March is a month full of activity and exciting events for both TDE Promotions/Fizzle and the Jazzlines Programme at Town Hall Symphony Hall with two short festival-type events, Jazz Connective and Punkt Birmingham, plus other smaller gigs, and a feature on the book History of European Jazz in the Library of Birmingham.
It’s a brilliant opportunity for Birmingham audiences to catch something of the thriving scenes in different European countries and to realise that jazz is now much more than an American music.
The first gig of the month, however, features the third of the Paul Dunmall Invites series in which Paul invites three fellow John Coltrane aficionados, saxophonist Howard Cottle, drummer Tony Bianco and bass player Olie Brice to join him in playing their interpretation of the Sun Ship Album, the last album recorded by the great Coltrane Quartet. This on Thursday 5th March in the Eastside Jazz Club and provides the rare opportunity to hear this great music played live in an atmosphere that captures something of the experience of hearing the Coltrane Quartet in concert.
Jazz Connective is a European project run by the Periscope Club in Lyon and includes partners from six European countries in seven cities, Lyon in France, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Helsinki in Finland, Dublin in Ireland, Łodz in Poland, and Birmingham and London in UK. The programme consists of a series of seminars on topics related to the development of contemporary jazz, and a showcase programme of gigs with bands from different partner countries. In Birmingham the Jazz Connective programme takes place three days from 8th to 10th March and will be followed immediately by the London event which runs from 11th to 12th March.
In Birmingham the Jazz Connective delegates will joined by delegates from the Europe Jazz Network working in the area of inclusivity, and will be discussing issues in gender balance, ethnic diversity and social deprivation.
The full programme can be accessed at https://jazzconnective.eu/cities/birmingham/ The music programme is:
Sunday 8th March 2.30 The Lamp Tavern: Three bands: Backspace + Tortusa (Poland and Norway) Malediwy (Poland) and Kim Macari/Olie Brice/Andy Woodhead (UK)
Monday 9th March Symphony Hall Stage: Sara Colman Band (UK), Riverloam Trio + Paul Dunmall and Sarah Farmer (Poland and UK), Bowrain solo piano (Slovenia)
Tuesday 10th March Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath Ashley Allen Band (UK), Rosie Tee (UK) Watchdog (France)
There will also be a residency for Irish composer and drummer Matt Jacobson who will be working with Percy Pursglove, Chris Mapp and Alicia Gardener-Trejo to develop new work. There will be a short sharing in Birmingham on the Tuesday at 4.30pm (see the programme) and a longer sharing on Wednesday 11th March as part of the programme at The Vortex.
Punkt is a festival created in Kristiansand Norway by Jan Bang and Erik Honoré (pictured here) in which each concert is remixed for a related concert that follows immediately after the first concert. It is always fascinating to hear what the sound artists make of the original. Punkt Birmingham is the second time that Erik and Jan have brought the remix concept to UK, and they have along with Chris Mapp curated a high level version of the festival. It runs from 18th to 20th March and the full programme can be seen here. TDE Promotions are sponsoring the concert with Trish Clowes (pictured here) and Louise McNonagle which will be remixed by the Punkt top team: Jan Bang, Erik Honoré and Eivind Aarset, while Jazzlines is sponsoring stillefelt to be remixed by students from the Birmingham Conservatoire and the University of Agder (both in The Lab at Birmingham Conservatoire, Thursday 19th March from 8pm).
The Library of Birmingham event on the History of European Jazz book will take place on Saturday 28th March on Level 3 of the Library. There will be an installation in the Library created by Sarah Farmer, a panel from 2 to 3.30 with Alyn Shipton, Pedro Cravinho and various jazz students/graduates who benefited from the ERASMUS scheme to spend a term away at a European university and a final short set of music with Sarah Farmer and Stella Roberts. More details nearer the time.
Finally, Tuesday 17th March (7.30) sees a Fizzle session at the Lamp Tavern with a Quartet led by Bruce Coates with Walt Shaw, Sarah Farmer and Lee Boyd Allatson, plus Han Earl Park solo guitar. Then on Sunday 29th March at 2.30 there will be a duo, Charlotte Keefe + Cath Roberts (trumpet and sax) and a trio, Emil Karlsen, Phil Wachsmann and Martin Hackett (drums, violin and synth).