Birmingham Jazz Festival set to return this month


The annual Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival is returning this month.

The popular festival is still expected to go ahead, despite the current restrictions set by the government and will take place in various venues throughout the West Midlands. 

Birmingham Jazz Festival – Jim Simpson

The Jazz festival kicks off tomorrow (16th October). This being a much later date after lockdown measures forced organisers to postpone.

Attendees can expect over 200 performances from musicians, alongside exhibitions, workshops, talks and masterclasses. The majority of these will be free to attend but check the website for specific dates and performances.

The rescheduled event will differ from previous years due to social distancing guidelines. All singers and musicians will perform behind a perspex screen separating them from the live audiences, to comply with the government’s Covid-19 guidelines.

Jim Simpson (LinkedIn)

Jim Simpson, Festival Director for Birmingham Jazz Festival comments on the measures in place and his opinion on the event.

“We have received confirmation from each and every venue that they are fully compliant with all government requirements with regard to Covid-19 and we are providing screens to sit in front of singers to protect audiences from any airborne fluid.”

“I am angry, frustrated, desperately sorry for the many musicians who have been deprived of income and also sorry for the audiences who come to the festival from all over the UK and from further afield to enjoy real jazz and blues, properly played.”

Jim Simpson, Festival Director, Birmingham Jazz Festival

“Having said that, this is without doubt the finest jazz and blues programme to take place this year, certainly in Birmingham and probably nationwide and I am proud of the content.”

A range of talented musicians will be performing from tomorrow up until Sunday 25th October 2020.  Alongside these events, there will be a record session and jazz film show, while shows will be streamed live from West Bromwich Central and Wednesbury Libraries

Alex Clarke – Alex Clarke Facebook

Alex Clarke a saxophonist and clarinet player from Warwickshire comments on how she is looking forward to returning to the festival after a successful show last year.  Alex also won the Rising Star award at the British Jazz Awards last year.

“I am extremely excited to be back performing live again. Like many other musicians, I have been involved with various remote recording projects and live streams, but nothing can compare to the sense of camaraderie and enjoyment a live gig brings to musicians and audiences alike.

For more information on the festival visit the official website and check out their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. A copy of the festival programme is also available to view online.


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