Tickets go on sale today for new Beat City Jazz Festival

Zoe Rahman - headlining the first Beat City Jazz Festival

Zoe Rahman – headlining the first Beat City Jazz Festival

There’s a new festival in town and it launches today with tickets on sale for an exciting three days of gigs from 14 to 16 March.

Beat City Jazz Festival features three strong headline acts and six more supporting ones, and is the brainchild of Sam Marchant, the young drummer and jazz entrepreneur who has been organising the Wednesday sessions at Churchills Snooker Club and helping to programme the Thursday Yardbird Jazz Club gigs, all in Birmingham city centre.

Beat City Jazz Festival’s headliners are the Zoe Rahman Quartet on Friday 15 March, the Soweto Kinch Trio on Saturday 16 March, and, before them, the Ant Law Quartet on Thursday 14 March. These gigs are all at 9pm, with the Zoe Rahman one at the British Midland Institute, and the Soweto Kinch one at the Copthorne Hotel. Ant Law is at the Yardbird.

The Yardbird Jazz Club is the venue for gigs at 3pm and 6pm each day with late night jam sessions planned for Churchills Snooker Club.

You can get a ticket for the full three days for £50, otherwise there are day tickets or individual tickets for he Law, Rahman and Kinch gigs.

Beat City organiser Sam Marchant

Beat City organiser Sam Marchant

It’s an impressive line-up and all credit to the young Marchant for his enthusiasm and drive. In his fourth year of the Birmingham Conservatoire jazz course, Sam first introduced himself to me in November.

He explained: “Although I have a great love for jazz drumming and performing, I’ve found more recently that my real passion is promotion and arts management. Over the last year I’ve got involved in two jazz nights in Birmingham, one of which I started from scratch. These nights are now doing very well and i’ve had a great time being involved with them and feel very privileged to have had the chance.

This festival is the natural progression for Sam. He’s been up all night getting the whole thing ready to go on sale this morning. And he’s very grateful for the help of his friends:

“I’d just like to tell you about a few people who have been a vital bit of help up to this point. 
Guitarist Leo Appleyard (a recent graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire) has built the website and has shown unbelievable patience at my nit-picking. Alto sax player Ash Bonfante (studying at Birmingham Conservatoire) has been a massive help and is running the facebook and twitter accounts. And Nicole Goddard has designed the festival’s logo and tickets. She has been a huge help and has shown more patience than anyone ever should.”
The twitter account is
More about the bands playing in the near future. In the meantime, get booking!

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