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Free summer school course for local young people and the return of live jazz to Symphony Hall’s redeveloped foyers in August, in partnership with the UK’s leading national commercial radio service for jazz, soul and blues: Jazz FM

The music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall are delighted to announce that their Jazzlines Summer School returns later this year, as they look forward to opening their 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 and takes place at the world-renowned Symphony Hall in the heart of Birmingham.

The Jazzlines Summer School offers a comprehensive and broad-ranging programme aimed at emerging talent with a range of abilities, from beginners to advanced, who wish to expand their horizons and playing capability. The course is designed to develop key skills in aural training, ensemble musicianship, jazz repertoire and harmony and is suitable for those who aspire to further their music studies as well as those who simply wish to learn new skills in an atmosphere which is fun, supportive and encouraging.

The Jazzlines Summer School is led by professional trumpet and bass player Percy Pursglove and professional vocalist and songwriter Sara Colman, both experts in helping young musicians build their skills in way that is best suited to each individual. They are supported by an experienced group of Jazzlines tutors, music educators and specialist jazz performers.

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In August 2012, Jazzlines built on previous work to launch a free-to-access Summer School, consisting of a week-long course at Symphony Hall led by professional jazz musicians including Royal Birmingham Conservatoire tutors. This flagship project has taken place every year since and forms the basis for the year-round opportunities for young musicians via the Jazz and Gospel ensembles. Due to the pandemic, the Summer School in 2020 was cancelled and so we are thrilled that this year we can offer this unique provision to 11–19-year-olds in partnership with Jazz FM for the first time. This year, the young musicians will be some of the first to enjoy Symphony Hall’s brand-new state-of-the-art facilities. Combining the Summer School with the Festival means that we 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.
Mary Wakelam Sloan, Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s Jazz Programme Manager

This year, with a range of guest tutors in the city, the Summer School will run in conjunction with a Jazz Festival, in partnership with Jazz FM, where audiences will be able to enjoy free and low-cost performances at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, on stage at Symphony Hall and in Symphony Hall’s new Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space. Like the UK’s leading national commercial radio service for jazz, soul and blues, the week of music from Monday 23 to Saturday 28 August will showcase the full spectrum of jazz and includes performances from international touring artists to local community bands. Performers for this celebration of jazz include Yazz Ahmed (Jazz FM’s UK Jazz Act of the Year 2020), Warmer Than Blood and highly acclaimed, Birmingham-born jazz pianist Reuben James.

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This already looks like it’s going to be a fantastic celebration of Birmingham’s young and vibrant jazz scene, especially after a year of lockdowns. Jazz FM has always been a passionate supporter of UK jazz education, and we are delighted to work with the brilliant Town Hall and Symphony Hall to help spread the good word on this project, including a number of music and interview specials on our nationwide platform.
Jazz FM’s Content Director Nick Pitts

Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Jazzlines Summer School is in partnership with Jazz FM and is very kindly supported by PRS Foundation, Arts Council England, George Henry Collins Charity, Grantham Yorke Trust, Michael Marsh Charitable Trust and Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation as Talent Development Partners, supporting and inspiring the next generation of the city’s musical talent.

To be the first to hear the full line-up of Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s Jazz Festival, in partnership with Jazz FM, sign up to the mailing list.

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