Hi Festival Goers
The sun is out and the jazz is sizzling. Reports are coming in of yesterday's events and I can confirm that the Festival has kicked off in style.
Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen were enjoyed enormously by the audience at Star City, playing all the old favourites such as Midnight In Moscow as well as newer material. The Alan Barnes Quartet played to a packed-out Wine Republic and the crowd loved it. Hot Djazz of Cracow went down a storm to a capacity crowd at the Lord Clifden, where the night was so good they ran out of the Festival Ale "Digby's Dilemma"!
Yes, Kenny Ball, one of the most enduringly popular of British jazzmen, really did play at Star City for free. That's right there is NO ADMISSION CHARGE for events at Star City this weekend, even the parking is free. Tonight you can catch Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame member Alan Price, formerly of The Animals, free at Star City at 7pm. I've already booked my table at La Tasca for legendary U.S. funkster Pee Wee Ellis, former bandleader for James Brown, who plays Star City tomorrow. I suggest you do the same!
If you missed Hot Djazz, featured on Central News yesterday, you're in luck. They play two shows today and another two tomorrow, all free of charge. Check the programme for details.
I have been assured the Lord Clifden will be restocked with Festival Ale for tonight's show with the stonking Simon Spillett, one of the most distinctive and dynamic tenor saxophonists around, playing tonight with the Craig Milverton Trio.
Unfortunately, due to reasons beyond our control, the Indigo Blues Band's 3pm performance at the British Oak tomorrow (Sunday 5th July) has been cancelled.
Just a quick reminder of the Festival highlight, the All Star Jam Session featuring eleven of the UK's best jazz musicians. This takes place next Thursday 9th July at the Botanical Gardens and tickets are a bargain at only £10, available from 0121 454 7020/1860
We'd love to hear from you. Please post your gig reviews/comments either here on the Blog or on the website http://www.birminghamjazzfestival.com