Jazz Connective is a project funded by the European Union that has brought together promoters and festivals in six European countries and seven cities, and has run mini-festivals and seminars in each of the cities. Jazzlines, the jazz programme at Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham has played an important role in the project hosting a three-day event in March immediately before the first lockdown, which was followed by a similar event at The Vortex Jazz Club in London. The project has shown how much the UK scene is linked with other European scenes, and, although there are distinctive features of the music here in UK, there is so much in common with Europe. Here I am making a musical point rather than a political point!
The project will reach its conclusion in the next few days starting tonight (Saturday 5th December) with a series of online concerts featuring groups from each of the seven cities. There will also be two days of seminars on Tuesday 8th December and Wednesday 9th, for details see below.
The project has been organised by Le Périscope club in Lyon, and this final culminating session was due to take place at the club in May this year. It is greatly to the credit of the organisers that they have managed to put together this online festival and seminar.
There will be concerts featuring groups from each of the cities starting tonight at 5.30 UK time and running every night till next Sunday 13th December. The sessions at the weekend including Friday 11th will begin at 5.30 while those shown during the week (except Friday) will begin at 7pm.
The programme is outlined below. We are particularly proud of the Birmingham programme on Monday 7th with a contrasting double bill with an improvising trio featuring Rachel Musson on saxophone, Liam Noble on piano and Mark Sanders on drums. This is followed by a set featuring a sextet led by saxophonist Xhosa Cole playing five jazz standards; it is an excellent group which features a number of top players based in Birmingham: alto saxophonist James Romaine, trumpeter Jay Phelps (now back in London), bass player James Owston and drummer Jim Bashford, and special guest from London Deschanel Gordon, the winner of the recent BBC Young Jazz Musician of The Year Competition. Both sets run for 30 minutes and give a snapshot of aspects of the Birmingham scene; highlights are the interaction between the three musicians in the Musson Noble Sanders set, a beautiful solo sax feature for Xhosa Cole, and the playing of Deschanel Gordon.
Saturday 5th December 5.30pm Finland, Helsinki: Verneri Pohjola and Mika Kallio
Sunday 6th December 5.30pm Poland, Łodz: Kuba Więcek Trio and Marek Popieszalski (solo saxophone)
Monday 7th December 7pm Britain: Birmingham: Rachel Musson Liam Noble Mark Sanders and Xhosa Cole Sextet
Tuesday 8th December 7pm Ireland, Dublin: Oho, Roamer and H-Ci
Wednesday 9th December 7pm Slovenia, Ljubljana: Band Oholo
Thursday 10th December 7pm Britain: London Alina Bzhezhinska’s Alina Hip Harp Quintet
Friday 11th December 5.30pm France: Lyon: Hermia Ceccaldi Darrifourcq
Saturday 12th December 5.30pm France: Lyon: Ar Ker and Chromb
Sunday 13th December 5.30pm France: Lyon: Hirsute and Marthe