About the Festival

A Feast of Jazz with a Blue Note Theme

Birmingham Jazz has a long history of promoting contemporary jazz over the last forty years and this is the third JQ Legends Festival following the success of the first two in 2015 and 2016. Celebrating The Legends of Jazz This year’s Festival takes its lead from the iconic Blue Note record label now into its 78th Year. Locally based, internationally known Trumpet Player Bryan Corbett is curating the Festival and will deliver four Blue Note influenced gigs in Trio, Quartet, Quintet and Sextet lineups, interspersed with top international and up and coming bands.

During Blue Note's heyday, the 1950s and 60s, the photography and graphic art of Reid Miles created a series of iconic album covers, often incorporating session photos by Francis Wolff, which added to Blue Note's artistic reputation. The label is currently owned by Universal. Some of these images will be presented as a backdrop to the live performances.

The line up has a great mix of musicians including Bryan Corbett, Ed Jones, Larry Bartley, Tony Kofi, Byron Wallen, Rod Youngs, Kate Williams, Arne Somogyi, Jean Toussaint, Oli Hayhurst, Mark Rideout, Alina Bzhezhinska, Matt Prime, Dave Ingamells, Chris Bowden, Mark Lockheart, Phil Robson, Julian Seigel and Gene Calderazzo plus a set of younger stars. The Festival will also include Birmingham Conservatoire’s Tony Levin Drum Prize.

The main sponsors and funders for the Festival are University College Birmingham (UCB), Birmingham City University (BCU) and the Arts Council England. The first two days of the Festival are mainly taking place at Birmingham Jazz’s regular venue the Red Lion UAB but there are also gigs at local cafés and final day’s two finale gigs are at UCB’s McIntyre House Campus. Over the three days there are four free and nine ticketed gigs. As well as individual gig tickets there are great value Day and Weekend tickets available.

Check this selection of classic Blue Note covers and photographs by the great Francis Wolff:

Support gratefully acknowledged from: