lively band which comprises the wonderful Dave Holdsworth on tuba and pocket trumpet, Mark Bassey on trombone, Jason Henson on guitar and Sam Glasson on drums, and they will be playing mainly original tunes that mix in all kinds of influences from ska and Latin to bebop and African. Charlotte herself plays saxophone and flute, and may even pick up the violin or the saw. The gig starts at 8.30pm in the upstairs room at the Biggin, and tickets are £10 (£6 for students) on the door.

In a slightly unfortunate example of independent programming, it is also possible to see the Charlotte Glasson Band in the Symphony Hall foyer bar at 5.30pm tomorrow (Friday) for no charge at all. Well, I suppose you are guaranteed a seat and a smaller room at Coventry.

* The singer and songwriter Sarah Gillespie might have settled into a genre unrelated to jazz were it not for her interest in a gritty kind of beat poetry, a penchant for the music of Bessie Smith and Cole Porter in addition to that of Bob Dylan, and a chance meeting with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon while playing support to The Blockheads at Ronnie Scott’s.

The result has been a very sparky mix of challenging lyrics and a forthright, serpentine way with a melody line, all spiced up with the Middle Eastern-nuanced sounds and virtuosic sax-playing of Atzmon.

It sounds amazingly vibrant on CD, so the live experience should be powerful indeed.

Sarah Gillespie and Gilad Atzmon are playing the Lichfield Guildhall on Saturday from 8pm, courtesy of Lichfield Arts. Tickets are £12 (£6 for students) and can be booked online at or on 01543 262223.

* Also on Sunday evening, the Steve King Big Band, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, is playing at the Tamworth Assembly Rooms from 7.30pm and tickets are £14, while down at The Chapel in Stratford-upon-Avon, courtesy of Stratford Jazz, you can hear the Jim Blomfield Sextet - Latin sounds from the West Country, don’t you know! Entry is £8 (Students half-price), it starts at 8pm. Details: