Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival ready to roll

Long-established festival ready to take over the region once more.

On the eve of yet another Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival, the 35th in fact, there are plenty of stories to tell…

There’s the NHS doctor’s surgery in Ladywood who are promoting six jitterbug dance sessions, open to allcomers regardless of age and experience, in the firm belief that the best way to persuade folk to exercise is to make it fun….

© Photo Merlin Daleman

…then there are the Sketch Crawls where small armies of sketchers, armed only with pens and sketch pads capture the festival in fine detail before your very eyes…

…over to West Bromwich Central Library where the notices read “No shushing in here” while the jumping, jiving King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys are rocking and rolling….

…in The Children’s Hospital Recovery Ward there’s a ukulele workshop in full swing…

…and flying in from Granada in Spain will be probably the most exciting Dixieland band in Europe – the Potato Head Jazz Band who’s indefatigable drummer, Luis Landa, has only one leg…

…then there’s the Birmingham mother, following in her jazz-singing daughter’s footsteps and making her debut in the Festival…

© Photo Merlin Daleman

…off Broad Street a pub has renamed Tuesday as Bluesday with a mammoth ten hour blues session with bands from France and Italy, cigar box guitars, a Harmonica rumble and a live video link with Detroit, Michigan…

…and there must be something in the air hereabouts, as this city is about to be inundated with a flock of canaries – that’s jazz musician talk for girl singers. There will be no less than fifeten of these high flyers in the festival…

…and what does Sandwell’s chief librarian do when he retires after forty years’ service? He gets decorated by the Queen and gets to work on the Jazz Festival…

That’s but a glimpse of the 73 bands delivering 460 hours of jazz and blues over ten days with 230 performance in 115 venues – and almost all of them free admission. Now, that’s what you can call a Festival.

Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival runs from July 19th-28th 2019. For further information contact admin@bigbearmusic.com or phone 0121 454 7020. The full festival programme can be viewed here