The last jazz festival standing

Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival swings to a finale this weekend.

What is possibly the only music festival still running in the UK at the moment enters its final two days this weekend. Despite local lockdowns and international quarantine restrictions forcing a wave of last minute changes to the programme, the organisers of The Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival have persevered and arranged for an array of top British jazz talent to entertain jazz fans locally and further afield.

After getting this year’s Festival off to a flying start at Velvet Music Rooms, Bruce Adams (pictured)/Dave Newton Quartet will be back for round two at 7:30pm on Saturday 24th, in a special live stream hosted by Sandwell Libraries at West Bromwich Central Library.

As well as in-person showings at The Brasshouse, The Bull’s Head and local retirement villages, the festival is enabling those self-isolating to enjoy the performances by broadcasting the performance live on YouTube. The link to view this and previous streams in the festival is available here.

On Sunday 25th Newton will be joined by fellow multiple British Jazz Award winner Alan Barnes for performances at Birmingham Botanical Gardens at 1pm and The Canal House at 4pm. They join a wide ranging programme of performances taking in everything from the juke joint blues of The Whiskey Brothers to the stylish vocal jazz of Roy Forbes.

As a special event at The Bull’s Head at 6pm on the 24th the Festival will salute the recently deceased Spencer Davis, and the influential catalogue of hit singles recorded with the Spencer Davis Group in the 1960s that the adoptive Brummie leaves behind. Festival Director and contemporary of Davis and the Winwood brothers Jim Simpson share his memories of one of Birmingham’s most important and influential music stars, along with the great music of The Spencer Davis Group.