Blazing Comets

Gig and discussion to celebrate jazz in South Africa.


Birmingham Jazz will be holding a collaboration with the Drum on Friday as part of the national Afro Vibes Festival that celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the end of apartheid.

Township Comets play a joyful mix of South African township jazz with strong improvising. Their music is great fun – lively, rhythmic, and slightly anarchic, dance-based jazz. If you like the music of Dudu Pukwana and Chris McGregor, don’t miss it.

The band reproduce the searing, joyous music of South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, a towering figure in township jazz and the European free scene; who in exile brought a pioneering mix of township jazz and improvisation to the UK and European scenes in the late 1960s. Featuring in the band are many former of the members of Dudu Pukwana’s group Zila, including the fantastic vocalist Pinise Saul. Singing in both Xhosa and English, the vocalist Pinise Saul also unusually vocalises along with the horn front-line.

The evening will start with a discussion on the history and influences of jazz in South Africa. The discussion will be chaired by Brian Homer and is expected to include:Adam Glasson and Pinise Saul from the band; Peter Bacon, jazz journalist and blogger and Roger McKenzie, Assistant General Secretary of UNISON. This will start at 7.30pm with the band onstage at 9pm.

Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions) and can be booked at or