January 2020 News

Some highlights as selected by Brian Homer.

FORJ’d at Cafe Artum

This is a new monthly Sunday night regular gig curated by Brum’s own FORJ – starting on January 12th.

Paul Dunmall Invites

Local but internationally recognised sax player (and more) Paul Dunmall with a series of gigs at the Eastside Jazz Club kicking off on 9th January then 6th February.


A welcome outing for Guinea-Bissau guitarist and vocalist Niece Costa on January 17th – free at ICC. Emilia Martensson features her Swedish roots on February 10th at Symphony Hall.

Birmingham Jazz

Birmingham Jazz features another strong programme and flights include Liran Donin’s 1000 Boats also on 17th January but at 7.45 so you could catch the Nifeco Costa first! Then on the 24th January young Brum exile Xhosa Cole brings his new quartet featuring trumpet star Jay Phelps. Xhosa is doing a 20 date tour but make sure you book as the gigs are selling fast!

Jazz at the Spotted Dog

Jean Toussanit is playing on February 4th but check as it wasn’t confirmed at press date. And on the 11th February Eirik Svela brings his European Quartet ft. Ross Stanley (organ).

Jazz at NAC

US star headlines on Sunday 19th January and Xhosa Cole’s tour hits Wolverhampton on Thursday February 6th.

Simon Spillett Big Band plays Tubby Hayes

This will be a very special gig with Simon leading a top UK group of players in playing the rarely performed music of the late great Tubby Hayes. Friday 7th February in Atherstone – check the listings.

Chris Bowden Presents

Chris continues his successful series at the Blue Piano on Thursdays starting with Toby Boalch, Jim Bashford and James Owston on January 16t with Chris on sax of course!

Ideas of Noise

If you like free and experimental music Ideas of Noise is bringing some top names during its Festival 23rd January to 9th February. Check listings but includes Tom Rainey, Nate Wooley  as well as Pursglove/Dunmall/Brice/Williams.

Pizza Express Live

Shakatak celebrate their 40th Anniversary on the 30th January – where did that time go?

Eastside Jazz Club

As well as the Paul Dunmall Invites series mentioned above other gigs feature John Fedchock, Ethan Iverson, Martin Speaks, Andre Canniere and a Mike Gibbs Vocal Project with Mike himself coming on February 17th.

Jazz Journeys: Everyday Life Exhibition

I can’t resist a bit of self promotion – I’ve been working with Dr Pedro Cravinho of Birmingham City University on a project exploring how jazz musicians make a living. The resulting exhibition is on at Centrala, Minerva Works, Fazeley Street from 16th January to 1st February with the Launch on 17th January at 6pm.