All that jazz (the grand finale)

Part three of our Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival round-up.

The festival ends on Sunday but there’s still plenty of quality music to listen to and most of it’s free.

Saturday begins with the multi-talented multi-instrumental blues exhibitionist Lewis John Henry performing in the Birmingham Markets at midday, the same time as the Digby Fairweather Trio plays the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Ska band Rudie & the Revolvers are at the Custard Factory at two while 2.30 sees jazz vocalist Rachel Hutchings performing in Jazz on the Water at Gas Street Basin (£10).

The festival has always specialised in unusual bands in unusual places, and they include Welsh folk/roots/jug band the Rumblestrutters playing New Street Station at 5pm, while an hour later the more traditional saxophonist Simon Spillett leads his Quartet at the Arcadian. The Magnolia Sisters play the cajun and Creole-influenced sounds of their native Louisiana at the Botanical Gardens at 7.30 (£15) with the veteran Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band at the Hagley Road Village Hotel at 7.45 (£5). Lewis John Henry gives his second performance of the day at the Wellington, beginning at eight.

Sunday begins at the Mailbox with Dave Moorwood’s Rascals of Rhythm at midday then the eighteen-piece Simon Kemp Rhythm & Blues Orchestra at the Botanical Gardens at 2pm (£7). There’s also a selection of local names beginning with Big Joe Pleasure at the Brasshouse at three. An hour later Steve Ajao plays the New Inns, Harborne then C-Jam are at O’Neill’s on Broad Street at 5.30.

7pm sees Tipitiana’s brand of New Orleans-style blues at the Library of Birmingham (£8) with Electric Swing Circus bringing the music of the twenties up to date at the Botanical Gardens (£15) at the same time. The final gig of the festival begins at 7.30 when Dave Moorwood’s Rascals of Rhythm play the Lord Clifden. And that’s it for another year.

These are just some of the festival’s highlights. For full details visit or call 0121 454 7020.