Ahh, Friday afternoon in the summer, and the sun is shining. Time to kick back from the desk and enjoy the cultural delights on offer in Birmingham. And this weekend is the start of the 29th Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival. Boasting more than 200 events at over 80 venues across the city and hosting the British Jazz Awards, this is a an important festival. Even better is the fact that most events are free!
The festival kicks off at noon on Friday in the city centre with the Backyard Music Boys and then there is more than enough choice in musical entertainment from local acts to international stars. One act that falls into both categories and a particular favourite is King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys (pictured) who will deliver swinging music and energetic entertainment. But the jazz and blues scene is very diverse so you can get a chance to reassess whether jazz music is “your thing”, you will almost certainly find something to your liking, and anyhow you can have fun finding out.
What’s more, not all of the venues are smoky dives with sticky carpets and dubious furniture. The Botanical Gardens, Sarehole Mill and Soho House combine beautiful surroundings with what will be great music, a real treat. And it’s not just music: there are screenings of four films with a jazz or blues connection and poetry too; check out the Jazz Shop which has eight lunchtime shows throughout the festival which are designed to get you to rethink poetry. Oh, and then there is a chance to dance the jitterbug and a two and a half hour painting session with professional artist Alexandra Homans.
And of course, whilst you are in Birmingham take a chance to find some great places to eat and drink and reacquaint yourself with the sights and sounds of Birmingham. There’s so much to do, you won’t want the weekend to finish!
The Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival website has a programme with all the details of venues and artists. The festival runs from July 5th to 14th 2013.
Member since: 14th February 2013
Derek Campbell is a freelance writer and blogger with many years of commercial and management experience. Derek has been involved in paper recycling, interior design, risk management, emergency planning,...