The city of Birmingham is to host to an array of jazz events this summer as part of the Urban Fusion events programme.
The Urban Fusion ‘Summer of Jazz’ brings together some of the genre’s leading entertainers at various events across the city. Performers range from up-and-coming contemporary jazz artists such as Gwyneth Herbert and Soweto Kinch to veteran jazz legend Andy Hamilton. The line-up also boasts American superstars Joey De Francesco, the Hanna Richardson Trio and the Red Holloway Quartet.
The ‘Summer of Jazz’ is also proud to include the first ever UK performance from the Rosenberg Trio, a special appearance from Kyle Eastwood (son of Clint) and performances by the internationally acclaimed Abdullah Ibrahim and Hiromi. Acoustic Ladybird will also be dropping in to wow the crowds with their high energy punk-jazz.
Jazz enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice by Birmingham’s ‘Summer of Jazz’, which includes the following major events:
Birmingham Jazz – WorldJazz Weekend 3-5 June (Symphony Hall)
A cutting-edge festival celebrating the meeting point between jazz and global music. Performers include Abdullah Ibrahim, Andy Hamilton and Taraf de Haidouks.
Starbucks Birmingham International Jazz Festival – Moulin Rouge 1-10 July (Centenary Square, Birmingham)
A stunning Belgian Art Deco mirror tent from 1910 will host a series of high profile concerts, as well as The British Jazz Awards, workshops for children and a young musicians’ competition. Performers include Andy Hamilton, Gwyneth Herbert, Soweto Kinch, Hiromi from Japan and Kyle Eastwood. The Moulin Rouge extravaganza will aptly close with Alan Barnes' All Stars 'Swinging Down Broad Street.'
L’Esprit Manouche 9 – 10 July (Moseley Private Gardens)
Moseley will become the place to be for Django music fans from around the world. Attracting an international audience, L’Esprit Manouche is in its third year and continues to put Moseley and Birmingham firmly on the International music map. Acts will include the Rosenberg Trio and Trio Gitano.
The Urban Fusion ‘Summer of Jazz’ is typical of the Urban Fusion programme as a whole, bringing together an array of different performers, styles and influences. The ‘Summer of Jazz’ programme combines the eclectic styles of Moulin Rouge with that of the WorldJazz weekend, which will see jazz rubbing up against urban, club and funk music, not to mention of course, the raw traditional gypsy jazz of L’Esprit Manouche.
Birmingham born and bred, award winning alto saxophonist Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians on the British Jazz scene and is performing as part of Moulin Rouge within the Urban Fusion ‘Summer of Jazz’. Along with all of the Urban Fusion artists, Soweto is delighted to be part of such a diverse jazz offering, working to make jazz more accessible and appealing to a wider audience.
“As a young British jazz artist, it is great to be involved in events like Moulin Rouge and the ‘Summer of Jazz’. The free concerts and public venues open the music up to everyone and events such as the Moulin Rouge ‘Young Musicians Contest’ and ‘Kool for Kids’ are brilliant for encouraging kids to get into music. Summer is a fantastic time to enjoy jazz and it is great to see programmes such as Urban Fusion supporting such a wide array of jazz in the coming months.”
At 85 years old, Birmingham Jazz legend Andy Hamilton is still heard blowing his sax across the city and indeed this summer, is performing as part of WorldJazz and Moulin Rouge. “I’ve lived and breathed the Birmingham jazz scene for 56 years now and am so happy to see Birmingham as the venue for such a variety of amazing jazz events.”
The Urban Fusion ‘Summer of Jazz’ kicks off this weekend with WorldJazz at Symphony Hall and expects to see jazz lovers from all over the country and indeed the world flocking to Birmingham. Further information on all of the events involved in the ‘Summer of Jazz’ can be found at www.urban-fusion.info