* There’s a bright and shiny West Coast feel to this week’s Jazzlines Free Jazz session at the Symphony Hall cafe bar on Friday July 19 after work, and that should suit the weather.
The band is the Chris Gumbley Quintet and their chosen guru is the larger-than-life alto saxophonist Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley.
Julian has a special place in Birmingham jazz history because in the 1980s the place to go was a club in Adderley Street called – yep, you guessed it – The Cannonball.
Did Chris play there? I’m sure he must have.
The music starts at 5pm, and entry is free. More at www.thsh.co.uk
* From there head out to the Ort Cafe in Balsall Heath for a terrific quartet led by BBC Scotland Young Jazz Musician of 2010 and Birmingham Conservatoire graduate John Fleming.
With John on tenor saxophone you can hear pianist Andy Bunting, double bassist Nick Jurd and drummer Jonathan Silk, the cream of the young Birmingham scene, with some highly attractive original material in this ultra-intimate and relaxed room.
Entry is £5/£3 on the door and it all gets going some time after 8.30pm.
* If you know any teenagers with an interest in learning more about how to play jazz then alert them to the second Jazzlines Summer School, which is being held from August 19 to 23.
They will be given guidance and tuition in jazz performance, composition and ensemble playing by an ace group of music and education professionals including trumpeter Percy Pursglove, singer Sara Colman, and members of the Jazzlines Trio.
There will be daily workshops and it will all culminate in a performance in the Symphony Hall cafe bar at the end of the week.
These young people will always be able to say: “Symphony Hall? Yeah, I’ve played Symphony Hall.”
To find out how to apply – and applications close on Monday, July 22 – go to www.thsh.co.uk and click on News.
* Finally, the British Jazz Awards were held last week as part of the Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival and here are the winners: trumpet: Enrico Tomasso; trombone: Mark Nightingale; clarinet: Alan Barnes; alto saxophone: Alan Barnes; tenor saxophone: Bobby Wellins; piano: Gareth Williams; guitar: Jim Mullen; bass: Dave Green; drums: Steve Brown; misc. instruments: Jim Hart (vibraphone); vocals: Anita Wardell; rising star: Tim Thornton; big band: BBC Big Band; small group: Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen; new album: Claire Martin - Too Much In Love To Care (Linn Records); reissue: Stan Tracey - Three Classic Albums Plus (Avid).
Congratulations to all.