Lighthouse and Huw Warren lead the week ahead in Midland gigs

It’s September at last and all kind of exciting new things are kicking off.

The bassless Lighthouse group of saxophonist Tim Garland, pianist Gwilym Simcock and drummer Asaf Sirkis opens the autumn jazz season at the The Edge Arts Centre in Much Wenlock.

Of course you won’t miss the bass.


These three players are quite capable of filling in any gaping holes, and their versatility in interaction as well as their flexible arsenal of instruments – Garland plays bass clarinet as well as saxophones, Sirkis adds all kinds of other percussion, including the hang drum, to his highly personal kit – means they can match the power of an electric fusion band, achieve the subtle grace of a classical trio or whip up the groove of a world music combo.

They are hugely inventive, joyful live performers and the sympathetic space and enthusiastic Edge regulars will suit them down to the ground.

Lighthouse play from 8pm on Saturday and tickets are available on 01952 728911 or by emailing

Also in The Edge’s autumn jazz programme are a solo piano gig by terrific New York pianist Fred Hersch, Christine Tobin performing her beautiful Yeats programme, and Gwilym Simcock back with The Impossible Gentlemen. Find out more at

Huw Warren

The Yardbird’s regular Thursday evening session features a very special musician this evening. The Welsh pianist Huw Warren is as well known in folk circles as in jazz – he is musical director for June Tabor as well as being a founding member of Perfect Houseplants – and was recently advisory musician to the re-launched Brecon Jazz Festival.

He brings his trio to The Yardbird, the music starts at 9pm and entry is free. Expect a possible jam session and a late night.

At the Lichfield Garrick Theatre tomorrow the spirit of Django Reinhardt prowls the Studio as the quartet Gypsy Fire mix Hot Club jazz in with classical, Latin and other styles. The music starts at 7.30pm, and if you can’t make it tomorrow, no problem: the band is back at the same time in the same place on Saturday. More at

Meanwhile over at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath on Saturday evening, the big brassy sound of Rotunda Of Wonder is the attraction. The band features many familiar faces from the young Birmingham scene, united in their fondness for the funky energy of the legendary Tower Of Power horn-led band of the 1970s.

This is good-time music on a grand and greasy scale. Prepare to perspire.

Doors open at 9pm and Rotunda Of Wonder are on from 10.30pm on Saturday and tickets are available from as well as on the door.

On Tuesday the Wanderson Lopes Trio – Lopes on guitar, Ash Trigg on bass and Jim Bashford on drums – provide the music at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth. It starts at 9pm and  the hat goes round for donations. For more go to Jazz @ The Spotted Dog on facebook.

Finally, it is,of course, ArtsFest this weekend in Birmingham.

Check out the Jazzlines contribution in Symphony Hall from 4.30pm on Saturday with free performances by the Rachael Cohen Trio, the John Fleming Quartet and the Toby Boalch Sextet. More at

On Sunday the Steve King Big Band plays big band jazz from the last 60 year at Birmingham Conservatoire from 2pm to 2.30pm, and the Greyish Quartet are in the same place from 5pm to 5.30pm. More at

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1 reply

  1. I would recommend anyone who can get there to catch Lighthouse on Saturday night. I caught the album launch at the Forge as well as a gig at the 606 a couple of weeks earlier and both were sublime.

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