Birmingham Jazz opens its autumn season with the first of its Club Nights at the Red Lion in Warstone Lane in the Jewellery Quarter tomorrow.
The band is Me & 3, at the evening begins at 7.30pm. The Me is saxophonist Joey Walter-Lane and the 3 are fellow saxophonists Anna Brooks and Tom Martin plus bassist Ben Markland.
They will be playing music by Mike Mower of Itchy Fingers, Dave Brubeck and more from multi-sax favoured composers. These club nights are very much interactive ones with club members urged to discuss their likes and dislikes with the BJ organisers.
Members get in free, but everyone’s welcome and the rest only pay £3. More at www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
Meanwhile Jazzlines is putting the accent on free-entry gigs and keyboard-led bands this week with two in familiar settings and one in a new venue.
New in every sense, as this is the recently completed Bramall Music Building, a gorgeous 450-seat concert hall on the University of Birmingham campus, or to be more specific, the foyer of said building.
First up is the Matt Ratcliffe Coda Quartet – Matt on keyboards, plus Percy Pursglove on trumpet, Nick Jurd on bass and Tymoteusz Jozwiak on drums.
The will be playing from 5pm this evening. The Bramall early evening sessions are a new monthly addition to the Jazzlines programme.
Tomorrow, the early evening Rush Hour Blues sessions resume with a Birmingham favourite, pianist Tim Amann’s Xtet (nothing like hedging your bets when it comes to the number of musicians on stage), with Adam Gilchrist highly likely to be on bass, with possibly Sam Rogers on saxophone and Roy Butcher on trumpet.
Regular RHB attenders please note – from tomorrow the music starts at 5pm.
And on Tuesday, Jazzlines’ Jam House monthly sessions get going again, too.
Another Birmingham favourite of the keys, Levi French, leads at trio, with Mike Green on bass and Carl Hemmingsley on drums. The music starts at 8.30pm.
The Blam! group of musicians have two gigs for you this week. Tomorrow evening Sebastiano Dessanay’s Songbook Trio are at The Ort Cafe. Bassist Dessanay leads with Allessandro Di Liberto on piano.
Despite the band’s title, all the compositions are original but all are influenced by the great jazz songbook tunes.
The music starts at 9pm, and entry is free.
On Tuesday, The Spotted Dog maestro himself, Mike Fletcher, leads the band, and assisting the saxophonist will be Toby Boalch on piano, Nick Jurd on bass and Cory Dick on drums.
The music starts at 9pm and entry is free. You are encouraged to donate generously when the hat goes round.
More about both of these gigs at www.blambirmingham.co.uk
Further afield, Stratford Jazz has Graham Dent’s Jucamaya on Sunday evening. Expect some originals as well as Zawinul and Oliver Nelson tunes from this piano-led quintet. It’s at No1 Shakespeare Street from 8pm and entry is £8. They have Doom Bar on tap!
More at www.stratfordjazz.org.uk
Finally, a new jazz venue in Leamington Spa. It’s at The Clarendon, and sitting in with the house band as very special guest for Tuesday’s edition of “Jazz Spa The Clarendon Sessions” will be trumpeter and bass player Percy Pursglove.
Sounds a bit like jazz in a sauna… Find out for yourselves. Entry is free, the session runs from 8pm and The Clarendon is at CV32 4RZ.