Love, hate, cloud-making and more around Birmingham this week

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is in full swing and offering loads of fine jazz from pop to avant garde so do try to catch some of it – www.cheltenhamfestivals/jazz – but if you are stuck in the metropolis this weekend, never mind. There is still jazz life here too.

You can start the weekend with a little preview of a Cheltenham event in the form of a collaboration between jazz students at Birmingham Conservatoire and their counterparts from Trondheim Conservatory in Norway. It’s the free-entry session at Symphony Hall Cafe Bar and starts at 5pm. More at

From there you have a choice of how you spend the evening – with love and hate or with the some cloud-makers.

Steve Tromans

Steve Tromans

Pianist Steve Tromans has pinched the title of his fourth solo album in the last 10 years, give or take some punctuation and a missing word, from Leonard Cohen, and there are other similarities too. Written words, for example.

“The album’s concept,” as Steve explains, “is for the two source materials (the piano pieces and the written texts) to be fused in the experience of the listener/reader; literally creating a series of ‘songs’ from the notes and the words.”

Songs: of Love, of Hate is being released by Pinkhaus Records and launched at the Ort Cafe. The evening will feature pieces from the album, as well as special collaborations with fellow Birmingham-based musicians, Sid Peacock (vocals/narration), Ben Kane (vocals/electronics), Lluis Mather (saxophone/bass clarinet), and Holly Thomas (vocals). Audience members will have the opportunity to download the album for free following this launch event.

It’s an 8.30pm start, entry is £5 (£3) and you can find out more at and at

Jim Hart

Jim Hart

Birmingham Jazz is presenting an exceptionally fine band with which to spend an intimate Friday evening (note, not Sunday as it says on the BJ website!). The Cloudmakers Trio is vibes player Jim Hart’s baby and he is joined by Michael Janisch on double bass and Dave Smith on drums.

Three finer players of their respective instruments currently working in this country it would be hard to find, and this band works a treat, as last year’s live album with added guest Ralph Alessi on trumpet clearly demonstrated.

Hart is part of the London-based LOOP Collective, and you might have heard him here not long ago as part of Stan Sulzman’s Neon Quartet.

The Cloudmakers Trio is at The Red Lion, Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter from 9pm (note later start time), tickets on the door are £10 (£8 for members) and you can find more at

Other good gigs this week:

Tonight – There is a Blue Notes-led jam session at the Silvershine Jazz Club, Bearwood Corks Club, Bearwood from 9pm, tickets £4. More at

Also tonight – The marvellous tenor player Simon Spillett is playing at The Yardbird from 9pm – for free!

Tuesday – David Austin Grey’s Greyish Quartet with Sam Wooster on trumpet is at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth from 9pm, £5 donation recommended. More at

Wednesday – The Lee Jones Quintet is at No 1 Shakespeare Street, Stratford-upon-Avon from 8pm, tickets £8. More at

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