Following government advice, Town Hall Symphony Hall (THSH) is closed. But the iconic concert halls cannot be silenced and, in the coming weeks, the venues’ much-loved FREE Friday jazz gigs will be broadcast to Facebook, enabling audiences to come together in the safety of a digital space.
Watch Parties were launched by Facebook in 2018 as a new way for people to watch videos on Facebook together in real time. Once a Watch Party is started, participants can watch videos, live or recorded, and interact with one another around them in the same moment.
Music has the power to bring people together. Our forthcoming Facebook Watch Parties of the FREE Friday jazz gigs ensure that audiences can do just that. Self-isolation does not need to mean that people are isolated from their communities and through Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Jazzlines, we’ve built an incredible community with a shared passion for jazz music. Town Hall Symphony Hall is committed to bringing live music to our city and these Facebook Watch Parties will provide an opportunity for our friends to continue their discovery of the best of Brum’s musicians.Nick Reed, Chief Executive
On Friday 27 March, join the Watch Party for Olivia Murphy and Olly Chalk’s duo.
Saxophonist and composer Olivia Murphy regularly plays on the Birmingham scene and is a member of Birmingham Jazz Orchestra. Her sextet has also recently played at Birchfield Jazz Festival and The Spotted Dog, and in November recorded new material for a 2020 release. She will play alongside jazz pianist Olly Chalk, who is currently undertaking a Master of Music (MMus) programme in jazz piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance.
On Friday 3 April, join the Watch Party for Joey Walter’s Me & 3.
Saxophonists Joey Walter, a graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire, and Ben Markland, a music technology tutor and workshop practitioner with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, have been playing together along with Tom Martin for eight years. They recently welcomed Rosie O’Callahan on baritone to the quartet, Me & 3. Alongside their usual repertoire, featuring composers such as Bob Mintzer, Mike Mower and Jeff Driskill, they will be playing some new arrangements and original material by Joey.
On Friday 10 April, join the Watch Party for Xhosa Cole’s Quintet.
Saxophonist Xhosa Cole won BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 for his “heartfelt” performance.
Xhosa is an embodiment of the success of numerous music outreach programs within Birmingham, including THSH's Jazzlines. As a saxophonist, flautist, composer and producer, Xhosa has played, studied and collaborated with a wide range of world-class musicians and composers.
Jazz thrives on challenge and innovation, and I’m immeasurably proud that the Jazzlines Talent Development Programme has risen to these challenging times with this innovative response. We thank Arts Council England for their support, which in turn has enabled our support of Birmingham’s freelance musicians during these testing times. Town Hall Symphony Hall values the crucial contribution musicians make to the city’s creative life, its economy and the enjoyment of local people and visitors.Mary Wakelam Sloan, Jazz Programme Manager
Jazzlines is a unique programme of creative jazz music and talent development from the charity that runs THSH. It offers performance opportunities to emerging and established contemporary jazz musicians as part of a thriving, artistically excellent programme in venues across the city and commissions cutting-edge new work, providing support to ensure future performances and a legacy for new projects.
Jazzlines’ FREE Friday jazz gigs will be performed in Symphony Hall’s brand-new performance space when it opens this autumn. This unique space, for talented local artists to have even more opportunities to perform as part of a daily programme with free and affordable performances, is part of the £13.2 million redevelopment of the world-renowned venue’s foyer.
In these uncertain times, many registered charities are relying on the generosity of their supporters more than ever. A large part of THSH’s success has been made possible with our audience’s support.