An Insight into Jazz Musicians’ Lives

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:
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.