The festival fun continues this week with the Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival beginning its run to the finish, and a couple of choice gigs out at the Lichfield Festival as well.
In Birmingham, the BIJBF has made a special international connection this year with Lithuania. Today (Thursday) at the Lord Cliffden in the Jewellery Quarter the band on at 7.30pm is the Giedre Kilciauskiene & Andrej Polevikov Quartet.
Meanwhile, if Irish jazz is more your thing, then the pubs to be in for The Grainne Duffy Band are The Brasshouse at 12.30pm and The Junction at 8pm. And strolling around Birmingham are The Dixie Strollers – catch them in the Cathedral Square at midday today (Thursday) and at O’Neills in Broad Street at 8pm.
Friday’s highlights are the Walsall Jazz Orchestra at the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar for the Jazzlines Free Jazz session at 5pm, The Lamours at the Botanical Gardens at 7pm (this is a ticketed gig) and the Art Themen Quartet in Victoria Square at noon and The Drop Forge at 8.30pm. Les Zauto Stompers De Paris are, appropriately, appearing at Le Truc at 9pm.
Saturday’s programme has a blues tinge with The Black Mountain Jazz & Blues Band at Bournville Village Green at 4pm and The Alex McKown Blues Band at The Garden House at 7.30pm.
The 2013 festival closes on Sunday and involved in the wind-up are Big Joe Pleasure at the New Inn Harborne at 4pm, festival patron Digby Fairweather leading his Big Four at The Belfry at 1pm and The Slug and Lettuce at 5pm. The big ticketed event is at the Botanical Gardens at 7pm: Bob Kerr and his Whoopee Band.
For full details about these and the many other free gigs go to www.birminghamjazzfestival.com or call the hotline on 0121 454 7020.
Meanwhile, out at Lichfield, the marvellous Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca is at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre this evening with his band which now adds an African kora player to the line-up.
Fonseca is not only a pianist who can do finesse and power in equal measure, he is a great creator of texture and balance in his band. And the melodies in Cuban music are as irresistible as the compulsive rhythms.
The Roberto Fonseca Band is at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre today (Thursday) at 8pm. Tickets are £15-17 and are available via www.lichfieldfestival.org or on 01543 412121.
On Friday you can hear the Zoe Rahman Quartet in the magical surroundings of Lichfield Cathedral’s Lady Chapel. The pianist has Rowland Sutherland on flutes, Gene Calderazzo on drums and Davide Mantovani on bass, and her latest music has added a new Celtic strain to the American jazz and Bengali music that has always infused the originality of her music.
The Zoe Rahman Quartet plays at 10pm and £14 tickets are still available at www.lichfieldfestival.org or on 01543 412121.