Jazz photographer Brian Homer and jazz researcher Dr Pedro Cravinho of Birmingham City University have been collaborating on a project called Jazz Journeys: Everyday Life which looks behind the image of the gigging musician. The collaboration uses both photography and interviews to reveal some of the issues jazz musicians face in their careers and the non-gig related, and sometimes non-jazz related, work they do.
In amongst the six musicians involved in the project you will find musicians cooking, teaching Taekwondo, doing care work, looking after their kids, repairing instruments and writing plays as well as the more well-known music teaching sessions.
The musicians are pianist David Austin Grey, sax players Alicia Gardener-Trejo, Chris Young and Joey Walter, violinist and vocalist Ruth Angell, and 2018 Young Jazz Musician of the Year Xhosa Cole. There’s an exhibition in Birmingham featuring the photographs and selected quotes from the musicians from 16th January to 1st February 2020 – dates which wrap around the international Documenting Jazz Conference at Birmingham City University which runs from 16th to 18th January 2020.
If you visit the exhibition at Centrala in Digbeth, Birmingham you’ll find out more about these musicians lives and what they do as well as play jazz.
Venue: Centrala, Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5RT
Tel: 0121 513 0240 Web: www.centrala-space.org.uk
January 15th to February 1st 2020
Open Wednesdays to Saturdays 12 – 8pm
David Austin Grey teaching at a SoundLab Saturday session in Coventry.
Chris Young doing a cooking shift at The Shakespeare pub, Summer Row, Birmingham.
Ruth Angell getting ready to go out with the uniform she used to wear doing care home shifts hanging on the wardrobe door.
So as the light dimmed within the sold out Royal Festival Hall auditorium, few were aware of what a superlative evening of Jazz music lay in store for them. As our host rightly professed, “Are you ready for this? We’ve got some serious legends in the house, so it’s gonna be serious! First we get to see some of the founding members of one of the best jazz fusion records of all time…So please give a warm EFG London Jazz Festival welcome to The Headhunters!”
As the saying goes…Good things come in small packages, or in this case small venues. Well, with regards to J.P. Bimeni and The Black Belts who performed their UK album launch of ‘Free Me’ at the very cosy, intimate confines of Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s, this was exactly the case. The audience consisted primarily of J.P. Bimeni’s old school friends and ex-work colleagues, alongside those who may have caught a taste of The Black Belts sound on BBC 6 Music or other independent internet radio stations and travelled to the renowned venue on Frith Street, London in the hope of catching the J.P. Bimeni and The Black Belts live experience. The gig itself was not even listed on the venue Marquee, so one had to be given the heads up that something ‘special’ was going down Upstairs at Ronnie’s behind a very nondescript grey door whilst bassist Victor Wooten was entertaining other ‘good’ music enthusiasts beneath us on the main stage.
Barbican Music Library in central London will host an exhibition celebrating ‘Women in Jazz’ from 16 October to 31 December 2018, drawing on the rich resources of the National Jazz Archive and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Archive.
This free exhibition will present a musical and social survey of the rich contribution women have made to jazz over the last 100 years and of the talented upcoming generation who herald an exciting new era. It will focus on women instrumentalists, and feature photos, posters, journals, video and memorabilia from the Archive.
National Jazz Archive chair Paul Kaufman said: “Singers such as Ella, Billie, Nina and Cleo are household names, but many star women players and pioneers have been sadly neglected and deserve to be rediscovered. So the exhibition will pay particular attention to instrumentalists, such as Valaida Snow, Marian McPartland, Kathy Stobart and Deirdre Cartwright. The Archive is as much about the future as it is about the past, so it is important to us that the current crop of trail-blazing female artists is also featured.”
Richard Jones (Music Librarian, Barbican Music Library) said: “I’m delighted to welcome the National Jazz Archive to the Barbican again – this exhibition will be the third that the Archive has presented here. I’m sure it will be of great interest, not only to jazz enthusiasts, but also to people interested in exploring the changing role of women in the arts.”
‘Women in Jazz’ responds to the Barbican’s 2018 cross-arts season The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape, with the exhibition celebrating the impact women have had on the genre’s musical development and social influence.
Barbican Music Library is on Level 2, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. It is within walking distance of a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. Bus route 153 runs directly past the Barbican. Free bicycle spaces and paid car parking spaces are available.
Opening times are: Monday and Wednesday 9.30am–5.30pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am–7.30pm, Friday 9.30am–2pm, and Saturday 9.30am–4pm.