Birmingham Jazz has chosen a theme in tune with the zeitgeist for its 2018 Legends Festival: Celebrating Women in Jazz. Peter Bacon reports:
The small voluntary organisation Birmingham Jazz has grown steadily in strength in recent years, taking one small part of the city – the Jewellery Quarter – as its stamping ground, and building a reputation among listeners and musicians alike for its dedication to diverse programming united by high quality, mostly presented in intimate surroundings.
This year’s Legends Festival, bringing together contemporary players to salute their illustrious forebears, takes as its focus Women in Jazz, with a programme stretching across two weekends in May with a preview show at the end of April. With a couple of exceptions all the bands are female-led and the two that aren’t feature female musicians.
The programme states: “This year’s Legends Festival marks Birmingham Jazz’s contribution to the centenary celebrations of when some women first got the vote – after pressure by the Suffragette Movement.
“Society is still not equal and jazz is no exception so as a small contribution to recognising the impact of women we feature some of today’s women players who demonstrate their own musical journeys and feature their own music but also music by others. Each band is either led by a woman or strongly features women players. Some players are returning and some are new to us…”
Here is the programme of events:
27 April – Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet
11 May – Dave Mannington’s Riff Raff feat. Brigitte Beraha
12 May – Gwyneth Herbert Duo; Andrea Vicari feat Yazz Ahmed
13 May – Franki Dodwell – Acid Body; Trish Clowes – My Iris; Denys Baptiste feat Nikki Yeoh – Late Trane
19 May – Alicia Gardener-Trejo; Wendy Kirkland – Piano Divas; Helena Kay; Kate Williams & Georgia Mancio – Finding Home
20 May – Joey Walter – Me & 3; Juliet Kelly – Nina Simone; Two of a Mind – Allison Neale & Chris Biscoe
Most of the events are at 1000 Trades, Birmingham Jazz’s regular venue, with a couple not far away.