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Old Baby Mackerel

Old Baby Mackerel are a UK band who play traditional bluegrass songs as they should be played, with a twist of British wit on the side. Expect tales of love, murder, whisky and railroads alongside blistering solos and harmonies so sweet they could make an onion...

Miles Levin

Miles Levin maintains a family tradition of great jazz drumming, following in the footsteps of his late father, Tony Levin, who first came to national notice with the Tubby Hayes small group. A versatile player well at home in the Festival’s accompanying trios, Miles...

Maxwell & White

Shufflepack's dynamic singer and harmonica player Stuart Maxwell is joined in duo format by Derek White, Britain's best loved blues bassman, also from Shufflepack.   Maxwell & White will be performing at the following show:   Tuesday 27th July  17:00...

Martin Litton & Janice Day

Martin Litton is an internationally renowned pianist, arranger and bandleader, specialising in all the classic styles of jazz from the age of Ragtime through to the Swing era and beyond. Martin has worked and recorded with many legendary British and American...

Lucy Piper

Top blues drummer Lucy Piper is appearing with the Sam Kennedy Band and also talking about her experiences with the blues in Blues Talkin’. In demand as teacher and session musician, Lucy is the daughter of the late Julian Piper, a legendary figure in the South West...

The Lost Notes

The Lost Notes are a five-piece acoustic roots band from Moseley specialising in their own original material. The band’s most recent album, the splendidly titled Low Lifes and High Times, prompted some head-turning comparisons. Rocking Magpie opined, ‘Fits in amongst...

Lee Jones and Tom Clarke-Hill

Lee Jones is a British jazz-rock guitarist who is making his first appearance at the Festival. Stylistically capable of taking in modern jazz, fusion, blues and rock, he has played alongside the likes of Larry Coryell, Martin Taylor and Dennis Rollins. He has made six...

Judy Blu and Ashley Allen

Soulful singer Judy Blu has been a popular performer at the Birmingham for some years as well as at other festivals such as Nantwich, Lichfield and Newcastle-under-Lyme. This year she teams up with keyboardist Ashley Allen, a rising figure on the Birmingham jazz and...

John Hemming and The Jazz Lobbyists

Once again the Birmingham Jazz Festival presents the acceptable face of politics. Away from political campaigning, former MP John Hemming is a jazz enthusiast, a Festival Board member and a polished pianist who can be relied on to bring a first-class band to the...

Joe Nethercoat

The Shufflepack's guitarist Joe Nethercoat's style has been memorably described as 'pick-your-King guitar'. In Blues Talkin' he recounts his life in the blues in company with singer/harmonica wizard Stuart Maxwell who just happens to be the guy who came up with that...

James Oliver Band

As Bill Kirchen said, ‘James Oliver is the real deal, a passionate roots rocker loaded with guitar firepower.’ From 2012, first with GLAS and now with the three-piece James Oliver Band, he has built a formidable reputation in Wales and far beyond, so much so that last...

Jake Leg Jug Band

The Jake Leg Jug Band brings you the authentic sounds of 1920s and 1930s America – jazz, blues, gospel, ragtime – songs of murder, betrayal, gambling, liquor and redemption. After a year of frustration, with over 50 gigs cancelled, the band is looking forward to being...

100 Club Celebrated

  Digby Fairweather's new book, Ace of Clubs, tells the story of London's 100 Club in the words of those who were there, musicians for the most part. In telling the story of almost 80 years of Oxford Street's legendary club, Digby draws on the memories of such...

Garry Allcock

One of the many strengths of the Birmingham Festival is the quality of the trios accompanying featured soloists – and one of the regular drummers is Garry Allcock who is best known for his All Stars Big Band which has accompanied such huge names as Cleo Laine, Kenny...

Foregate Street Blues Band

The Foregate Street Blues Band from Worcester is a three-piece much in demand at clubs and festivals across the Midlands. They describe their music as ‘mellow jazzy blues’, then ask teasingly, ‘Or is it bluesy jazz?’. Whatever it is, it has proved popular at recent...

Florence Joelle

Get ready for the chanteuse Time Out called ‘super fine and sassy…fusing a Tarantino sense of cool, with a vocal style that imbibes both Peggy Lee and Edith Piaf.’ Don’t think you can get a better endorsement than that, but we’ll try! Parisian singer, songwriter, and...

The Cajun Roosters

The Cajun Roosters are recognised as probably the most authentic European bands playing Cajun and Zydeco music. With a record playing at top festivals in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Austria, Belgium and Italy as well as the UK,...

Eureka Jazz Band

Birmingham-based traditional jazz band, the Eureka Jazz Band adopts a flexible approach, suiting the music to the occasion. Only the entertainment value remains constant in a programme that ranges from Dixieland jazz to the great popular songs of the 20s, 30s and 40s....

Digby Fairweather

Digby Fairweather has been a great influence for good on the British jazz scene, not just for his distinctively melodic trumpet style. Currently his main preoccupation is the Jazz Centre UK which he has established in Southend, with an impressive display of...

Deborah Rose & Martin Riley

Welsh-born singer/songwriter/guitarist Deborah Rose straddles jazz, folk and Americana, with more than a touch of Celtic influence. Her voice, frequently praised for its purity and emotional quality, was described by folk legend Judy Collins as “one of the finest I’ve...

David Moore Blues Band

Leading an exciting blues band that is one of the great favourites at Henry’s Blueshouse, David Moore graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire in 1999. In 2010 he moved to New York where he worked in a number of styles of music. Now back in Birmingham, he takes a...

Craig Milverton

It’s difficult to cover the full range of former British Jazz Award winner Craig Milverton’s jazz activities. Influenced by Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson, he nevertheless first became known for his work with the blues band Junkyard Angels and then with Pete Allen’s...

Chickenbone John

Chickenbone John, ‘The Godfather of the Cigar Box Guitar’, has become a huge favourite at the festival in recent years, with highly successful workshop/concerts demonstrating how to make and play 3-string cigar box guitars. John, whose musical career began in a punk...

Chase Jazzmen

Based in the Shropshire area, the Chase Jazzmen are made up of talented musicians experienced in the field of popular traditional jazz. Regulars at the Trumpet, Bilston, and much in demand for functions of all sorts, they base their repertoire on the great jazz and...

Ceri Justice and The Jury

Ceri Justice is a singer-songwriter from Solihull who began writing poetry and songs as a teenager. In the 1990s she entered a nationwide singer/songwriter competition and beat many thousands to win a place in the semi- finals, but was denied a coveted place in the...

The Catfish Kings

The Catfish Kings serve up a mix of rock’n’roll, boogie and rhythm and blues, with Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis at the centre of their set, with some jump jive, New Orleans rhythm and blues and swing to help keep the party moving. Patrons of Henry’s...

Brooks Williams

‘Brooks Williams is one of those select few “How on earth does he do it?” artists.’ – Fatea Born in Statesboro, Georgia, and now domiciled in Cambridge, England, Brooks Williams was playing Americana even before it was called that. With 30-plus recordings and 30-plus...

Boperator Boogie Band

Originally a 40s jump jive and 50s rhythm and blues outfit called Boperator, the band revamped itself in 2013, with a more colourful line-up and repertoire. Now a seven-piece aiming to please anyone with a soft spot for hard boogie, the Boperator Boogie Band covers...

Billy Thompson Trio

    Billy Thompson is a classically trained improvising violinist from North Wales who works in a wide variety of styles. He achieved the rare distinction of reaching the televised stages of the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year in both 1996 and 1998. He...

Big Jim and The Alabama Boogie Boys

  Fronted by Big Jim Merris of the Red Lemons Blues Band, the Alabama Boogie Boys have become audience favourites at Henry’s Blueshouse, both at the Bulls Head and in the Botanical Gardens. Their mix of blues, boogie and rock and roll is a guaranteed...

Big Boss Man

    This mandolin/guitar duo features two of the area's most highly regarded blues players: Richard Heath from Festival favourites The Whiskey Brothers and Stuart Johnson, once of Tea and Symphony.   Catch Big Boss Man performing at the following...

Art Themen

ART THEMEN   How many top British jazzmen spent their working lives as consultant orthopaedic surgeons and also played saxophone on Joe Cocker’s hit With a Little Help from my Friends? It’s surprising that the answer is as many as one, but Art Themen fills the...

Abi K & The Swing Pigs

  Abi K is a professional singer, songwriter, bandleader, and vocal coach with a passion for jazz, blues and soul. She has performed in venues all over the country, and has gigged internationally; as well as sharing the stage with artists as renowned as Ruby...

Spats Langham’s Hot Fingers

Spats Langham, singer, guitarist, banjo player, all-round entertainer and repository of old songs both lewd and lovely, is joined by multi-instrumentalists Danny Blyth and Malcolm Sked in Hot Fingers. Neatly described as ‘vintage acoustic string music’, Hot Fingers’...

Backyard Music Boys

Led by Matt Palmer, the Backyard Music Boys are a four-piece acoustic band lining up with clarinet, trumpet, sousaphone and banjo and guaranteed to provide the excitement and verve of 1920s and 1930s hot jazz.   Catch them at the following times and places:...

Alan Barnes

No Birmingham jazz festival would be complete without the outstanding clarinettist/saxophonist/composer/arranger Alan Barnes. His career since leaving Humphrey Lyttelton's Band has taken in playing with many of the top American jazzmen, collecting over 30 British Jazz...

Alex Clarke

Anyone who saw Alex Clarke’s streamed performance alongside Alan Barnes from West Bromwich Central Library in October’s festival will have no doubt that hers is a remarkably mature talent and one steeped in the great traditions of jazz. As a finalist in the BBC Young...

Bill Coleman

Bill Coleman is best known nationally for his years with the Kenny Ball, but for regular patrons of the Birmingham Festival his immaculate bass playing is a feature of many of the trios backing star soloists. Visiting musicians and the public alike will be relieved...

Bruce Adams

Bruce Adams’ earlier musical career was highly varied, from appearing on Opportunity Knocks to entertaining on cruise ships, playing guitar as well as trumpet, but for many a year he has concentrated on being one of the best trumpeters around. A ferocious player with...

Chris Bowden

  Having first made a mark with K-Creative in the acid jazz boom of the early 1990s, saxist Chris Bowden went on to record the highly original Time Capsule in 1996, featuring his arrangements for 12-piece band. As a performer, Chris also has a highly individual...

John Patrick

John Patrick has filled many roles in an almost uniquely distinguished career in Midlands jazz and popular music: at ATV/Central, with the Musicians’ Union, on the Jazz Festival Board. Now he is highly respected as an in-demand member of the trios accompanying the...

Malcom Garrett

Also a highly regarded teacher – and a long-time associate of the great American drum tutor, Jim Chapin – Malcolm Garrett is a drummer of superb taste and technique in house rhythm sections, the delight of visiting soloists.

The Nitecrawlers

Stalwarts of Henry’s Blueshouse and regulars at such blues festivals as Upton-on-Severn and Newcastle-under-Lyme, the Nitecrawlers aim to re-create the sheer enjoyment of the original R&B clubs of the 60s. With a lifetime of experience between them, the four band...

Roy Forbes

Song stylist Roy Forbes’ vocal style is, as Jazz UK expressed it, ‘infused with the warmth of his own personality.’ His dynamic and soulful treatments of the Great American Songbook have brought him acclaim at international festivals as far afield as Milan and St....

Sheila Waterfield

Working in all musical settings from duo to 17-piece big band, Sheila Waterfield’s sound is a unique blend of jazz, folk, soul, Latin and blues, described by Ron Bailey of Jazz Live as ‘a beautiful, warm, expressive voice’. Her third studio album, Every Sunrise,...

The Shufflepack

Led by singer/harmonica player Stuart ‘Son’ Maxwell, the Shufflepack plays groovy shuffling blues in the classic style, from Chicago to the West Coast. The music of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, the Kings and all the rest, plus plenty of original...

Swing Cafe

Led by popular Midlands singer Billie Baker, Swing Café is a swing and jazz band playing the best loved songs of an era from the 1920s to the 1950s. Fine melodies mix with a sound that keeps on the sunny side of life! In the last year Billie and the band have kept...

Tipitina

Tipitina’s unique take on the blues, barrelhouse, boogie and gospel of New Orleans owes much to the music of Professor Longhair, Dr. John, James Booker, Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and still more to the powerful vocals of Debbie Jones and Justine Randall’s...

Tom Hill

Tom Clarke-Hill defies stereotypes. A Californian long based in Birmingham, he is an actor, presenter and voice-over artist as well as being a highly versatile musician. Among his recent feature films in the JK Rowling tale of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,...

The Whiskey Brothers

Richard Heath (vocals and mandolin) and Gerry Smith (piano) are the Whiskey Brothers, playing the music of 1930s and 1940s American juke joints and combining old-style acoustic blues with their own original material. A quarter of a century ago they formed the Splinter...

Garry Allcock

Garry is best known as the leader of the All Stars Big Band which has played with such jazz stars as Maynard Ferguson, Cleo Laine, Kenny Baker and Ronnie Scott – plus such less jazz-aligned names as Harry Secombe and Russ Abbot – but as a drummer he is highly...