Joy of jazz as Sandwell joins international festival

Published 16th June 2017

All set for the Birmingham, Solihull & Sandwell Jazz Festival

Top musicians will be sharing the joy of jazz in Sandwell as the borough teams up with a major international festival.

The newly-renamed Birmingham, Solihull & Sandwell Jazz Festival 2017 will see around 30 performances across Sandwell's six towns – with libraries, museums, parks, Sandwell Arts Café, Windsor Theatre Bar and other venues hosting events from 14 to 23 July.

From homegrown UK talent including the legendary Digby Fairweather Quartet and boogie woogie pianist Emma Jonson to stars from France and Spain, there's a real mix of music.

Dynamic singer Roy Forbes, singer-songwriter Judy Blu and blues two-piece The Whiskey Brothers are among the many highlights.

Sandwell Youth Jazz Orchestra perform with The TCS Blues Band at West Bromwich Central Library; the Great Birmingham Trombone Company play at newly-restored Lightwoods Park; and Les Zauto Stompers de Paris promise to set the bar high (and loud) with shows at the Manor House, West Bromwich, and Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood.

Sandwell Council leader Councillor Steve Eling said: “We're very excited to be teaming up with Birmingham and Solihull in this popular and well-established festival, now in its 33rd year, which attracts visitors and musicians from around the globe.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people from Sandwell and the rest of the Black Country to enjoy jazz music on their doorstep. A big welcome awaits all visitors and musicians as they discover Sandwell during this fantastic festival.”

Councillor Richard Marshall, the council's cabinet member for leisure, added: “Our libraries and museums staff have built up a great relationship with the festival over the years, hosting a number of events. We're thrilled to be making it official this year by getting even more involved, putting Sandwell firmly on the music map.

“Joining with Birmingham and Solihull, we're making up a trio to entertain the whole region this summer, as well as visitors from around the world. There's a wide range of high quality acts performing in Sandwell and the vast majority of events are free entry. I'm really looking forward to it.”

Festival director Jim Simpson said: “We are delighted that Sandwell has decided to become a major player in this important festival. Libraries, museums and parks across the borough have played an increasingly significant part in staging performances that have entertained residents and visitors alike. It was a logical next step for Sandwell to become fully involved.”

Events in Sandwell are as follows (free entry unless stated):

Friday 14 July

  • Sandwell Arts Café, Sandwell College Central Sixth campus, New Street, West Bromwich, 12noon – Digby Fairweather Quartet (plus preview at 10.30am jazz festival launch)
  • Wednesbury Library, 7pm – The Cigar Box Guitar Show with Chickenbone John
  • Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood, 8pm – The Whiskey Brothers (£5)

Saturday 15 July

  • Blackheath Library, 11.30am – Ukulele Taster Session with Pete Williams
  • Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery, 12noon – Djangos Castle (Spain)
  • Sandwell Park Farm, West Bromwich, 2pm – Cyril et Leila Duclos (France)
  • Bleakhouse Library, Oldbury, 7pm – Cyril et Leila Duclos (France)
  • Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood, 8pm – Mike David Band (£5)

Sunday 16 July

  • Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich, 1pm – Chase Jazzmen
  • Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood, 2pm – The Windsor Boys (£5)
  • Haden Hill Park, Cradley Heath, 2pm – Sauce City Jazz Band

Monday 17 July

  • Great Bridge Library, 7pm – Richard Heath and Buzby Bywater

Tuesday 18 July

  • Cradley Heath Library, 7pm – Roy Forbes
  • Perry Hill Tavern, Oldbury, 8.45pm – Old Comrades Jazz Band

Wednesbury 19 July

  • Thimblemill Library, Smethwick, 7pm – Sauce City Jazz Band
  • West Bromwich Central Library, 7pm – Sandwell Youth Jazz Orchestra with The TCS Blues Band

Thursday 20 July

  • Great Barr Library, 7pm – Blue Silk
  • Thimblemill Library, Smethwick, 7pm – All That Jazz Dance Workshop
  • Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood, 8pm – Ricky Cool and The In Crowd (£5)

Friday 21 July

  • Sandwell Arts Café, Sandwell College Central Sixth campus, New Street, West Bromwich, 12noon – Sarah Barnwell Quartet
  • Lightwoods Park, Bearwood, 7pm – Great Birmingham Trombone Company
  • West Bromwich Central Library, 7pm – Digby Fairweather Quartet
  • Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood, 8pm – Emma Jonson (£5)

Saturday 22 July

  • Blackheath Library, 11.30am – Ukulele Taster Session with Pete Williams
  • Manor House, West Bromwich, 2.30pm – Les Zauto Stompers de Paris (France)
  • Blackheath Library, 7pm – Sheila Waterfield
  • Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood, 8pm – Les Zauto Stompers de Paris (France) (£5)

Sunday 23 July

  • Oak House, West Bromwich, 1pm – Simon Spillett Quartet
  • Windsor Theatre Bar, Bearwood, 2pm – The Small Changes (£5)

Keep up to date on events in Sandwell at our Discover Sandwell website.

Follow the festival on Twitter @BirmJazzFest @sandwellcouncil @sandwelllibs @sandwellmuseums @arts_sandwell and on Facebook, search Birmingham Jazz Festival, Sandwell Libraries, Sandwell Museums.