The music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall is delighted to announce the line-up for its first ever Jazz Fest, which will take place in front of live audiences from Monday 23 to Saturday 28 August. The week of music will showcase the full spectrum of jazz and includes performances from international touring artists to local community bands.
With a range of guest tutors in the city for this year's Jazzlines Summer School, Jazz Fest, in partnership with Jazz FM, will allow audiences to enjoy free and low-cost performances at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, on stage at Symphony Hall and in Symphony Hall’s brand-new Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space.
Alongside Jazz Fest, the Jazzlines Summer School is set to return in 2021, as Symphony Hall opens its doors once again to young musicians from Birmingham and the surrounding areas. This year’s free, non-residential course will run from Monday 23 to Friday 27 August for young people aged between 11 and 19. Combining the Summer School with the Festival means that THSH can offer the chance for the young musicians to see and hear some of the best British talent in action, as well as learning alongside them.
Jazz Fest will present a series of ticketed, in-person live concerts in Birmingham over six days in August, subject to the successful roll-out of the government’s roadmap.
The artists announced for this year’s festival include headline shows from pioneering Birmingham-based saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch (Soweto Kinch Trio: Monday 23 August) and Jazz FM’s UK Jazz Act of the Year 2020, Yazz Ahmed (Yazz Ahmed Quartet: Wednesday 25 August).
This week-long celebration of jazz reflects the breadth that Town Hall Symphony Hall offers, giving a platform to early career jazz musicians alongside international stars. This inaugural 2021 festival will see us bring an array of exciting talent from the local and UK jazz scene to audiences in Birmingham with our programme of live music. We are thrilled not only to support the rich and diverse jazz ecosystem in the city but also to work with a range of industry professionals that help to create exceptional opportunities to experience live music.Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Jazz Programme Manager, Mary Wakelam Sloan
Additional acts lined up for the August programme include new trio Warmer Than Blood (guitarist Chris Montague, pianist Kit Downes and bassist Ruth Goller) and highly acclaimed, Birmingham-born jazz pianist Reuben James. Also performing will be the Paula Gardiner Quartet, the Romarna Campbell Trio, the Camilla George Quartet, the Daniel Casimir Quintet, and the ever-popular Notebenders, who will close the Festival with a host of new numbers.
The Festival will run in partnership with Jazz FM, the largest commercial jazz station in the world, and a passionate supporter of UK jazz education. Jazz FM will include a number of music and interview specials around Jazz Fest on their nationwide platform.