There are singers who claim they do jazz but really don’t, there are singers who do jazz but aren’t really up to its demands, and then there is Claire Martin, a jazz singer through and through who was excellent to start with and then just got better with age and experience.

Her most recent CD, A Modern Art, on the Linn label, shows her tackling up-tempo tunes and ballads, American songbook standards and adaptations of modern jazz tunes by the likes Esbjorn Svensson and Joshua Redman, and tunes from the rockier end of the music, like Donald Fagen’s Things We Miss The Most.

Claire is likely to be giving this material an airing on Sunday evening in the Warwick Arts Centre Studio with support from her regular trio, Gareth Williams on piano, Laurence Cottle on bass and Chris Dagley on drums.

This is a Jazz Coventry gig and starts at 7.45pm.

Tickets are £14 from 024 7652 4524 or and it’s well worth going to hear a singer of great class and a band of great skill.

* Before that, the Harmonic Festival should fill your days.

Tonight (Thursday) the action moves to the Yardbird, just outside Paradise Place, and features a Cobweb Collective band led by saxophonist Lluis Mather with saxophonist/MC Soweto Kinch as special guest. It’s free and starts at 8pm.

Tomorrow (Friday) evening Harmonic starts at the Symphony Hall foyer at 5.30pm with the Ben Markland Quintet doing their Rush Hour Blues thing. Ben is on bass, and the frontline of Bryan Corbett on trumpet and Chris Bowden on alto never fails to thrill.

Later tomorrow (Friday) the CBSO Centre is the venue for Harmonic’s most prestigious gig: New York’s Claudia Quintet is led by drummer John Hollenbeck and also includes tenor saxophonist Chris Speed, double bass player Drew Gress and accordionist Ted Reichman. For this gig the band is augmented by two Birmingham players, Percy Pursglove on trumpet and Steve Tromans on Fender Rhodes.

This Birmingham Jazz-supported gig starts at 8pm.

On Saturday things get really busy with organ trio MC3 at Brindley Place at 1pm (a free gig) before a full evening programme at the CBSO Centre.

First up at 5pm is Moon Unit, trumpeter Aaron Diaz’s Frank Zappa-inspired band, followed by bassist Chris Mapp’s new band Gambol at 6.30pm.

At 8pm Sara Colman takes the CBSO stage with her band, and at 9.30pm the exploratory Ghostly Thoughts trio of saxophonist Paul Dunmall, bassist John Edwards and drummer Mark Sanders round the whole thing off.

* In between these gigs there are a couple of Cobweb Collective duos playing in the CBSO Centre foyer, including a twin Fender Rhodes challenge with Dan Nichols and Steve Tromans at the keys.

Tickets are just £32 for the whole weekend, or £22 for the whole of Saturday and £15 for the Claudia Quintet only, and there are other “one band only” deals too. For more information on all this go to

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