From Ginger to Ken: the week ahead in Midland gigs

There are quite a few rock legends who have done the sensible thing as they have grown older and moved towards the jazz end of things. For some reason drummers are the most likely to take this road. Think Charlie Watts and Bill Bruford.

Ginger Baker

And, of course, former Cream and Blind Faith sticks-man, Ginger Baker.

Baker brings his Jazz Confusion band to the Warwick Arts Centre Theatre tonight, and with him are former James Brown tenor saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, double bassist Alec Dankworth and African percussionist Abass Dodoo.

Baker has always taken a close interest in African drumming, so expect some elemental rumblings and cross rhythms in this jazz-rock-world fusion.

The beat starts at 7.30pm, tickets are £22.50 and are available from or on 024 7652 4524.

Also this evening, Bearwood Corks Club is back in action and after last week’s saxophone-led season’s opener it’s the turn of the vibes tonight as Julian Powell leads his Collective.

The doors open at 8.30pm, and entry is £4. More at

Good news for all those depressed at the onset of autumn and cooler evenings: There Is Hope! That, at least, is the name of the band at the Ort Cafe tomorrow night. It’s a free and easy improv trio of Sam Wooster on trumpet, Chris Mapp on bass and effects, and Mike Hurley on drums and keyboards, and the band takes its name from the Rosie Kay Dance Company production that the band is providing live music for. (The dance show itself is at The Patrick Centre on 3 and 4 October).
The music from There Is Hope, then, from 9pm and entry is free. More at

On Sunday Birmingham Jazz presents its first big gig of the autumn with Gilad Atzmon’s trio, The Power Cats, at the Barton Arms in High Street, Aston.
With Gilad on saxophone is modern Hammond organ maestro Ross Stanley and brilliant drummer and percussionist Asaf Sirkis. It’s a new venture for Atzmon, and apparently the words power, soul and funk can be applied to it, as well as jazz, of course.
The gig begins at 7.45pm (BJ seems to have picked up Warwick Arts Centre’s penchant for strange start times), tickets are £10 (£8 for members), and there is food available at the pub. For more information about this and future Birmingham Jazz events, go to

Ken Vandermark

On Wednesday Jazzlines welcomes back two old friends as leaders: from Chicago comes saxophonist Ken Vandermark, and now back in Birmingham again is pianist Steve Tromans.
Vandermark will be working in the same band as toured a few years ago, with Ollie Brice on bass and Mark Sanders on drums. Expect a fair amount of freedom and some visceral playing.
The Tromans band is a quartet with Steve joined by Mike Fletcher on alto saxophone and flute, Chris Mapp on double bass and Miles Levin on drums.
This is part of the Jazz Club series and it’s at the Hare And Hounds in Kings Heath, starting at 8.30pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions). Find out more at   or

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